Michigan 31, BYU 0

Submitted by Ace on September 26th, 2015 at 4:03 PM

Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog

Over the last eight years, Michigan fans have been trained to expect the worst.

Let it be noted that at 2:04 this afternoon, with a half of football left to play, Brian told me to post muppets when the game ended.

To call this a dominant outing undersells Michigan's performance. The Wolverines outgained BYU 448-105. The Cougars eked past the century mark only on their last drive of the game; that represented their only drive that didn't end in a punt.

While the defense shut down BYU, the offense found their footing, scoring all 31 points in the first half on five consecutive drives. Amara Darboh did a spectacular Odell Beckham Jr. impression, then Jim Harbaugh dialed up a double fake screen to free up Khalid Hill up the seam to set up a three-yard touchdown scramble by Jake Rudock. Michigan went up 14-0 on a methodical 10-play, 90-yard drive capped by a short touchdown pass to Darboh.

The next scoring drive went a little quicker thanks to De'Veon Smith, who burrowed into a pile, popped out the other side, then threw a BYU defensive back to the ground in the open field for a 60-yard touchdown.

"I don't know what he did," said Rudock of Smith's run. "But whatever he did, I was hype and happy for him."

Smith finished with 125 yards on 16 carries before exiting early with an ankle injury. He said after the game he expects to play next week. Rudock had his best game as a Wolverine, going 14-for-25 for 194 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers.

Another Rudock touchdown scramble, this one from 17 yards out, and a 40-yard Kenny Allen field goal capped off the scoring.

Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog

Meanwhile, the defense made BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum's life miserable. Mangum threw for only 55 yards on 28 attempts; his longest completion came on BYU's first drive when a should-be pick took a fortuitous bounce off Channing Stribling's hands. The cornerbacks played lockdown coverage when Mangum had time to throw, which was rare—Michigan recorded three sacks and had Mangum on the run all day. By the end of the game, he was bailing out of perfectly clean pockets.

BYU's top running back, Adam Hine, broke one carry outside for 29 yards and managed only four on his seven other carries. The Cougars finished with 2.1 yards per play. This may stand as Michigan's most impressive defensive performance since the vaunted 2006 unit, even when accounting for the freshman at quarterback.

It's okay to be encouraged. While BYU had more than their fair share of luck through three games, nobody—not even ninth-ranked UCLA—made them look remotely this inept. The same team that put up 405 yards on the Bruins last week only managed a hundred today because Michigan's backups couldn't run out the clock.

"I had a couple occasions to look up and go 'this is good,'" said Harbaugh.

He was far from alone in that regard.



September 26th, 2015 at 8:32 PM ^

In a DetNews article about Blake O'Neill:

Now, he's Michigan's starting punter, part of a growing number of Australians who have become college football kickers in the United States after training at ProKick Academy back home. 

"We're all good mates," O'Neill said.

ProKick develops Australian kickers into American-style kickers and helps them earn scholarships to college programs here.

Seems reasonable a kid from New Zealand could train there too.


September 26th, 2015 at 9:10 PM ^

So you didn't look forward to next week during that magical 11-2 run that included a beautiful comeback vs ND in UTL I, beating OSU for the first time in almost a decade and winning a Sugar Bowl we probably shouldn't have in OT??? P.S. I was @ UTL I and that Sugar Bowl, probably somewhere in the top 10 experiences in my life outside of the birth of my children.


September 26th, 2015 at 9:37 PM ^

I'm sorry. I loved that team, and I would compare the feeling today to the Nebraska game that year, but I think this team has much more potential. They're much more organized, and our biggest weakness (passing game) still has potential to be above average

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September 26th, 2015 at 9:45 PM ^

I enjoyed that year. But I also recall an itch in the back of my mind about that winning games we shouldn't have part. There were just far too many teams we shouldn't beat over the past 8 years. I hate that.


September 26th, 2015 at 4:15 PM ^

...to watch Michigan play hard on both sides of the ball.

...to cheer Amara Darboh on a special day for him.

...to witness defensive dominance unmatched since Clausen 4 Heisman in '07.

...to improve week-to-week.

...to be a Michigan Wolverine!


True Blue in CO

September 26th, 2015 at 4:15 PM ^

Best Michigan half of football since the 1980's. Michigan is like a ferocious cat that attacks, eats its' meat and then plays gently with a ball before calling it a day. Great day for Coach Harbaugh and our team.

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September 26th, 2015 at 4:27 PM ^

Ladies & Gentlemen Wolverines, how amazingly great of a feeling we all have right now. We can still get way better in many areas but HOLY FREAKING COW HOW AWESOME IS THIS 'WINNING THING' WE ARE DOING LATELY?!

It's. Great. To. Be. A. Michigan. Wolverine. HAIL yes! GO Blue! God bless Jim Harbaugh & Co.