Michigan Wolverines Dominate On Defense To Help Defeat UNLV Rebels

Michigan Wolverines now sit 2-1 after getting a 28-7 win on Saturday against the UNLV RebelsTy Isaac was the star for U of M with a 114 yard rushing performance. 

One thing has been made clear, the Wolverines are a solid defensive team. After giving up 24 points to the Utah Utes, Michigan has only allowed 14 combined points to the Oregon State Beavers and UNLV. 

Against UNLV, the defense was led by Channing Stribling and Jeremy Clark. Both players recorded interceptions of UNLV starting quarterback Blake Decker

Decker, a senior, got the start over Kurt Palandech, but was replaced by Palandech after going 8-for-16 with just 92 yards and a touchdown. The two interceptions practically forced the coaching staff to remove him from the game. 

Once Decker was replaced, Palandech went 6-for-10 with 47 yards through the air. The UNLV offense did not get any help on the ground, as Keith Whitely carried the ball 13 times for just 29 yards. 

Devonte Boyd led the Rebels with three receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown. But his other than his one catch for 53 yards he was shut down by the Wolverines secondary. 

"I am proud of the fact that we fought into the fourth quarter," UNLV head coach Tony Sanchez said. "People had to keep playing against us. Disappointed in the results."

As for the Wolverines, they got a ton of production on the ground. Jehu Chesson, Sione Houma and Isaac all scored touchdowns on the ground. Isaac ran for a 76 yard touchdown just after Chesson rushed for a 36 yard touchdown. Both of those game in the second quarter. 

"I've been here for a year without playing, doing a lot of practice-squad stuff," Isaac said. "I know that stuff helps your team, but it feels a lot better when you can put it on the scoreboard and help your team win."

The 76 yard touchdown run from Isaac was the longest run for Michigan since Denard Robinson went 79 yards in 2012 against the Air Force Falcons.

In the fourth quarter, Houma rushed for one yard to record his first NCAA touchdown. 

De'Veon Smith carried the ball 13 times for just 33 yards, but he was able catch a five yard touchdown pass to get the Wolverines on the board early in the first quarter. Smith under performed from his 127 yard game with three scores on 23 carries last week against Oregon State. 

"We don't ever talk about any running back controversy -- just so you know -- from here on out," head coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Quarterback controversy, I'll address that. Whenever you want to know who the starting quarterback is, I will talk to you about that."

The Rebels shut down top tight end Jake Butt, who finished with two catches for just 14 yards. 

Jake Rudock got his third consecutive start over Shane Morris and still did not play as well as people expected. The fifth year senior finished 14-for-22 with 123 yards and one touchdown, but he was intercepted by Fred Wilson. 

At the end of the game, Wilton Speight threw the ball three times for Michigan, but could not complete a pass. Morris has yet to touch the field this season. 

Next week, Michigan (2-1) will face the No. 19 BYU Cougars (2-0) Saturday (September 26, 2015) at 12:00 PM ET.