ANN ARBOR Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham was named the Big Ten s defensive player of the week for his three-sack, six-tackle performance against Wisconsin.
Graham registered two of his sacks and one of his forced fumbles in the fourth quarter of the Wolverines 27-25 victory as the defense successfully held onto a fragile lead. The Badgers reached the UM 5-yard line with 1:42 to go when Graham drilled Badgers quarterback Allan Evridge, causing a fumble that was recovered by Graham s teammate, Terrance Taylor.
Graham, a junior, currently leads the nation with 9 tackles for loss and is third in the country with five sacks. He is the second UM defender to receive the Big Ten s weekly honor, following linebacker Obi Ezeh s mention after the season opener.
It was a team thing, Graham said of the award. I just appreciate it.
As for the Wolverines miraculous turnaround from a dismal, five-turnover first half against Wisconsin, UM coach Rich Rodriguez said: We were lucky to win.
Rodriguez said there could be more changes on the offensive line for Saturday s home game against Illinois (3:30 p.m., Chan. 13), including possibly re-inserting Perry Dorrestein at left tackle and moving Mark Ortmann from left tackle to left guard.
John Ferrara and Tim McAvoy both played left guard against Wisconsin, while Ortmann started at left tackle.
Also, Rodriguez said running back Carlos Brown suffered a sprained foot last week. Brown has battled injuries throughout his time at UM, including a broken finger last spring and a shoulder injury earlier this season.
He s had a lot of bad luck, Rodriguez said.
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