Michigan 59, Maryland 3

Michigan 59, Maryland 3

Submitted by Ace on November 5th, 2016 at 7:59 PM


Whether passing or running, Wilton Speight dominated the air. [Bryan Fuller]

Dominance is the new normal, and this team knows it.

"There's no feeling like the feeling we have right now, and I'm not going to take that for granted," said De'Veon Smith, who rushed for 114 yards and three scores on only 19 carries.

"The yards he got after contact were real eye-opening. He's real tough to get down," Jim Harbaugh said, in perhaps the understatement of the season thus far.

Even with that production, Smith accounted for a mere fraction of Michigan's total output. That total: 660 yards on an even ten per play and a few more entries in the program record book. Wilton Speight broke a school record with 292 passing yards in the first half; he'd surpass his career high less than five minute into the third quarter. Speight finished with 362 yards and two touchdowns through the air and added a ten-yard scramble capped with a leap into the end zone.

"Statistically and just the eyeball, that's the best half of football I've ever seen a Michigan quarterback play," said Harbaugh. "Moving and throwing and accuracy and just extending plays, all of the above. I don't know how you play better."

"There was one throw that wasn't a great throw. Other than that it was a perfect game."

"Wilton had an unbelievable game today," said Jake Butt. "He keeps coming through for us when we need him most."

Butt made some history himself. On a five-catch, 76-yard day, he surpassed Jim Mandich as Michigan's all-time receiving leader among tight ends. Butt said it was "hard to take in" that he broke Mandich's record.

"You talk about [Ron] Kramer and Mandich, [Eric] Kattus, some tremendous tight ends have come through here. I know I'm leaving some out," said Harbaugh. "Most catches, most yards for a Michigan tight end is a great accomplishment."

Jehu Chesson, meanwhile, had a bounce-back game, hauling in five catches for 112 yards and one of the easier touchdowns he'll ever have when Maryland let him slip behind the defense. That was a bit of a theme; Michigan's first score came when Amara Darboh was all alone on a post route, and when the backups took over, Kekoa Crawford found himself similarly forsaken and caught his first career touchdown for the final score of the day.

Harbaugh was "bewildered" by the call marking Chris Evans short of the end zone. That's one word for it. [Eric Upchurch]

For the offense, there was little to complain about, save a couple calls that didn't go Michigan's way. Drake Harris had a long catch negated by a ticky-tack offensive pass interference call, and Chris Evans got marked just short of the goal line after a spectacular juggling catch and weaving run through the Terrapin defense.

"It offends my football sensibility in all ways that he didn't get a touchdown," said Harbaugh, who threw his hat several yards in the air after the call. "I think that would offend the football gods, as well."

Michigan mostly didn't need offensive contributions from Jabrill Peppers, but they got an early highlight when Peppers took a pitch, then threw it back to Speight, who launched a 40-yard bomb to Chesson. Peppers had a couple carries for 19 yards and added another TFL to ever-rising tally on defense. Asked after the game if he was trying to bolster Peppers's Heisman candidacy with "flashy" plays on offense, Harbaugh said he's simply utilizing Peppers as he should be utilized.

"It's just happening organically. It happens au naturale. He just does so much," said Harbaugh. "It doesn't have to be a forced thing. Au naturale." With a chuckle, Harbaugh added that his quarterback should perhaps be under consideration for the Heisman, too.


Whether on offense or defense, Peppers's contributions are "au naturale." [Fuller]

Despite holding Maryland to 367 yards, there were some worrisome moments for the defense. The Terps had a clear gameplan to test Michigan on the edge with outside runs and tunnel screens, and those plays found success—Mike McCray and Channing Stribling, in particular, had tough games holding trying to hold those plays down. Maryland nearly had a touchdown on a tunnel to DJ Moore at the very end of the first half, but Dymonte Thomas kept the play in front of him long enough for McCray to chase him down from behind; the clock expired with the Terps on Michigan's one-yard line.

Those deficiencies will get plenty of attention over the weeks to come, and Ohio State's coaching staff surely took note. That shouldn't totally overshadow an otherwise dominant outing from the defense, though. Maryland averaged just 2.7 yards per carry; the non-screen passing game was non-existent; the Wolverines had three sacks and ten additional TFLs. As in seemingly every other contest this year, Michigan knocked the starting quarterback out of the game, and Caleb Rowe was a clear downgrade from Perry Hills—he threw two interceptions to Delano Hill that Hill deemed "gifts" after the game.

A road night game at Iowa awaits. While that looked like a huge test entering the season, it now appears to be another golden opportunity for Michigan to make a statement to not only the conference, but the entire country. They're two more dominant outings away from having everything to play for in The Game.

Don't take it for granted.

One Frame At A Time: Michigan State

One Frame At A Time: Michigan State

Submitted by Ace on November 1st, 2016 at 5:23 PM

If I were simply hoping to sum up the game in GIF form, the above would suffice. But y'all had requests. So, so many requests. I appreciated each and every one of them.

Before I get to those, though, I have to acknowledge one reader who went above and beyond this week. The MGoStaff will all have physical copies of Monday's peak self-burn State News thanks to user TitaniumTim, who responded to my call yesterday and confirmed today that a shipment is headed our way. We cannot thank him enough.

And now, there are 70 more GIFs to post.

[Hit THE JUMP for a single-game record number of MGoGIFs.]

Monday Presser 10-31-16: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 10-31-16: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 31st, 2016 at 6:30 PM

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[Fuller/MGoBlog]

What will it take to keep the guys focused and playing at a high level the rest of the year every week?

“I think it takes a lot of commitment. Hard work. Good goals. Uh…commitment. Good football character. Good human character. I feel like we’ve got those kind of guys.”

You’ve been able to get the ball to four running backs, a couple of wide receivers, Jabrill, fullbacks. Short and long term, how much does that help you whether it’s recruiting, but also to win games because the other team doesn’t quite know who’s going to get the ball and everybody’s fresh?

“I think it helps in all the ways you just said. Helps in all those areas.”

I think Mone went out of the game in the first half? Did he come back in or is he hurt?

“Yeah, he fell down. Fell down on his leg and came off, but he came in yesterday saying he felt good.”

Do you have any expectations whether Grant Perry will play this week or is he still going through whatever he’s going through?

“Yeah, we’ll…to be determined.”

Thoughts on DJ Durkin coming in with Maryland and the job he’s done with them so far this year.

“He’s done a fabulous job. Just always respected DJ as a tremendous competitor at the highest level. Smile thinking about his competitiveness, and also always happy for a friend’s success. I think he’s doing a fabulous job, him and his entire staff and team. You can see the energy. You can see the strength. You can see the competitiveness and execution on the field, et cetera. The flip side of that is we know that this’ll be a big game, a championship game. This will be a real test for our club.”

[After THE JUMP: We’ve got to build some immune systems. More push-ups. More whole milk.]

WTKA Roundtable 10/13/2016

WTKA Roundtable 10/13/2016

45 minutes

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[Patrick Barron]

 

Things discussed:

  • Brown played a lot of the game in a dime-ish package with three down linemen—looked like Michigan practicing against Ohio State. Odd fronts, Taco at LB depth.
  • Josh Metellus might be a find; Devin Bush Sr. is angry he wasn’t more recruited. Devin Asiasi almost certainly is.
  • DL salivation: Taco is into the backfield before you can say Ta. Finally seeing Mone too. Mo Hurst is basically back; for Godin to start over him is wow-ish. Both holding up to double teams well.
  • What’s up with State? Last year they were more like a lucky 8-4 team that now lost Burbridge and Cook. MSU/Northwestern has M00N potential. Ohio State vs Wisconsin looks like flipside of Michigan vs. Wisconsin.
  • Peppers Heisman diagnosis: excellent arc block plus Rutgers is bad plus Denard vibe. If he can singlehandedly beat Ohio State and build 1200 houses there’s a chance.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment 2 is here. Segment 3 is here.

THE USUAL LINKS