Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson returned to the field after missing the vast majority of the 2020 season. Hutchinson had a very good 2019 season in his first year as a starter and a year ago he was dominating opponents prior to his season-ending injury. Hutchinson entered the year looking like a future first-round pick with high first-round potential.
In the first quarter Hutchinson shed the left tackle using an arm move to the inside and he buried the quarterback just after the ball was released. Shortly later he used a swim move to cut to the inside of the right tackle and joined a few teammates to produce a tackle for a loss on a third down run.
Midway through the third quarter Hutchinson got his first strip-sack of the season. He smacked down the hands of the right tackle and closed on the quarterback to slap the ball out of his hands while taking him to the turf.
Against Western Michigan, Hutchinson played well but was not dominating like he did at the start of the 2020 season. Hutchinson looked a little stiff when he was standing up like a 3-4 outside linebacker. He had a quality first step but did not look as explosive off the ball as he did against Minnesota in the season opener of last year. Hutchinson has excellent technique with superb hand usage and a variety of moves to go along with physicality. Hutchinson also has a fantastic motor with relentless effort. In the NFL, he might be more of strong, tough, hold the point of attack and contribute some rush rather than a prolific sack producer. Hutchinson could be a good end that produces in the 6-10 sack range rather than a dynamic rusher that puts up totals in the teens.