Jake Rudock: 13 starts, 249/389 (64%), 3,017 yards, 20 TDs, 9 INTs, 141.5 PER
Wilton Speight: 0 starts, 9/25 (36%), 73 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 65.7 PER
Jake Rudock joined Michigan as a graduate transfer from Iowa in the summer of 2015. That meant that he missed all of the spring practice session, as well as a chance to do voluntary workouts over the summer with his future teammates. When he started Michigan’s season opener against Utah on September 3, he had only been in the system for approximately one month. Because of that, it was a bit of a rough start to the year. There’s a good chance that Michigan would have turned that 24-17 loss to Utah into a victory if Rudock was in late-season form, but that’s how football goes. His passer efficiency rating topped 120 only twice during the first seven games, and those two were contests when the run game carried the day (Rudock had 1 TD and 0 INTs vs. BYU and Northwestern). In the final six games, the running game bogged down, but his PER never dipped below 124. In the first seven games, he threw 5 TDs and 6 INTS; in the final six, he threw 16 TDs and 3 INTS. He finished second in the conference in passer rating, #3 in yards per attempt, and #4 in touchdowns. It was a fantastic turnaround when Michigan needed him most, and with the way he finished the season, people are now talking about his prospects as an NFL player.
Early in the year, Shane Morris was the second quarterback on the depth chart, but Michigan hoped to redshirt him and kept him off the field. As the season wore on, Jim Harbaugh reported that Wilton Speight passed Morris on the depth chart. Speight wasn’t needed for any important playing time until Rudock got hurt against Minnesota; Speight went 3/6 for 29 yards and the game-winning TD. He also stepped in against Ohio State for a stretch, but his non-Minnesota performances were subpar. The backup situation was concerning, but it never cost Michigan a game.
2016 DEPTH CHART BY CLASS: Shane Morris (RS Jr.), John O’Korn (RS Jr.), Wilton Speight (RS So.), Zach Gentry (RS Fr.), Alex Malzone (RS Fr.), Brandon Peters (Fr.)