Michigan CB Rips Detractors After Northwestern Win

david long michigan cornerback

Michigan CB Rips Detractors After Northwestern Win

Football

Michigan CB Rips Detractors After Northwestern Win

Michigan didn’t exactly light it up against Northwestern, with the spread being 14.5 points in favor of the Wolverines. But, the now 1-3 outfit put up a fight, starting with getting out to a 17-0 lead early in the game.

But, the maize and blue battled back on both sides of the ball, not allowing the Wildcats to do anything in the second half, while the Wolverines scored 20 unanswered points on the way to a 20-17 victory.

Of course, that’s not enough for some fans.

Given the perceived level of competition and the way the game started, fans flocked to social media to decry Michigan’s performance, with part of the focus going to the secondary, which struggled early in the game. Senior quarterback Clayton Thorson seemed to target the Wolverines’ safeties in intermediate routes, and both Lavert Hill and David Long accounted for a handful of penalties that kept drives alive.

Still, even then, Michigan held Northwestern to 174 yards passing — 34 of which came on the very last drive in desperation — compared to its average of 307.3 yards per game. But, because of the start that the Wolverines got out to, it wasn’t enough to hold off unhappy fans from criticizing the play of those holding down the nation’s fourth-rated pass defense — a unit that averages 146.2 yards-per-game usually (a mark that nearly held until that final drive).

And one star player for the maize and blue had enough hearing about his team’s detractors.

Michigan third-year cornerback David Long took to social media to voice his displeasure at the (often) uninformed opinions of fans that aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy. As Long says on Twitter, the game is played between players and the Wolverines cornerbacks are asked to do something extremely difficult by playing press-man coverage as compared to zone coverage — which tends to require less athleticism due to not battling one-on-one with a receiver at the line of scrimmage.

As we’ve written about in these pages, Long has a point. Of course, the perception was that Michigan would roll Northwestern, but the Wildcats are well-coached, coming off a bye and features many of the same players that won ten games a year ago. The Wolverines are now 4-1, with the sole loss coming in the season opener to now-6th-ranked Notre Dame by one possession. After Saturday’s game, Michigan also now has the nation’s top-rated defense, and will continue to have a target on its back by offenses and defenses alike each and every week.

Yet, often, fans who think they live in a vacuum tend to spout off on social media, criticizing things that oftentimes aren’t warranted.

The Wolverines did not play their best pass defense at the outset of the game on Saturday, but with the pass rush making a big difference in the second half, the secondary settled in and performed admirably.

Michigan’s pass defense should continue to rebound from the shaky first quarter this next week, with Maryland and its moribund aerial attack coming to town for homecoming.

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