Michigan linebacker Desmond Morgan discusses the mentality of U-M’s elite defense.

Michigan linebacker Desmond Morgan discusses the mentality of U-M’s elite defense.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –After two straight shutout wins Michigan’s defense has a reason to feel good.

In fact, Michigan’s defense has only given up seven points in its last 15 quarters and is holding opponents to 7.6 points this season, which ranks second nationally only to Northwestern 7.0.

“Guys are feeling good,” said Desmond Morgan, who finished with nine tackles with an interception and a two pass break ups versus Maryland. “It’s a steady improvement each week. Of course we’ll have to go back, there is some things we didn’t hit on. We should’ve, but our coaches are putting in a great scheme and game plan each week. It happened last week with BYU and happened again this week with Maryland.”

Against BYU and Maryland respectively Michigan held both offenses to 105 total yards en route to earning their first back-to-back shutouts since 2000 when it beat Indiana (58-0) and Michigan State (14-0).

“I think we have to start working towards the under a 100 yard mark,” Morgan said jokingly. “We’re going to look back at it, and say ‘Dang, couple yards here and there and we could’ve kept them under.’ But again, it comes back to the same improvement every week – we want to get better.”

Michigan boast the No. 2 total defense in the country, holding opponents to 184.0 yards per game. Why have they been so successful? Morgan says it has to do with the defense's overall mentality on the field. 

“Definitely there is an attitude,” Morgan said of the defense. “I think there is a D that we want to be. That D is kind of nasty and mean, known for stopping the run and making big plays. We’re trying to put those big plays on top of each other week after week.”

Adding: “Overall (it's) just a comfort with another. Communication that’s going on the field, guys knowing where one guys going to be on a play versus another formation, where he’s going to be on that play. So it’s guys being bale to adjust and play off one another. I think as we get more comfortable with one another, the better we’ll play and the faster we’ll play.”

Michigan (4-1, Big Ten 1-0) plays host to No. 16 Northwestern (5-0) next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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