Actually, let me specify. The Wolverines passing game gave reason for concern, because once again running back Ty Isaac was outstanding. After rushing for 114 yards on just 11 carries against Florida last week he totaled 133 yards on 20 carries Saturday, though he didn't find the end zone.
While quarterback Wilton Speight wasn't bad for Michigan, he has yet — in two games — to inspire much confidence in the Wolverines' offense, despite the weapons he has in receivers Kekoa Crawford, Tarik Black, Donovan Peoples-Jones (among others) and his solid offensive line.
Speight's line of 17 for 29 (58.6 percent) for 221 yards and two scores looks fine on paper, but he struggled to get Michigan's offense moving for most of the first half and long into the second. After throwing two pick-sixes last week, not turning the ball over this week was certainly a step in the right direction.
The Wolverines led just 17-7 at the break and Cincinnati closed the gap to 17-14 at one point in the third before Michigan's depth won over. But while the offense struggled early, the defense looked just as good as it did against Florida last week.
Last week Michigan held Florida to 192 yards, forced three turnovers (returning a fumble for a score) and held the Gators to nine first downs. Clearly, the defense is the driving force of this team, but is it good enough to carry the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff?
We have yet to see Michigan face an elite offense, but if the Wolverines are going to be a CFP contender, this defense is the reason why. Michigan's offense has produced four touchdowns in two games, and the defense has three TDs and a safety in that same time frame.
I wouldn't expect Speight to improve too much this season, especially as Michigan heads into the Big Ten season. After one last tune-up against Air Force, Michigan jumps into the Big Ten schedule at Purdue, home against Michigan State, then at Indiana and Penn State. All of those defenses will likely present a bigger challenge than Cincinnati, and a couple of those offenses — namely Penn State — will really test this Michigan defense.
That Penn State game feels like a very important measuring stick for Michigan as we try to decide if this is a defense capable of carrying the Wolverines to the playoff.