ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins will miss the rest of the season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees during Saturday's win over Minnesota.
The team announced the loss Monday. Pipkins, a sophomore, had appeared in all five games, totaling seven tackles.
The 18th-ranked Wolverines play at Penn State on Saturday.
Michigan is allowing opponents to convert 41 percent of their third-down plays, ranking them 78th among Bowl Subdivision teams.
In Michigan's 42-13 win against Minnesota last weekend, the Golden Gophers were 8 of 15 on third-down conversions and put together scoring drives of 16, 11 and nine plays that ate up more than 20 minutes of game time.
"Those are money downs to us," said sophomore linebacker James Ross III. "We have to get off the field and set up our offense to score points. That's on us and that's probably our main focus going into this game (at Penn State) in practice is making those third downs a big deal and getting off the field."
The troubles on third down haven't resulted in an overall defensive breakdown. The Wolverines (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) are still the ninth-best defense in the nation against the run (90.4 yards allowed), 13th in total defense (305.0 yards) and 27th in scoring defense (19.4 points).
Its nine forced turnovers, including four interceptions by sophomore cornerback Blake Countess, have helped mitigate the 12 turnovers committed by Michigan's offense. Devin Gardner threw nine interceptions in Michigan's first four games and the turnover-free game against Minnesota was the Wolverines' first since Oct. 1, 2011.
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