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The Five Most Interesting Things Jesse Minter Said: Sept. 21, 2022

Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter did a great job talking about Maryland, his unit's pass rush, Junior Colson and more.

Through three weeks, new Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter's group has given up just 17 total points. There have been a lot of ups and very few downs on defense during the first 25% of the 2022 season and, as the man with the plan, Minter is the main reason why.

"Really good quarterback, really good skill — a lot of speed. A good offensive line with a couple of really talented, NFL prospects."

Well, those words already mean Michigan will be tested by Maryland in a way that they simply were not in weeks one, two and three. Last year, Michigan did beat the Terps by 41 points in College Park, but every year is different and Maryland is moving the ball on offense. However, a modest 34-27 win over SMU last week at home shouldn't exactly strike fear in the Wolverines as the host of this weekend's game. Minter is right, there is more speed, size and talent on Maryland's roster, but I still expect Michigan to cruise to victory.

"Conference game, first and foremost. [Maryland will] definitely have some better players than we've seen so far."

Again, it's not a secret, but I'm glad Minter is okay with talking about it openly. Maryland is better than Colorado State, Hawaii and UConn by a considerable margin and the Wolverines need to be all the way ready and primed up for that. The fact that Minter is cool with saying it during a press conference leads me to believe he's drilling it home during practice and making sure no one slips once Saturday rolls around.

"Pass rush is a funny thing. A lot of the second and third game was based on what happened in the first game."

I totally buy that. All three non-conference opponents knew that Michigan was superior to them in every way well before the season started. After watching the Wolverines pile up seven sacks against Colorado State, Hawaii and UConn planned for that, got rid of the ball quickly and avoided sacks almost entirely. Against Maryland, I expect U-M to get back on track and record a couple/few sacks. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will probably get rid of the ball quickly often, but he's going to want to drop back and stretch the field as well. That's going to give all of Michigan's pass rushers some opportunities.

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"[Mike Sainristil] has made a lot of plays in the games."

Amen to that. Sainristil has been the biggest surprise of the season for me. We're talking about a pretty small guy (5-10, 182 pounds) who has played wide receiver for the last three years. Wide receivers are often stereotyped as the biggest divas on the team, but don't tell that to Sainristil. Instead, he's been one of the more physical presences on the team and actually recorded the first sack of the season. He's been really good in coverage and has made several plays where his physicality jumps off the field. Throw in the fact that Sainristil is a captain and has been described as a "coach on the field" by Steve Clinkscale, and you start to understand why Minter smiled as soon as he was asked about No. 0.

"I think Junior [Colson] is playing really, really well. We ask a lot of him. He plays a couple different positions for us in a couple of different packages."

That's so encouraging to hear about a sophomore who already looks to have All-American potential. Colson aces the eye ball test at 6-2, 235 pounds and has been all over the field through three weeks. He's leading all defenders with 17 tackles including one for loss. He's big, strong, fast and evidently smart enough to learn multiple positions in multiple packages by year two. The sky is the limit for that kid and he's going to get better and better fast now that he's a sophomore.