28 Tickets To Team 139: Pre-Bowl Edition

Submitted by Brian on November 30th, 2017 at 1:45 PM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + SAM + FLEX TE  + SLOT.

PREVIOUSLY: last year's final version.

Note that due to Michigan's frequent deployment of a 3-3-5 with a true SAM linebacker I've added that slot to this year's list. There are now 28 tickets. Actually there are 29 because there are two RBs.

PACK YOUR BAGS

30544914742_ed4537549d_z_thumb111. SDE Rashan Gary, Jr. [Last time: 3]

Saw his sacks pirated away all year and endured a painful shoulder injury that briefly knocked him out of a few games; still first team All Big Ten per the coaches at a loaded spot after an 11 TFL, 5 sack season. Goal in what's presumably his final year is to go from All Big Ten to All American. That's more likely than not.

635894839030253287-DFPawards-121315-[2]2. CB Lavert Hill, Jr. [Last time: 18]

Jourdan Lewis 2.0 was the absurd expectation. And it was more or less met. Hill had a clear PT edge over the other members of Michigan's excellent CB troika, and was so good that he was barely challenged during the second half of the season. Flashed excellent run support along the way; total package and early entry candidate.

Screen-Shot-2016-02-03-at-10.00.33-A[2]3. ILB Devin Bush, Jr. [Last time: 15]

The platonic ideal of a Don Brown linebacker. Roaring start to the season petered out into solid play as opposing offenses started focusing more time and resources on blocking him; still racked up 9.5 TFLs and 5 sacks and was 1st team ABT. Occasional busts expected out of a true sophomore and should drop out of his game as he takes up the mantle of upperclass leader. Drawing skills questionable.

hudson_thumb14. VIPER(!!!) Khaleke Hudson, Jr. [Last time: 13]

Set program and B10 record for TFLs in a game because Minnesota decided to be very Nice to him. Also had 8 non-Gopher TFLs and was a frequent, excellent blitzer. Versatile and explosive; replaced Peppers on defense with almost no hiccup. Busted coverage vs OSU was a bummer. Again, true sophomore.

14_48761125. CB David Long, So.* [Last time: 23]

Rotated more than Hill but played just as well. Put Simmie Cobbs on a milk carton. Program ambassador type. Like Hill, barely challenged over the second half of the season as opponents gave up on their outside WRs. Should improve faster than Watson and emerge into ABT or AA type.

30300197284_6b18c06a0b_z_thumb56. WDE Chase Winovich, Sr.* [Last time: 8]

Translated productive 2016 cameos with nearly no efficiency loss, leading team with 17.5 TFLs and 8 sacks. Ironman who played almost every snap with a nonstop motor. Enjoyed Eric's hat. Some run issues with lane integrity and holding up against power at his face. Has NFL decision to make; quick google doesn't show him as a first rounder, so probably back.

30350541320_53f3c6e05f_z_thumb197. OG Ben Bredeson, Jr. [Last time: 5]

Alarming pass protection feels a lot more understandable if Bredeson is a redshirt freshman, but that was not possible given the dearth of OL Harbaugh inherited. Became a solid cog in the run game; could get a look at tackle but I think we saw why he was never a candidate on the outside over the course of the year. Big leap still possible.

31165120764_f26408fc10_z8. SS Josh Metellus, Jr. [Last time: 10]

Don't let that dropped INT and a couple of drag routes obscure what was otherwise an excellent end to the season for Metellus. Graded out consistently well in UFR. Versatile slot defender and safety was a highly reliable tackler and virtually never showed up on your screen for bad reasons. There are far far worse fates for a new starting S. Don't make me remind you of AMSHG.

v38mru82pxomj6mxzrvx_thumb109. FS Tyree Kinnel, Sr. [Last time: 7]

Spate of missed tackles as Kinnel got over-aggressive on screens see him slot just below Metellus; most of his other misfortune was getting freshman Jourdan Lewis'd on slot fades and the occasional Hornibrook heat-seeking missile. Busts were rare; key component of a secondary that exceeded all reasonable expectations. Man coverage on slots could use some work.

CrxVLFyXEAQQBc9_thumb1010. OG Mike Onwenu, Jr. [Last time: 14]

Got bumped for Cesar Ruiz late in the year but was reportedly ill even after he'd recovered from his injury; if full go would have played. When playing was the exact kind of absurd masher everyone wanted him to be. Early pass protection issues more about stunt communication than a technique deficit; should emerge into bonafide ABT player.

33245237283_6934761f01_z11. OC Cesar Ruiz, So. [Last time: NR]

Was already a holy lock to be the starting center in 2018, and then he started at RG for the back half of the season. There was little dropoff from Onwenu until Wisconsin and TJ Edwards came to town; even so Ruiz played out of his mind for a true freshman. He's a natural C and ain't nobody coming for his job.

36586388714_757de77321_z12. TE Sean McKeon, So.* [Last time: NR]

M's leading receiver... with 29 catches. Couple that with an in-season blocking turnaround as he went from Very Bad to Good-ish, and you've got a pending four year-starter unless the NFL intervenes. Athletic, good hands—the OSU drop was uncharacteristic and I have the charts to prove it—and mean enough on the ground.

37017822590_aaac6ab7b0_z (1)13. FLEX Zach Gentry, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Loping downfield menace would have had a massive breakout season in functioning pass offense; in Michigan's he got 15 catches. Led the team in YPC with a Gesicki-esque 18.4, and was not a pretty pretty princess when asked to block. More or less Post Apocalyptic Jake Butt. Hopefully can become Regular Jake Butt in 2018.

36428699434_67f64b4670_z14. SLOT Grant Perry, Sr. [Last time: NR]

Michigan's leading receiver by yardage last year, Perry looked the part of a polished just-gets-open chain-mover. He looked that part far too rarely for the usual reasons. As a senior his deployment will be similar, but hopefully he'll be one of a large number of weapons instead of the one guy you need to look for on third and seven. A version of Perry in a functional passing game is really efficient.

38189078341_28cfa20806_z15a. RB Karan Higdon, Sr. [Last time: NR]

Felt wrong to leave either main RB out so let's break out some lower case letters. Higdon is 71 bowl yards away from being Michigan's first 1,000 yard RB since Fitz Toussaint. He demonstrated not only an ability to power through tackles but to run away from a bunch of them. A few better cuts and he's the total package. Oh... and a lot better pass blocking.

CryqvadUkAA3Tz5_thumb515b. RB Chris Evans, Jr. [Last time: 16]

Disappointing first half mostly about terrible blocking at inopportune times; came on late; displayed open-field chops against OSU. A jet with ankle-breaking ability. Running through a few arm tackles. Got up to 5.3 YPC even with terrible start. Should have had 40 catches this year. Scouts flag football at 7 AM. Should be allowed to wear a helmet that has his hair on it.

36639883555_c850aaef2a_z16. FB Ben Mason, So. [Last time: NR]

Sometimes there's a man. Mason is that man. He's the only fullback on the roster who anyone can name, for one. For two, Harbaugh gushed about him through spring and fall as a hitter. For three, Michigan followed that up with meaningful in-season playing time, and he did well with it. For four, just look at that fullback-ass photo at left. Fullback? Fullback.

30030155204_aeed8a5eef_z_thumb1217. SAM Noah Furbush, Sr.* [Last time: 25]

Flies up as SAM becomes a ticket. Got a ton of time as Devin Bush's personal snowplow early; restricted to passing downs later in the season. Functioned mostly as a bonus DL in a 3-3-5; unless he is more versatile it looks like Michigan is going to run actual DLs instead of bonus ones.

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

34056744135_046024a637_z (1)18. QB Brandon Peters, So.* [Last time: NR]

There will be a QB competition; Peters has a year, 64 attempts at 7.6 YPA, a 4:0 TD-INT ratio, and the upcoming bowl game over Dylan McCaffrey, his only realistic competition after Speight's exit. If Peters doesn't win the competition it will be a major surprise. Not bad for a Huge Recruiting Mistake.

33220291904_91e3759ddd_z19. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, So. [Last time: 24]

Emerged as Michigan's main—often only—receiver by midseason, whereupon he was zestily overthrown on wide open post routes and humped to death by hoodie-wearing jabronis in full view of the referees. Did get a bomb against Wisconsin, and had two huge punt returns. Breakout could be coming, pending pass pro.

38456603786_f91ec3a78d_z (1)20. 3T Aubrey Solomon, So. [Last time: NR]

M's late preference for a 4-man-front seemed directly tied to the development of Solomon, a five-star who started flashing that talent late in the year. Removal against OSU because of a ding, not his play; Martin/Glasgow/Hurst play-alike who could/should bust out big time in full time starters role.

38196366241_195c826cee_z21. NICKEL Brandon Watson, Sr.* [Last time: NR]

Probably the season's most pleasant surprise, Watson went from firm-handshake fodder to a guy Michigan had to play even though David Long was taking off. Also gave Simmie Cobbs the business. Athletic upside not as high as the other guys but he's making it work as a press corner. Thomas lurks.

nordin-810x450_thumb522. K Quinn Nordin, So.* [Last time: 20]

Torrid start cooled off; still hit 15 of 20 attempts on the year. Three missed XPs are... uh. Not great. S&P+ has him an almost entirely average kicker. This is not the worst, but it is quite a comedown from GREATEST KICKER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY, which is what Nordin seemed like for half the season. Let's get back to that plz.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

Baq2X62CYAIVIab_thumb523. NT Bryan Mone, Sr.* [Last time: 14]

Conditioning issues were rumored to cost him his starting job; useful piece on short yardage but a zero as a rusher. That could see him relegated to a similar role in 2018 if one of the young guys comes on. Still more likely that Mone trims down in a contract year and takes his swing at the NFL.

37266565725_cd8455398e_z24. WR Tarik Black, Fr.* [Last time: NR]

Michigan's #1 receiver until injury hewed him down; flashed his talent early; with Crawford's continued struggles it's likely that Black walks right back into the starting lineup once he's healthy. Massive, thudding downfield guy with great body control and a year of experience sounds like a nice safety blanket for Peters.

CvKekmXWIAAKkLp_thumb2725. P Brad Robbins, So. [Last time: 26]

This is still a picture of Jordan Glasgow in a bear shirt, and will probably always be a picture of Glasgow in a bear shirt. The punter in question, Robbins, was middling at best as a freshman and could come in for some competition from walk-ons, but the main walk-on shanked three early and got yanked so not so much.

IN A BATTLE

Lq2JiI0826. ILB Josh Ross, So. [Last time: NR]

Mike McCray's vacancy is wide open and could go to any of the second-year players, or Devin Gil, or Josh Uche, or even a relocated Noah Furbush. Ross gets the nod here because he's got recruiting rankings on the veterans and playing time on his classmates. This is a shot in the dark, but a relatively friendly one. The last two spots... not so much.

21235224-standard27. LT Grant Newsome, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Please baby Jesus, all I want for Christmas this year is a hale and hearty Grant Newsome. And also next year. And I suppose it would be nice if he remained healthy after his playing career at Michigan was over as well.

636215455344246734-IMG-112228. RT James Hudson, Fr.* [Last time: NR]

Here's a near-random guess at which dude will emerge from the seething pile. All three of the returning candidates had major issues, so the door is wide open for a freshman. Hudson moved to tackle and is picking up Webb hype while nobody else has been mentioned, so here he is. Other options: Spanellis, Filiaga, Stueber, Honigford, Runyan, JBB, and Ulizio.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

NOT STARTERS BUT CONTRIBUTING

RB Kareem Walker—flashed promise late, needs to follow his blocking better.

WR Kekoa Crawford—scuffled badly this year, but will rotate in.
WR Nico Collins—redshirt yanked rather pointlessly late this year.
WR Eddie McDoom—Breastonian threat could have been better utilized.

TE Ty Wheatley—injury may have got him Wally Pipped but there's a role for a masher.
TE Nick Eubanks—knocked out for year by brutal targeting.
TE Ian Bunting—Ol' Skillet Hands may have fifth year on the line in spring.

T Jon Runyan Jr.—RT for much of second half against OSU.
T Juwann Bushell-Beatty—road grader who can't pass block.
G Stephen Spanellis—productive masher as 6th OL. Probably gets a look at T.

SDE Carlo Kemp—significant PT a year ago; still developing.
NT Michael Dwumfour—"big Mo Hurst" is what they're saying. Please be right.
3T Lawrence Marshall—decent backup DT
WDE Kwity Paye—flashed some talent as a freshman.

SAM Josh Uche—effective rush specialist late in the year.

CB Ambry Thomas—KO returner and super talented dude could take aim at Watson's snaps.

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB Dylan McCaffrey—oblig redshirt year in rear view.

RB O'Maury Samuels—probably needs an injury before he can see real time.

WR Oliver Martin—weird that he was the guy who redshirted.
WR Nate Schoenle—got a few targets.

G Andrew Vastardis—walk-on is in conversation.
T Nolan Ulizio—Pretty terrible but did get a half season of starts.
T Andrew Stueber—potential LT if Newsome can't go.
T Chuck Filiaga—enormous man may be G but M has to see if he's a tackle.
T Joel Honigford—Another LT candidate if he works out.

3T Donovan Jeter—ND decommit w/ salty comments afterwards will be fan favorite
WDE Luiji Vilain—injury enforced redshirt gave Paye the early edge.

MLB Drew Singleton—will battle Gil/Ross.
SAM Jordan Anthony—maybe more of a viper/Bush backup?

CB Benjamin St Juste—oh Canada.

S Jordan Glasgow—behind Woods; special teams stalwart.
S Jaylen Kelly-Powell—got some PT late, didn't go well.
S J'Marick Woods—Ol' Woods brings the wood.
S Brad Hawkins—mostly active on special teams.

WAITING THEIR TURN

RB Kurt Taylor—moves up if he can pass block.

G JaRaymond Hall—only incoming OL listed at under 300.

NT Phil Paea—two-way DL/OL will probably land on O, eventually.
SDE Ron Johnson—might be late early for him as Paye went right by on the weakside.
3T Deron Irving-Bey—at least another year before he's ready.
WDE Reuben Jones—late early.

Comments

lhglrkwg

November 30th, 2017 at 2:28 PM ^

Ok, it's not often I lose my cool and laugh out loud reading mgoblog in my office, but this one did it

 

19. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, So. [Last time: 24]... humped to death by hoodie-wearing jabronis in full view of the referees

WolverBean

November 30th, 2017 at 3:43 PM ^

Crawford underwhelmed in the pass-catching and onside-kick-handling departments but has a clear edge in run blocking. As the offense became increasingly run-heavy in the latter part of the season, run-blocking is where Crawford earned his playing time. If they stay run-heavy next year, I'd expect Crawford to continue to get a lot of time even if other receivers look better in the passing game. And he did show flashes this year; consistency will be the challenge (which could of course be said for the whole offense!).

WestQuad

November 30th, 2017 at 3:45 PM ^

Will be interesting to see how good Crawford and the rest of the receivers are once they are actually being thrown catchable balls.  There were drops this year as well, but better pass blocking and passing will cause all of the receivers to take a step forward.

Ron Utah

November 30th, 2017 at 2:42 PM ^

The only thing that would keep Tarik from a starting role is complications from his fracture.  He is the best true freshman WR we've had since Manningham; unfortunately he didn't get to prove that.

Blue_In_Texas

November 30th, 2017 at 2:43 PM ^

CBs are hands down the brightest spots of this past year. Remember we were worried AF after Smith made some comments about them? Both Long and Hill are studs, and even Watson has emerged as a good contributor. 

 

Now if only OL exceeds our expectations this much next year...

StephenRKass

November 30th, 2017 at 3:48 PM ^

I can't agree. I would put DE (Gary and Winovich) higher, and beyond that, DT (Hurst and Solomon) higher. Not complaining about secondary, but line play is always critical, and rarely gets the credit. I give lots of credit to Mattison (and before him, Hoke) for the DL. They started this process 5 years ago, and are now reloading. Plus, we should continue to reload with recruiting on the DL. The truth is, you want each unit (DL, LB, Secondary) to all be strong. They all support each other. But I still submit it starts with line play.

Alumnus93

November 30th, 2017 at 11:01 PM ^

If only Hoke had the success on the OL, as he did recruiting DL....
the OL still is the weak link on the team, and this is surprising. OL was the one are I thought Harbaugh would nail, like he has on the DL. Maybe it's the position and the need for senior OL. But I just am amazed how poor the OT are. Cole is a G or C. JBB, Ulizio nope and Runyan too small. The Hamilton miss is crushing but there was no contingency. Even with Newsome and we are still missing a RT. RR was the only one who got the tackles right with Lewan and Schofield.

stephenrjking

November 30th, 2017 at 2:44 PM ^

I think McCaffrey's chance to win the job is understated, given the subtle hype that's been coming from inside. That's not to say that he'll win the job, but he's rising. Peters, IMO, has to take a significant step in the offseason to stay up there; FWIW I think he will.

As always, there's a lot riding on young guys making leaps. Ruiz is physically ready to be a center--can he get the line calls down? And we're hoping that a guy like Hudson can become The Man, locking down a tackle position and giving the coaches four or five bullets to flip around for the other spot. 

Still, it's a lot less finger-crossing than we had last season. We're hoping for new development at 3 positions instead of 10-12. Much better chance that the team gets a good roll on that few.

DrMantisToboggan

November 30th, 2017 at 3:01 PM ^

IMO the thing that is being understated is how well Peters performed in his time at the helm. I expect Peters to be a top 2 QB in the conference next year. McCaffrey will have his time, but Peters is too talented to displace, especially with his head start.

 

We return a majority of our OL, 84% of our rushing yards, and 94% of our receiving yards next year. We should see a large improvement in the offense, how large will be determined by how well those two tackle spots work out. I personally don't hate the idea of JBB at RT. If Hudson (or NPF or a transfer) is straight up better, fine, but continuity is a good thing too.

ijohnb

November 30th, 2017 at 3:14 PM ^

just don't really think you can take that much from what we saw out of Peters this year.  He played very well against Rutgers, and then was kind of the token "hand-offer" against Minnesota and Maryland.  He made a few good throws against Wisconsin in the first half, but literally could not gain a yard against Wisconsin in the second half despite multiple short fields.  I know a lof of it is line and receiver related, but I can't say that I am on the Peter train to the extent that you are from what I have seen.    I like him, I like that he can fire it when he needs to but loft it on shorter touch passes.  I like the way he approaches the position, he is matter of fact and does not seem to be easily rattled.  But we have such a small, ineffectual sample size that it still a mystery.  I really, really would have liked to see him finish the regular season out this past year, as I am sure Harbaugh would have as well.

Reader71

November 30th, 2017 at 3:24 PM ^

I’m with you. Peters looks like he has all the tools, so I’m already very comfortable with where I think Peters will be in 2019.

But 2018 is a complete toss-up to me.

war-dawg69

November 30th, 2017 at 10:47 PM ^

Neither one are very good and should not be playing QB at the university of Michigan with Jim Harbaugh as the coach. We are going to see a major upgrade in QB talent and big time wins. They could have had more production with better o-line play and changes will be made there also. All losses from Iowa last year on are because of the o-line and QB. It is flat out that simple. Upgrade those problems and you have a big ten title and possible NC. The defense will be better next year.

DrMantisToboggan

November 30th, 2017 at 3:33 PM ^

I agree that the sample size is small (obviously), but the defenses he faced weren't awful and the numbers he put up were stellar for a freshman without the #1 receiver. He was the reason for the majority of our yards in the 1st half against Wisconsin when we nearly doubled their yardage. You'd like a few more games to go off - the bowl game will be a great tell IMO - but his ability as well as his mental affect on his teammates was evident to me.

stephenrjking

November 30th, 2017 at 3:38 PM ^

Peters was adequate with a very, very limited playbook for most of this year. In my opinion he made some real progress in the Wisconsin game (the TD drive exceeded every expectation I had) before getting hurt, but he never really had the full offense at his disposal and the coaches went to some length to protect him from trouble.

All reasonable optimism about Peters centers around him improving significantly by next year. Not, perhaps, to his ceiling or to a level of elite, but at least to a point where he has the playbook down and can make reads consistently. The Peters that we saw in 2017 is a Peters that would be an anchor on the offense next season, and people who claim that he was "great" this past year are using the lowest possible standard to compare him to.

The optimism for such improvement, however, is warranted. I think Peters got discouraged early this year and mailed things in for a bit, but a chance to be The Man gave him a kick in the pants that he evidently used. An offseason knowing that he is in pole position for the spot next year should be the motivation he needs to put in all of the work required to master the offense, improve physically, and develop chemistry with his weapons for next year. 

In short, I expect him to be a different player next year. 

Mongo

November 30th, 2017 at 5:18 PM ^

Assuming he is cleared, Peters is getting all the 1st team reps and O'Korn takes the backup snaps.  DM will still be the scout team QB through the bowl game practices.  That month plus the previous starts (and his time as JOK's backup) is a significant head start for Peters over DM.  Can DM start to push Peters in the Spring?  Yes, I hope so and it will be great for both players' development.  But agree overall, Peters is the starter in 2018 barring injury.

funkywolve

November 30th, 2017 at 5:38 PM ^

Does he have to improve significantly?  That would imply he played rather poorly, no?  

With only having seen him run a limited offense behind a poor oline, no one on this board really knows where he is.  Hopefully, the bowl game will give us a better look.  As one poster mentioned, he was the buik of UM's offense in the first half against Wisconsin.  

You say the coaches went to great lengths to protect him, but in hinsight I think the coaches were merely gunning for OSU.  All those new wrinkles and plays that we saw against OSU weren't installed in a single week.  They'd be repping those plays for a while.  I'm guessing those were plays they'd be repping with the idea it was going to be Peters throwing the ball.  Unfortunately with the injury at Wisconsin, Peters didn't get to play against OSU.

stephenrjking

November 30th, 2017 at 5:59 PM ^

I agree that the bowl game will give us a better look, and I'm excited to see it. 

But yes, significant improvement is needed. In the first few games the gameplan wasn't just a bit conservative; it was neolithic. Peters was picking a receiver at the LOS, usually on an easy route (the outs were popular) and throwing to it. When required to make a read during the play, it took a while if it happened at all. Recall the play-action pass that DPJ tip-toed a catch on--where I was in the Stadium I had a great angle to see it, and DPJ was WIDE open almost immediately after he made his cut, running toward the sideline for at least 15 yards before Peters found him and threw. 

I don't buy that the coaches were just storing stuff up for OSU, because Peters was new and raw enough that literally anything they used him for would be a good rep for development. They didn't trust him enough to call even basic passing plays more than the absolute minimum until the Wisconsin game, and in particular passes after the script (which he would have a lot of reps in) ran out were practically non-existent. 

Michigan can't go into 2018 with that kind of playbook limitation under center. They'll win a lot of games because they have superior talent, but against good defenses in difficult environments they are going to need to have a diverse passing game.

The good news is that I don't think they will go into 2018 with that kind of limitation. I expect Peters to grow a lot regardless given the reps he'll get, and particularly well if he makes the personal leap that I think he is capable of and ready for. And if he moves a bit slow there McCaffrey may be waiting to steal his lunch money. 

funkywolve

November 30th, 2017 at 6:25 PM ^

Did you not watch the OSU game?  Sure the game plans against Minnesota and Rutgers were conservative but part of that is Harbaugh.  If UM is able to run the ball down an opponents throat, Harbaugh is going to run the ball down the opponents throat.  After the first couple of drives against Wisconsin when UM wasn't very successful running the ball, they started to open up the playbook.

Between the time when they opened up the playbook (drive where Peters fumbled) and when he got hurt, Peters was 6-11 for 140 yds with one of the incompletions the pass to DPJ in the endzone.  It's not like he was playing at some elite level, but I think you're reading too much into the play calling in the Rutgers and Minnesota games.

stephenrjking

November 30th, 2017 at 6:41 PM ^

They would go into 2018 with a playbook limitation if their QB does not know the entire offense. 

Brandon Peters was not the QB for the OSU game. O'Korn has many shortcomings, but he knew all of Michigan's offense and that was (in my opinion) the primary reason he was ahead of Peters at the beginning of the season. He simply couldn't execute the plays. It is likely that Michigan's gameplan with Peters would be somewhat different.

Harbaugh isn't Bo; he doesn't stop throwing the ball completely just because the run is working. He takes what the defense gives him. Except against Indiana, when O'Korn was clearly struggling so much that Harbaugh preferred punting to throwing passes, and in the first three games Peters played, when the coaches went to some lengths to protect Peters from things he wasn't ready for. 

Even against Wisconsin Michigan was calling running plays rather than trying to pass for third-and-long conversions deep in its own territory. Peters was clearly limited in what he could do this year; there is simply no good argument to the contrary. 

I expect him to improve considerably between now and next September. He will have time to study the playbook, time to work out with his receivers, reps to put what he has learned into practice, and the confidence that if he does what he is capable of he can win and hold the starting job.

And if he does so, Michigan will be equipped to throw 25-30 times a game as necessary, and opposing safeties will be forced to respect Black and DPJ deep, and our mashing interior linemen will create holes that our experienced RBs will run through. And the offense will be way, way better.

But Peters has a lot of learning to do between now and then. It's normal and doable, but it needs to be done.

ijohnb

November 30th, 2017 at 7:08 PM ^

by the start of next season, Peters will have been on campus with the team for almost 3 years. If he doesn’t know the “full offense” by then, then he needs to be replaced by somebody that can learn it. Michigan runs a fairly complex college offense but it is still far from rocket science.

war-dawg69

November 30th, 2017 at 11:17 PM ^

Very good analogy and you are spot on. Without getting as in depth as you, if Michigan sures up it's protection I think we will see a huge jump in production and a very lethal offense. I am very confident finally in our QB's. Like to see Peters put on some more muscle and work on his pre snap reads so he does not get smoked again.

Very curious to see his play in the bowl game and I think Harbaugh will cut him loose somewhat as the game goes on.

If this offense can start producing like it is capable of, we will see a very good team next year. With how good the defense is going to be next year this team could put all naysayers and Harbaugh critics to sleep forever. I see a way tougher and confident team next year.

Really hope Winovich comes back for the ride. Ya I feel really good about next year and were Harbaugh has this team. The four losses this year mean absolutely zero heading into next. It is so much easier to win when you have a QB and a solid o-line. I think Higdon and evans will put up huge numbers next year also.

The offense will get a lot of opportunities with the defense getting a lot of three and outs and turnovers. Hill and Long could both be all americans. Yes so so so excited for next year and there is no kool aid involved.

trueblueintexas

December 1st, 2017 at 1:06 PM ^

Based on all of this optimism, we can expect to see:

1) Two 1000+ yard rushers (Higdon & Evans)

2) Two 1000+ yard receivers (DPJ, Black)

3) Three 500+ yard receivers (McKeon, Gentry, Perry)

4) One 3500+ yard QB (Peters or McCaffery)

5) A defense that doesn't allow a single yard or point and scores 14 TD's. on turnovers

6) A FG kicker, that despite all of this offenise prowess, still goes 23-23 on field goals over 45 yards.

Seems reasonable to me.

Yessir

November 30th, 2017 at 3:38 PM ^

We've seen him in Spring game too.  Coach raved about him last year? I think it was last year in Florida. Can't remember for sure. 

He has a nice release.  Nice spiral.  Nice touch.  Can throw it long. Can make a throw rolling out. He has the basics and now just needs time with the 1's in the spring and fall camp, imo. 

I am not worried about QB like most are.  Not saying I'm right, just my 2 cents. 

tjking82

November 30th, 2017 at 6:19 PM ^

I kind of agree, but from another perspective.  Peters was adequate, and compared to Speight and O'Korn even looked good.  But objectively, he primarily managed the offense and didn't make that many plays with his arm.  I think it's likely that McCaffrey could have done damn near what Peters did this season, and expect a full-fledged QB battle.  I hope whoever emerges is capable of winning games with his arm, as opposed to simply "managing" the offense.