ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan's biggest key to winning this game -- more than Denard Robinson's brilliance or attacking the Michigan State secondary -- was simple.
Pressure Kirk Cousins.
The Wolverines' strength on defense undoubtedly rests with the defensive line. Michigan boasts a future NFL player in Mike Martin, plenty of experience with Ryan Van Bergen and others, and a blossoming young star in hybrid Craig Roh.
For the Wolverines to slow down Michigan State, the line needed to step up. And so far, the line has done just that.
Van Bergen already has a sack, and Martin is creating all kinds of problems in the middle. Cousins doesn't have great mobility, so he struggles with pressure. Michigan is also collapsing well on run plays between the tackles.
Michigan State's defense also is stepping up so far, and the game is surprisingly low scoring, with Michigan up 3-0 early in the second quarter.