ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Michigan Football EDGE Mike Morris said he feels “big” two days after going down with an apparent injury at the end of a great win over Nebraska.
Speaking Monday Night on “Inside Michigan Football” radio show, Morris said he had suffered “a little tweak” against the ‘Huskers and is on the right track after treatment earlier in the day.
“I feel great,” Morris said. “Just a little adjustment. I have a feeling that everything will be fine. The trainers work hard with me every day. I was treated for about four hours this morning, so I’ll be fine. I am in good hands.”
The lower body injury occurred midway through the fourth quarter of Michigan’s 34–3 victory over Nebraska. After a few moments on the turf, Morris was able to run to the sidelines, though he seemed a little uneasy. The edge rusher did not return to the game, but at the time the Wolverines had a comfortable lead and were able to play backups for the final minutes of the blowout.
Morris finished the game in Nebraska with only one tackle, but was one of UM’s most prolific defenders this season. His 7.5 sacks and 11.0 tackles for loss both lead the team, and he has also forced a fumble.
And the fourth-year player is a leader in a Michigan team that currently ranks first in the nation in scoring defense (11.2 ppg), with the nation’s best rushing defense (72.7 ypg), the fourth best passing defense (160.1 ypg) and the top total defense (232.8 ypg).
And Jim Harbaugh knew it from the start. The UM coach spoke of the Wolverines as a “no-star” defense at fall camp, prompting some surprised reactions when he argued that the edge rushers and interior may be better than they are in 2021. While no Heisman finalist off the defense will be his line this year, 10 games into the season, the success can not be denied.
“I called it the ‘nameless defense’ in some ways, where guys in every position competed to make a name for themselves,” Harbaugh said Monday. “And I think that’s what happened. Playing great team defense. Each position group plays really well, and they play well together.”
Another of the bigger names from that “no-name” unit is Chris Jenkins. The defensive tackle has been a force in the interior, quietly – and sometimes not so quietly – forming the wall that has hindered so many opposing attack attacks.
“As we’ve said all year, we’ve really identified ourselves as a ‘no star’ defense,” Jenkins said. “We are really proud of working as one cohesive unit and being really successful across the board.”
The two remaining games on the schedule present clear challenges for the Wolverines. Illinois has Chase Brown, the FBS leader in rushing yards (1,442) and attempts (280). His status is unclear for this weekend’s game due to injury, but even if he can’t go, Illini’s field is a Bret Bielema-coached offensive line that, like Michigan’s, is known for its solid technique and physicality.
Then comes Ohio State, the No. 2 scoring offense in college football, thanks in large part to CJ Stroud and an Air Strike that has scored more passing TDs (35) than any other team in the country.
“We want to continue to be the No. 1 scoring defense in the country,” Jenkins said. “We are really proud to have such an identity, but we want to keep it that way.”