Michigan knew it escaped, rather than won at Rentschler Field on Saturday night.
"We're Michigan, we don't settle, we don't play down to the level of our competition," said defensive end Frank Clark, who got a key sack late in the Wolverines' 24-21 win over UConn. "We've done that the last two weeks; we've got to stop doing that."
Michigan, which struggled to beat Akron last week, fell behind 21-7 in the third quarter, turning the ball over four times.
"We've got a major league problem and we've got to fix it," Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said.
UConn's defense bottled up Michigan in the second and third quarters. The Wolverines quarterback, Devin Gardner, misfired on all his second-quarter passes.
Did UConn's defense confuse him? "No," he said. Gardner finished with 106 yards rushing, and he was 11 of 23 for 97 yards passing.
Running back Fitzgerald Toussant (24 carries, 129 yards) said, "UConn came out and played well, give them credit."
UConn's pressure from the outside gave Michigan problems, Hoke said, and not until late in the second half did the Wolverines' tight ends and receivers do a better job of blocking. The Huskies had three sacks.
"UConn was tough, and I knew they would be, because their coach is a darned good coach," Hoke said. "It was an away game with 38 first- and second-year players against a really good coaching staff. I like the way we responded, though."
Said Gardner: "We kept fighting. Our defense fought hard and our offensive did enough. We faced adversity and we responded, but we'd rather it not come down to that every week. That's what it took on this night."
Williams Leaves Impression
Jhavon Williams got his chance, and didn't take long to make a statement. Williams, a redshirt freshman, got into the game at cornerback for UConn during its first series on defense.
The Wolverines, who moved the ball effectively throughout the first half, drove deep into UConn territory on this first series, and Williams got in as the nickel back and found himself in the right place at the right time. Gardner's pass was tipped and Williams intercepted it at the Huskies' 23-yard line, his first career interception.
In the second quarter, when Michigan took a 7-0 lead, starter Taylor Mack went down with a shoulder injury and Williams got into the regular defense and the Michigan freight train began to slow down.
On The Injury Front
Xavier Hemingway started in place of injured Kevin Friend at right tackle for UConn. Friend, who missed the first game with a concussion, now has a high-ankle sprain. … Linebacker Graham Stewart, who has what is considered a more severe ankle sprain, was replaced by Jefferson Ashiru. … Wide receiver Shakim Phillips, who strained his hamstring as he scored on a 75-yard catch-and-run late in the game vs, Maryland, was also out of action. John Green started in his place.
The official attendance of 42,704, the highest ever for UConn, thanks to the extra 2,200 temporary seats, included its share of celebrities. Yankees captain Derek Jeter, an avid Michigan football fan from Kalamazoo, made his way to East Hartford with his girlfriend, model Hannah Davis, following the Yankees' afternoon game, and sat in the athletic director's suite. Door closed, no visitors allowed. … Retired UConn coach Jim Calhoun, who will be honored at Gampel Pavilion on Sunday night, was in his suite, as was men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie. … Among the former UConn basketball stars in town for the Calhoun event were Hasheem Thabeet, Ray Allen, Kemba Walker, Donny Marshall and Jeff Adrien. . … The men's basketball program took the opportunity of the big football game to host some recruits, including Sam Cassell Jr., who plays junior college ball in Florida and was up for an official visit, as was Ray Kasongo, a 6-9 forward from Toronto. …The UConn women's basketball team was out in force, on the field, dancing with the band as part of the halftime entertainment. Stefanie Dolson did her dance with the national championship trophy.