Personnel Points: Defensive Line

A closer look at the play of the Irish defensive line in Saturday's defeat at the hand of the Wolverines.

Ethan Johnson

Had the first shot at Denard Robinson's only fumble of the day, but a diving, full-speed recovery is not an easy task for a 6'4" defensive end…Crashed inside (lost sight of the ball) on a read-option run by Denard Robinson to his signed that resulted in a 36-yard gain…Combined with Lewis-Moore to limit Vincent Smith to 2 yards on 1st and 10; Both Johnson and KLM defeated solo blocks outside and converged on Smith's draw run over the right guard.

Second Half: Opened the second half with a pocket stop of Robinson after the QB cut-back looking for room inside; Johnson defeated two blocks on the play…Blocked a bit too easily one-on-one by Dorrestein on a 5-yard gain by Shaw midway through the 3rd Quarter…Had a chance to bury Robinson 10 yards behind the line (with plenty of blue shirts covering the backside) but froze and Robinson managed a 12-yard completion to Darryl Stonum on 3rd and 3 to begin the final period… Hustled for a downfield tackle of Shaw after first respecting Robinson's option to run wide (play called back for holding vs. Ian Williams)…Penalized as 12th man on the field, off-setting a key holding penalty on Michigan on the game's final drive…Strong effort down the line vs. Michigan's decisive 4th and 1 conversion but didn't get enough help from filling defenders.

Kapron Lewis-Moore

Fought off a solo block by LT Mark Huyge to limit Robinson to 3 yards on 2nd and 8…Unblocked on the edge, then broke inside to stop Michael Shaw for a 4-yard gain on 1st and 10…Good battle with Huyge one play later to help limit Shaw to one yard (Te'o on the tackle).

Second Half: Too quick for LT Mark Huyge, beating the veteran with an inside swim move to drop Vincent Smith for no gain on UM's second series of the half…Followed that with a QB hurry of Robinson on the next play, this time with controlled outside penetration to the blocker's left shoulder…Completed his personal 3-and-out with a stop of Robinson after a three-yard scramble…Drew a holding call on Molk two series later to help slow Michigan's advance that had reached the Irish 25-yard line…Fought off a Huyge block to stop Smith for a 2-yard gain at the end of the 3rd Quarter.

Ian Williams

Started out with a bang, shuffling down the line of scrimmage to limit Robinson to 4 yards on a keeper sweep left…Defeated a wham block by LG Stephen Schilling to combine with Lewis-Moore on a 1-yard stop of Shaw, forcing a Michigan punt…Shed a move block from Schilling to stop Robinson for 2 yards on a QB ISO over the right side; Williams played well in Saturday's first half despite facing a top notch center in David Molk…Two plays later, stopped Robinson 7 yards downfield and on the opposite hash; great hustle by Williams who was well-blocked by Molk on the play…Stood up and shoved Molk into the backfield on the ensuing 3rd and 1 but neither Calabrese nor Te'o made the stop in the hole (Calabrese took on the lead block' Te'o a hair too late).

Second Half: Slid off a block to team with Lewis-Moore on a 3-yard stop of Robinson to force a punt on the Wolverines 2nd series… Constantly hustles downfield when he's double-teamed at the line of scrimmage…Drew a 10-yard holding call when the Wolverines had threatened with 2nd and 10 at the ND 25-yard line (UM eventually punted back to the Irish rather than attempt a field goal)…Good effort to go low (despite not being fully set prior to the snap) to help stop Robinson on the final drive's 3rd and 1 sneak...Double-teamed out of the middle on Robinson's game-winning TD run.

Backup DL Rotation

The Irish continued to substitute liberally along the front three:

Sean Cwynar – Defeated a Schilling block to help limit Shaw to 4 yards…Held his ground on the next play to force Shaw to bounce outside where Te'o cleaned up the tackle after one yard…Bulldozed from his gap by redshirt-freshman Patrick Omameh allowing Vincent Smith 6 yards on 1st and 10 early in the final quarter. There's a drop-off from Williams, but Cwynar's a player in the making.

Hafis Williams – Effectively solo-blocked for the majority of the first half but Hafis will be a solid backup as the season progresses.

Emeka Nwankwo – Fought off an edge block to stop Robinson for a 5-yard gain early in the fourth period. Plays behind a pretty good defensive end in Kapron Lewis-Moore. Nwankwo would be a valuable 5th-year DE in 2011. Top Stories