Opportunistic Michigan D cashes in again

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It will take time for Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison to get Michigan's defense fully on track.

There are a lot of things to fix after the past three seasons.

But Hoke and Mattison have to be thrilled with the defense's opportunistic play so far in the opener. A defense can cover up yards allowed with big plays, and Michigan has made two of them today.

The latest came courtesy of safety Jordan Kovacs, who absolutely leveled Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder on a blitz. Carder had no chance and coughed up the ball, which Brandon Herron scooped up and raced to the end zone for his second touchdown. Herron will never forget this game: He's the first defensive player in school history to score two touchdowns in one game.

Carder has really impressed me, and Michigan's defense still is vulnerable at spots. But this game comes down to who makes the biggest plays, and the Wolverines twice have cashed in for points. Michigan also is applying more pressure on Carder after giving the quarterback too much time in the first half. Kovacs has been impressive, adding another sack and a pass breakup.

The Wolverines have opened up a 27-10 lead midway through the third quarter.