Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Ty Isaac. Isaac averaged 10.4 yards per carry on 11 carries, giving him 114 yards on the day. He had 50% as many carries as starter Chris Evans, who averaged just 3.5 yards/carry, and Karan Higdon averaged 4.0 yards/carry on 7 chances. Isaac had the hot hand on Saturday, and some observers have said he’s in better shape now than he ever has been. I’m done expecting Isaac to be a breakout star, but I sure wouldn’t mind a few more performances like this.
Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Grant Perry. This has less to do with his performance on the field than his behavior on and off the field. The guy faced felony charges in the off-season, and on his first time touching the ball during the year, he spun the ball and earned his team a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Did he learn his lesson? Nope. He spun the ball again later in the game. I’m not saying the off-the-field and on-the-field things are related, but maybe he needs some more tough love to help the messages sink in.
Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . David Long. It’s too early to call Long injury-prone, but he was injured and redshirted in 2016. Then he missed some time this spring with a nagging injury. And he exited this game early with a leg injury. He seems like a guy who’s in need of a steady diet of steak and whole milk.
Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Brandon Watson. Directly related to the Long situation, I don’t think Watson is a starting-caliber cornerback and he could be taken advantage of by teams who game plan for him and have the right athletes. He’s a stop-gap guy, and I think it’s concerning if he’s a long-term starter. It helps greatly that Michigan has a very good pass rush, which mitigates some issues on the back end.
Play of the game . . . Chase Winovich’s strip sack for a Noah Furbush touchdown. There are a few options for this honor, such as a couple Ty Isaac runs, a Brandon Watson pass breakup, a Josh Metellus tackle in the open field, a Wilton Speight deep ball to Nick Eubanks, etc. But the Winovich sack of Florida QB Malik Zaire sealed the game for the Wolverines, and Furbush did a great job of corralling the ball before it could trickle out of the back of the end zone.
MVP of the game . . . Ty Isaac and Devin Bush, Jr. I can’t really choose between the two. The offense struggled to move the ball through the air, and Isaac averaged a first down every time he touched the ball. He also made a couple clutch plays to keep drives alive. On the other side of the ball, Bush made 7 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. He was all over the field and did a great job in his first game as a starting middle linebacker. He almost got booted from the game on the first defensive play when he was investigated for targeting, but luckily he stayed in the game to help Michigan win.
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