Michigan vs. Maryland Awards

Michigan vs. Maryland Awards


October 9, 2018

Shea Patterson (image via ClickOnDetroit)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Ronnie Bell. The freshman wide receiver is making plays when given the opportunity. He caught a long touchdown pass from Dylan McCaffrey a couple weeks ago, and this week he caught a crossing route from Shea Patterson that turned into a catch-and-run touchdown. Michigan needs to keep the receivers healthy, so it’s good that Bell is getting some snaps so he (and others) can be available down the stretch.

Hit the jump for the rest of the awards.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Karan Higdon. Higdon has 55 carries over the past two weeks. Much has been made of his having bulked up this off-season, but it’s rare these days for a guy to be getting 27.5 carries a game. The Wolverines don’t have a lot of depth at running back, so I would like to see them pull back a little on Higdon in a game that was headed toward being a 42-21 victory.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Brandon Watson. Watson has already been getting a lot of snaps, so I’m not really asking for him to play a ton more. But he has been playing as good as, or better than, the starting cornerbacks for the Wolverines. His 46-yard interception return for a touchdown was nice, but Watson was already doing a great job before that. With the way he has played this season, it will be curious to see whether the NFL takes an interest in him next year.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . the trainer. Michigan’s defensive line has been beaten up this year (Rashan Gary, Luiji Vilain, Aubrey Solomon, Carlo Kemp, and Michael Dwumfour have all missed time). There are always going to be injuries, but Michigan has had more than its fair share at that position group.

Play of the game . . . Ben Mason’s 15-yard catch. There were some great plays on Saturday (Ronnie Bell’s touchdown, Donovan Peoples-Jones’s touchdown, Brandon Watson’s pick-six, etc.), but not much beats watching a 6’4″, 254 lb. fullback hurdle a safety.

 

MVP of the game . . . Shea Patterson. I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but this guy keeps getting better and better with the guys around him. He was 19/27 for 282 yards (10.4 yards/attempt), 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. A couple of his touchdowns came on plays where he scrambled to keep the play alive. Of players with 100+ passing attempts in a season at Michigan, Patterson is currently #1 in completion percentage at 68.8. Next is Todd Collins (65.3% in 1992) and #3 is none other than Jim Harbaugh (65% in 1986). It’s possible that we’re watching the best-ever Michigan quarterback.

43 comments

  1. Comments: 980
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Oct 09, 2018 at 8:19 AM

    Bold on Patterson, but tough to argue against. Agree on Higdon!

  2. GKblue
    Comments: 282
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    GKblue
    Oct 09, 2018 at 8:37 AM

    “It’s possible that we’re watching the best-ever Michigan quarterback.”

    This feels like an awful short term capability study. Of course the fan base has been starving for a QB with his skill set. Hopefully JH will let him create.

    I think Wilson, Samuels, and Turner would have benefited from more game experience before we hit the big boys.

  3. Comments: 3
    Joined: 10/24/2016
    frank
    Oct 09, 2018 at 8:38 AM

    And Lawrence Marshall missed a couple games, too.

  4. Comments: 845
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Oct 09, 2018 at 10:29 AM

    Patterson has a ton to prove before he can be considered among the best Michigan QBs ever. He has yet to have a high quality performance against a tough defense, or to bring us back in the 4th quarter in a big game. So far he’s done well against weak to mediocre competition, which has pretty much been the overall Harbaugh story so far.

    Bring this up again when he walks off the field with a win at OSU.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2628
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Oct 09, 2018 at 11:30 AM

      I said “it’s possible.” I didn’t say it’s true. It’s just something to consider and think about as we watch his season (and career) progress.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3893
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Oct 09, 2018 at 2:02 PM

      I agree. Let’s see what happens the next 3 games before we start the historical conversation.

  5. JC
    Comments: 205
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Oct 09, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    I don’t know how I feel about this team. Are we good? Are we great? Is this the best team we’ve had (one could argue 2016 was a better team) in the past 10 years?

    Pros:
    We’re 5 – 1, only loss was by one score to a top 6 game, away, to start the season with a new quarterback.
    Our defense is looking great.
    Our offense looks like it’s starting to click.
    Patterson is looking great.

    Cons:
    Haven’t won any big games yet.
    Injuries.

    What I’m Loving:
    A few of Patterson’s interceptions I can’t put on him. His mobility is absolutely needed this year. His ability to scramble is friggen great. If Patterson stays for his senior year, and we see this kind of ability for the next 2 years, I think he could be in the conversation for one of the greatest quarterbacks to suit up for the maize and blue. He’s been great.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3893
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Oct 09, 2018 at 2:00 PM

      TBD is the answer of course. This team is on track to be a 9-3 team. As expected.

      S&P rankings by season:
      2011 – #7
      2015 – #5
      2016 – #3
      2018 – #5 (through 5 games)

      I would argue the 2016 team was clearly the best. Injuries (Speight, Peppers, Butt) contributing significantly to their late season swoon.

      • Comments: 980
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Oct 09, 2018 at 6:24 PM

        Speight sucked before he got injured at Iowa. Let’s not rewrite history

        • Comments: 845
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Oct 09, 2018 at 9:11 PM

          Your standards for not sucking are pretty harsh. After 9 games in 2016, Speight was completing 65% of his passes, 15TD, 3 INTs, 8.9 YPA, and the offense was averaging 48 ppg, and that was without a top-flight RB or Oline.

          • Comments: 980
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Oct 09, 2018 at 11:36 PM

            Stats are misleading. It started with the ridiculous INT against sparty, but JH showed he didn’t trust his QB, and the game ended closer than it should have. Rutgers was won without a QB. While the whole O looked bad against Iowa, speight showed just how bad he was
            Speight put up big numbers against trash competition (at home), and with two NFL WRs, and a Mackey TE. 2017 was the real speight. Despite being cleared to return from injury, he remains behind a struggling TrFr out in LA

            *sucks is too harsh, and a reaction to going back and trying to pass the guy off as an NFL QB (again)

            • Comments: 845
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Oct 10, 2018 at 6:33 AM

              The fact that you’re trying to use his performance two years later to bolster your argument that he “sucked before he got injured at Iowa” says a lot. I’ve seen lots of sucky stats from QBs, and those don’t qualify by any reasonable standard. A sucky QB throws a lot more than 3 INTs in 9 games and has a much lower YPA than 8.9, no matter who the competition is or who your teammates are. And sure he put up better stats against weak teams than strong teams. Who doesn’t?

              “Not an NFL level QB” does not equate to “sucked”.

              • Comments: 980
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Oct 10, 2018 at 8:16 AM

                That’s… why I said “sucks is too harsh”

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3893
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Oct 10, 2018 at 12:54 PM

              “Speight put up big numbers against trash competition (at home), and with two NFL WRs, and a Mackey TE. ”

              3 Elite Defenses to Patterson’s 1.

              I would submit that DPJ, Collins, & Gentry end up better than Chesson, Darboh, & Butt, though the 2016 guys were more experienced.

              I’m sorry the stats above have you feeling triggered JE.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3893
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Oct 10, 2018 at 12:57 PM

                The point here was not to rehash the Speight debate, the point was that performance and perception can change quickly.

                What Patterson’s done against weak competition won’t be worth anything if Michigan gets overwhelmed by Wisc, MSU, PSU, and OSU. I’m not going to put that on Patterson if it happens because it’s about the 11 guys on the field.

              • Comments: 980
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Oct 10, 2018 at 11:57 PM

                3 elite defenses? You sure about that?

                Our 2018 Receivers may have a higher ceiling than the 2016 crew, but all potential means is that you haven’t done sh!t yet

                We all know who is better, and it’s not close. Nor is it merely irrational fans who feel this way. Patterson makes plays; speight’s job was to not screw up too much (sparty & Rutgers were won depsite him, Iowa & ohio lost in part because of him)

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3893
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Oct 11, 2018 at 12:05 PM

                  Yes I’m sure.

      • JC
        Comments: 205
        Joined: 8/17/2015
        JC
        Oct 10, 2018 at 10:11 AM

        Newsome was the most significant injury in 2016.

        Butt’s injury was in the bowl game.

        Peppers was held out of the bowl game due to injury.

        Speight’s injury came during a tough stretch in the season, but I would still rank Newsome’s injury ahead of that one. A different line, maybe Speight doesn’t take that hit.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3893
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 10, 2018 at 12:49 PM

          That’s an interesting debate. I don’t know that there’s an obvious answer.

          I would argue the Newsome injury was more relevant to the future than 2016 (ensuring Bredeson’s RS burn and leaving a void at OT that remains today). I’ve never heard a definitive cause of Speight’s shoulder injury and Braden (shifted to OT) is an NFL player it turns out. That OL ended up pretty decent in pass protection and had future NFL players across the board.

          Seemed to me that losing Butt and especially Peppers made a difference in the FSU game. The OSU game – Michigan was the better team that day and deserved the W (he was short!). The Iowa game was the one that they really played badly.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3893
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 10, 2018 at 1:00 PM

          To me it’s no coincidence that the 2 losses (not counting the OSU “loss”) came in conjunction with the QB and Heisman-contending DB getting injured suddenly. There wasn’t much time to adjust in either case.

          • Comments: 980
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Oct 10, 2018 at 11:59 PM

            Lies lank. Speight got hurt when the game in Iowa city was already lost

            Watch the games and interpret the data!

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3893
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Oct 11, 2018 at 12:04 PM

              Michigan led with 1 second left.

              I can’t even take you seriously at this point.

          • Comments: 980
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Oct 11, 2018 at 8:11 PM

            I stand corrected. Speight got injured on MICHIGAN’s last offensive play. His injury is NOT why we lost. I admit to misremembering, but you are pushing lies. Injury is not why we lost to iowa, and speight did not put up big numbers again 3 elite defenses

            “it’s no coincidence that the 2 losses (not counting the OSU “loss”) came in conjunction with the QB and Heisman-contending DB getting injured suddenly”

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3893
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 10, 2018 at 9:53 PM

          I’d also add that Newsome is probably a bit overrated relative to how well he played. He was a true soph with a bright future, but he was in a battle for the LT spot with a true freshman version of Bredeson all through the fall – so the dropoff shouldn’t have been that significant.

          • Comments: 980
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Oct 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM

            That’s not true. Sure the coaches said bredesen was pushing Newsome, but they also said Morris was passing Rudock… The fact that bredesen hasn’t been considered for Tackle since confirms as much

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3893
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Oct 11, 2018 at 12:02 PM

              The other 4 spots were set, per Drevno. Furthermore, Bredeson proved capable.

              • Comments: 980
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Oct 11, 2018 at 8:12 PM

                At Tackle? Bredesen never played tackle. More lies Lank?

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3893
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Oct 12, 2018 at 2:09 PM

                  Yes when I didn’t say Bredeson played tackle that was a lie and when you claimed Michigan ‘already lost’ at Iowa that was not.

  6. Comments: 107
    Joined: 10/22/2015
    SinCityBlue
    Oct 09, 2018 at 12:43 PM

    Really like how Gentry has developed. Who would you take right now? Gentry or Riemersma?

  7. Comments: 92
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Oct 09, 2018 at 1:45 PM

    I read your comment about Patterson’s completion percentage over my morning cup of coffee and it stuck with me….the comment, not the coffee. I know offenses have changed a lot in the last 25 years, but to think that his % is higher than the slew of NFL QBs we produced (Grbac, Collins, Dreisbach, Griese, Brady, Henson, Navarre, Henne….) – WOW.

    On top of that, I started thinking about several passes he’s thrown that could have been completed. Both of his TEs have dropped a couple, you rode Collins for some of his erratic play, and he’s had a few taken away by penalty. Actually, with two more completions he’d be over 70% on the season!

    Finally, he’s doing this in a Harbaugh offense – not a short-pass spread, not an air-raid, and not a conservative only-throw-when-you-have-to. This is a complex pro-style offense with relatively unproved WR and a supposedly shaky OL.

    Let’s hope it continues into the meat of the schedule…..

  8. Lanknows
    Comments: 3893
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Oct 09, 2018 at 1:50 PM

    For some perspective on the QB situation.

    QB A per game: 228 yards, 1.7 TDs, 0.3 INTs
    QB B per game: 198 yards, 1.7 TDs, 0.5 INTs
    QB C per game: 191 yards, 1.0 TDs, 1.2 INTs

    C=Rudock through Maryland ’15 (5 games)
    B= Patterson through Maryland ’18 (6 games)
    A= Speight through Maryland ’16 (9 games)

    Completion percentage was 60% (Rudock) 65% (Speight) 68% (Patterson).

    Speight also faced the toughest schedule by far (3 games vs top 15 defenses).

    All this is to say there’s not much evidence to support that Patterson will be the best QB of the decade, let alone threaten to the level of past all americans, heisman contenders, or NFL greats.

    Moreover, while it has nothing to do with his place in Michigan’s history, it’s worth noting that Patterson’s maybe only the 4th best QB in the conference.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2628
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Oct 09, 2018 at 2:21 PM

      I’m confused about picking 5-, 6-, and 9-game samples for each QB. Patterson has played 6, so let’s compare apples to apples:

      Rudock in ’15: 5 TD, 6 INT
      Speight in ’16: 12 TD, 2 INT
      Patterson in ’18: 10 TD, 3 INT

      We’ll see how the numbers stack up as the season rolls along.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3893
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 09, 2018 at 4:14 PM

        It was just based on when they played Maryland.

        3 of the first 6 games Speight played in 2016 were against elite defenses so I’m not sure it’s anymore apples to apples to go by number of games.

        Anyway – the point stands. Regardless of your sample size, Patterson’s not doing anything that different from his Harbaugh predecessors.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3893
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 09, 2018 at 4:17 PM

        More subjectively – I do think he’s the best QB we’ve had under Harbaugh. I think he’s a bit of a gambler (e.g., he had one pass that was thrown straight at a Maryland DB he didn’t see but his WR grabbed) and that could come back to bite us. However, you’ll live with the gambling because it comes with playmaking moxy. His scrambling has been a real asset (in a way that Rudock and Speight couldn’t match) and he’s made some big plays on some risky throws as well. I think Harbaugh’s trying to teach him to play within the offense a bit more, so that he’s less Forcier and more Harbaugh (UM QB version).

        Obviously we’ll know a lot more where he stands after these next 3 games.

    • Comments: 980
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Oct 09, 2018 at 6:27 PM

      Lol

    • Comments: 845
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Oct 10, 2018 at 5:49 PM

      For some additional perspective, it would be fair to point out that Ruddock didn’t start to practice with the team until just a few weeks before the 2015 season started, and then he was plugged immediately into the starting job. Speight and Patterson both had a lot more time to get acclimated in general, and to get familiar with the coaches, their teammates and the playbook.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3893
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 10, 2018 at 9:35 PM

        Agree Rudock deserves a larger sample size. It wasn’t just him either – the coaching staff was new to everyone.

        Did Patterson actually get that many more practices in? He wasn’t eligible to practice in the spring (I think?)

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2628
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Oct 10, 2018 at 9:39 PM

          Patterson practiced in the spring. Nothing was stopping him from practicing. It was just about whether he would be eligible to play in games in 2018 or if he would have to wait until 2019.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3893
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 10, 2018 at 9:55 PM

            thx for clarifying

        • Comments: 569
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Oct 11, 2018 at 12:52 AM

          All I know is that Speight is, at best, only going to get a whiff of the NFL. If some guys get a cup of coffee, Speight is going to have to shake the empty cup for a drop of coffee.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3893
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 11, 2018 at 12:01 PM

            I’m inclined to agree. 3 significant injuries and now UCLA has little to no reason to play him. Hard to get NFL interest when you sit out of football for almost 2 years. Maybe he’ll get a camp invite but even that’s not guaranteed.

  9. Lanknows
    Comments: 3893
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Oct 09, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    Agree on Higdon but the problem is that Michigan hasn’t really controlled either of the last 2 games on the scoreboard. This one felt over when Michigan went up 27-7 late in the 3rd, but Maryland came right back to score a TD to make it a 2 score game early in the 4th. Higdon did get 1 carry (the first one) on the subsequent drive but it was Tru Wilson doing the rest.

    Evans being out is obviously the biggest factor here. Wilson is a step down as a ball carrier and Samuels already has a fumble.

    Hopefully Evans is back this week.

  10. Comments: 55
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    umfarnn
    Oct 09, 2018 at 3:04 PM

    I love what Gentry brings to the table but does anyone else feel he is still growing into the position? He’s the biggest guy around once he gets past the DL but it doesn’t feel like he uses that size to bully opponents. Doesn’t fight for position when receiving and goes down to DB tackles too easily. Maybe I’m expecting more from the fans’ Gronk comparisons but that area of his game feels like it’s lacking.

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