Michigan 28, Maryland 0

Submitted by Seth on October 3rd, 2015 at 4:16 PM

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[Patrick Barron]

Maryland thought they were getting a primetime showdown on national TV; what they got instead was a lesson in what being a member of the Big Ten is really about. Michigan is going to walk into your building, change the start time to just after breakfast, eat you for lunch, and be home in time for supper.

Facing a slate sky whipped up by the tendrils of Hurricane Joaquin, the Harbaugh 1.4 Wolverines left De’Veon Smith warm in his Ann Arbor stable, content to use the same strategy that got the Harbaugh 1.2s past UNLV: probe the inside, pop a thing or two when it’s time to get some points, and wait for your defense to throttle the will to football out of a vastly inferior opponent.

Growing up we called this a “Schembechler win,” and we got one, but not before a first half and change that conjured memories of a far more recent former Michigan coaching tenure. From Maryland receiving the kickoff, the drives went punt, punt, interception, fumble, punt, fumble, interception, missed FG, punt, field goal, punt, punt, punt, field goal, punt, kneel out half, interception, punt, punt, interception.

At this point I asked Twitter if they preferred a recap of these proceedings or a 10-minute pasta recipe. Votes for the game did outscore Maryland, but only barely:

How to Make Seth’s Creamy Gnocchi

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Start by pre-heating the oven to 400 and shove the meatballs in (if you want to hurry this up just nuke ‘em for 4 minutes), then put the water on to boil. In another pan I pour some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sriracha, and—here’s the trick—a tablespoon of peanut butter. You melt down the peanut butter on medium until you have a nice brownish sauce. Add garlic too if you’re into that. When the water boils put the gnocchi in and turn down the heat.

They’ll cook pretty fast then pop to the surface, whence you’ll remove them with a slotted spoon to your saucepan. Once all the gnocchi is moved over, pour in a half a cup of 2% milk and your tomato sauce, turn the heat up to medium-plus, and cook it down until it’s getting thick-ish. Turn off the heat and let it cool until your meatballs are ready. Plop those on top, followed by your preferred level of parmesan, and you’re in business.

At this point you may relocate back to the living room to find that Michigan has scored on a screen to Drake Johnson and a jet sweep to Jehu Chesson, Maryland’s starting quarterback is on the bench, and Willie Henry is getting free hits on Daxx Garmin. Salt away with Drake Johnson runs and serve cold.

The one really bad thing for Michigan is Mario Ojemudia left the game with an apparent Achilles injury. I thought he had his best day as a Wolverine today; if it was indeed his last that is a huge loss.

The rest of your takeaways: Maryland is bad at football and should feel bad. Michigan is excellent at defense and should feel excellent. Rudock is turning out to be fine in a Krenzel sort of way. De’Veon Smith probably really is Michigan’s best back. And while there’s still plenty of 2014 left to Harbaugh out of this team, you can start believing that both Mr. Smith and MICHIGAN will be back for Homecoming.

Comments

victors2000

October 3rd, 2015 at 9:31 PM ^

Drake is pretty good and it's great to see him out there but the running game is clearly better when Da'veon is getting plenty of carries, he's a work horse, he brings energy and he allows us to use Drake sparingly, which improves his chances of staying healthy. I don't know what happened to Isaac today, he wasn't with it; I don't know if he had something nagging or mentally wasn't with it but he had his chance to assert himself and didn't.

champswest

October 3rd, 2015 at 4:26 PM ^

"Rudock is turning out to be decent..."

I don't think he is decent yet. He has issues. He stares down his receivers. He can only do about one check down. He throws that sideline pass without even looking to see if the receiver is open, which is going to result in another pick six one of these days. And, oh yeah, he is oh-for-the season on deep balls.

Otherwise, Michigan looks really. really good.

victors2000

October 3rd, 2015 at 9:37 PM ^

who knows he might be playing this year in the NFL. He still has issues but I feel he's getting better as well. He has another game under his belt, more success, and more familiarity with teh system and the players. Him being a Senior will help too, I don't think he's reached his ceiling just yet. Next week is going to be a Utah-like test for him though, Northwestern is better than most of the teams we've played.

FGB

October 4th, 2015 at 2:23 AM ^

That ball that Chesson dropped, yes Chesson should catch it, but that is NOT a "nice deep ball."  Chesson is going across the field, and the throw is back behind him, forcing him to adjust over his shoulder on his direction of his route. 

That's a better thrown ball than some of his other ones in that it actually hit a guy's hands, but it's still not a nice ball.

 

Albatross

October 4th, 2015 at 6:56 PM ^

The passes he has missed down field are easy passes considering how open some of them have been. It is not the least bit an exaggeration to say that most high school QBs make those throws 9 out of 10 times.

The coaches have done a masterful job of play calling to get those wide open plays down the field, it is almost like a turnover when you don't execute on something as simple as that. It ended up biting us in the Utah game and it will end up biting us again if he can't make those throws.

SC Wolverine

October 3rd, 2015 at 4:46 PM ^

I agree.  Rudock needs some significant improvements.  The whole first half I kept saying, "Surely Shane isn't this bad..."  (Sorry, I know he probably is.)  Jake seems shell-shocked against throwing INTs (except on covered short outs) and so he hitches and misses the opportunity.  He's pretty frustrating, but then in the second half Harbaugh helps him to be just good enough to win.  It's not a terrible situation.  But it's going to make our big games tough.

School 4 the Gifted

October 3rd, 2015 at 7:49 PM ^

Rudock is giving us more than we got at the position last year. For sure.
However, when most of the superlatives thrown around about him revolve around the fact he hasn't "been that bad ", it'll be nice to have a QB back there that has the potential to be more than "not that bad".

I'm talking to you John O'Korn, Brandon Peters, Vicious Vic, Zach Gentry, or maybe Shane Morris!

But for next year, I do think there is more than a remote chance that Taysom Hill is the QB I he decides to come back (at age 26!) thanks to his relationship with Harbaugh and the prestige of the b-school, until he gets hurt and O'Korn can take us home. That would be really interesting......

The O-line still worries me this year but the biggest question mark to me remains QB.

coldnjl

October 3rd, 2015 at 4:26 PM ^

That Gardner tweet hurts....he coulda...shoulda been so much better. If only the last jackass in charge of the AD did what should have been done first and hire JH, he may still be playing on Sundays

ruthmahner

October 3rd, 2015 at 4:28 PM ^

Seems to me like if Rudock did everything right, didn't have issues, always found open receivers, tossed deep balls that connected, he would be way better than decent.  A quarterback that hedges a bit, doesn't always hit, but sometimes runs for the necessary first down and manages to do enough to win games, is actually decent.

Perkis-Size Me

October 3rd, 2015 at 4:34 PM ^

Even the best of teams have bad games. MSU barely beat Purdue at home today, and OSU is losing 10-0 to Indiana right now.

These are the kinds of games that build great teams. You face adversity, you fight through it and find your way to victory.

Harbaugh will make any and all necessary adjustments. He'll hound this team all week about what they could have, and should have, done better.

Harbaugh accepts nothing less than perfection. We're in good hands my friends.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad

bacon

October 3rd, 2015 at 8:35 PM ^

Agreed. We've really got to stop acting like OSU and MSU are so great there's no chance to beat them. There's so much parity in CFB, both of them almost lost today and it wasn't the first time. Traveling and playing vs Michigan is going to be tough for both teams. We tackle, we have solid fundamentals and we're well coached. There are no truly great teams in college this year and we've played a few games now where we've played like a top team. Fact is that in our house, in front of our fans, we're going to be hard to beat.

SC Wolverine

October 3rd, 2015 at 4:44 PM ^

It's pretty heart-warming to see that we are consistently playing better in the 2nd half than in the first.  Coaching adjustments!  And on a day when Jake was not good and the line was not blowing open holes, Harbaugh and staff schemed their way to two easy touchdowns.  Pretty encouraging.  Especially when you have a great defense.