ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Coming at you in waves, Michigan’s defensive line depth is deep and has been a major asset for the Big Ten’s top defense this season.
In fact, U-M already has 15 sacks as a group through it’s first five games, with Chris Wormley playing a huge part of their success, leading Michigan with a team-high seven tackles for loss to go along with his one sack.
“I think it’s just how we work as defensive line,” Wormley said. “We come in every single day trying to get better, watching film. Coach (Greg) Mattison says we have two starting defensive lines. And you can see that throughout the game.”
Adding: “Also, the secondary and the linebackers help us out a lot with coverage, when we get pressure, when we get sacks. Just a total team defensive effort.”
Preparing for Connor Cook
Arguably the best quarterback U-M will face all season, Wormley was quick to note the tough match-up of playing MSU QB Connor Cook presents for Michigan’s defense front.
“Connor Cook gets the ball away real fast,” Wormley said. “He reads the defense really well. He’s an experienced quarterback. They have good offensive lineman. (Their) offensive line is a little banged up, but they’re going to be back this week. You just have to get pressure on third down and stop the run on first and second down.”
However, even with Michigan trying to beat its in-state rivals for the first time in since 2012, Wormley wouldn’t clarify on whether MSU was U-M’s biggest test this season or not.
“Northwestern was out biggest test last week,” Wormley said. “So as a new game arises, then the new week is obviously the biggest game of the year so far.”
Adding: “I think the players realize the caliber of this game,” Wormley said. “What it means going forward, bowl games, Big Ten championship, our rival game. I think the tension is going to pick up a little bit, but for the most we’re just going to business and going to work everyday.”
No. 12 Michigan (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) plays host to No. 7 Michigan State (6-0, 2-0) this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.