NCAA FB

Michigan OT Lewan says line needs to get meaner

Share This Story

   
 

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)

Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan hopes the team's offensive line stops playing nice.

Lewan said that technique can only take linemen so far.

''You have to play angry, a little nasty,'' he said Monday. ''I think our offensive line needs to do that a little bit more.''

The 18th-ranked Wolverines were pushed around up front in a blowout loss to defending champion Alabama. Their offensive line was outplayed by Air Force's quicker team in a narrow win and seemed to be just OK in a rout over lowly Massachusetts.

Michigan probably won't face a defensive front seven as talented it did against the Crimson Tide.

No. 11 Notre Dame, though, might come close Saturday night with its stout defensive line and swarming linebackers.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke insisted he's looking forward to seeing how his much-maligned line fares against the likes of 6-foot-3, 326-pound nose guard Louis Nix and star linebacker Manti Te'o.

''To see how far we've come from Game 1 to Game 4 is exciting,'' Hoke said. ''There's no question that it's going to be a test.

''They have been very productive as a football team and as a defensive team. We'll have to block at the line of scrimmage and need to do a great job of protection.''

The Wolverines have been pretty good in pass protection, giving up just two sacks in three games.

But they've struggled to push lineman around or to get to linebackers consistently in the running game for anybody other than quarterback Denard Robinson.

Hoke said he's sticking with the same guys that have started so far: Lewan and Michael Schofield at tackle, guards Ricky Barnum and Patrick Omameh along with center Elliott Mealer.

''What we have determined to be our best five are playing,'' Hoke said. ''If someone else is better, believe me, they would have stepped up.''

Lewan is glad the group is getting a chance to gel after last year's line leaned a lot on All-American center David Molk along with tackle Mark Huyge.

''Every snap we get as a starting five together is going to benefit us,'' Lewan said. ''We're getting better and better as the season goes on, but we have to get better. That just has to happen. To become a Big Ten championship team, our offensive line has to put that weight on our shoulders.

''I just think it takes time. I think we're going to be just fine.''

Lewan said the goal for the unit is to reestablish the line of scrimmage so that it can control the game.

''If we can do that, I think we'll be successful,'' he said.

That won't be easy against the Fighting Irish.

Their defensive linemen are at least 6-3 and weigh more than 300 pounds. The trio does a great job of making plays or at least keeping offensive linemen off linebackers Te'o, Dan Fox, Prince Shembo and Ben Councell.

Notre Dame has given up 30 points combined in three games - including just three in Saturday night's win at Michigan State - in their best start on defense since the 1988 national championship team allowed 27 points over the first three games.

''The most important thing is our defense continues to be the group that we committed to in building when we started this process,'' third-year Irish coach Brian Kelly said. ''They are starting to get to that level where they can play with anybody.''

---

Follow Larry Lage on Twitter: http://twitter.com/larrylage

Tagged: Notre Dame, Taylor Lewan, Michigan

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash