Michigan vs. Penn State Awards

Michigan vs. Penn State Awards


November 8, 2018

Shea Patterson (image via Bleacher Report)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Christian Turner. Why Christian Turner? Toward the end of last week’s blowout win against Penn State, Michigan was still running zone read options with quarterbacks Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey. I was afraid it would get one of them injured, and it turns out McCaffrey broke his right collarbone and will be out for the year. If Michigan gets in another blowout situation – which is a strong possibility this week against Rutgers – then I would prefer to see the quarterbacks hand off to Turner (or other backup running backs).

Hit the jump for more thoughts on the game.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Karan Higdon. In the last five games, starting running back Karan Higdon has 117 total carries, which averages out to be a little over 23 per game. I would like to see those carries get spread around a little bit in order to keep Higdon fresh for tougher games against Indiana, Ohio State, and whoever comes next.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Jordan Anthony. I have some of the same concerns about Devin Bush that I have about Higdon, so it would be nice to see Anthony (or another middle linebacker) get on the field a little sooner if there’s a blowout win. It seems like Bush is playing later in games than necessary.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Devin Bush, Jr. See above.

Play of the game . . . Michael Onwenu getting chop-blocked. Seriously. When Michigan was up just 7-0 early in the second quarter, a blocked field goal turned into a touchdown for the Nittany Lions, which would have made it 7-7 (or at least 7-6). Instead, Onwenu, who was never going to make a tackle on the play, managed to trick a silly Penn State player into going low in the open field. That brought back the touchdown, Michigan got a stop, and the romp was on. If the Nittany Lions had gained momentum and tied it up there, the game might have gone in a different direction.

MVP of the game . . . Shea Patterson. There were a number of players who had good games (Jon Runyan, Karan Higdon, Chase Winovich, Rashan Gary, Josh Uche, Brandon Watson, David Long, Devin Bush, etc.), but Patterson stepped up big in a huge game for the Wolverines. Not only was he efficient passing the ball (11/17, 144 yards, 2 TD), but he took care of the football and made plays on the ground when needed (11 carries, 42 yards, 1 TD). Statistically, nobody had a great game, but Patterson had a very good all-around performance.

12 comments

  1. Comments: 848
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Nov 08, 2018 at 8:34 AM

    Well, after MSU it was Dylan McCaffrey that you wanted to see more of on offense, even though there was no conceivable situation where the benefits would outweigh the risks.

    Will it matter? As long as Patterson stays healthy, no. If he gets hurt before OSU, we’re screwed. The coaches will probably run Patterson less against Rutgers and IU than they might have, and will probably throw less as well. Look for a lot more of a grinding game with the RBs.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 08, 2018 at 8:40 AM

      Yeah, running the ball up the middle in a blowout win is not what I was calling for.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3827
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Nov 08, 2018 at 10:40 PM

        I am. Lets do it!

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2614
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 09, 2018 at 10:46 AM

          That was in reference to McCaffrey. I like the idea of running the ball up the middle in a blowout, just not with your QB.

  2. Comments: 962
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Nov 08, 2018 at 9:08 AM

    Agree on Turner – or ANY running back not initialled KH… And I thought the same thing about both Shae and Mac running late – wanted to see & develop Turner

  3. JC
    Comments: 210
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Nov 08, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    The McCaffrey injury is disappointing.

    In general, I would like to take your “see more of/less of on defense” to a similar spot and say put in all backups who aren’t getting a ton of snaps in the rotation, or freshmen who can still redshirt with a few snaps in a real game.

    With PSU, did we need the shut out? I don’t hate the idea… but I would rather have a big ten championship over some PSU disrespect.

  4. TriFloyd
    Comments: 30
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    TriFloyd
    Nov 08, 2018 at 1:39 PM

    i think the starters being in for longer than desired was a byproduct of the “revenge tour”.

    • Comments: 962
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Nov 08, 2018 at 9:58 PM

      I get it, but we’re losing players to the NFL, and replacing them with little experience (again)

      The Revenge Tour is an awesome concept (I even got the TShirt), but I’m more for developing young guys during these blowouts

  5. Comments: 533
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Nov 08, 2018 at 2:34 PM

    Here is where I think Thunder is off the right track. Harbaugh and staff don’t play some passing attack. Running the qb mixed in with passing is what they want to do going forward. McCaffrey is going to be doing this going forward so why is him getting injured now some sort of bad thing? Wouldn’t he get injured next year? They way I see it is that it teaches both McCaffrey and the staff what they need to do in regards to McCaffrey playing in this offense.

    Here is what I learned from last year. Peters was in the games last year and they didn’t throw the ball. They don’t want to throw the ball so it’s either hand the ball off or have the qb run which is going to happen now or in the future so it is what it is. McCaffrey playing this way, getting injured is inevitable so might as well happen now.

    I understand your point but you aren’t dealing with your traditional offense. Here is a GREAT example. Look at Garoppolo. He blows out his knee. He made a mistake, well that mistake was going to happen against the Chiefs or next year. He hopefully learned his lesson. The staff can now make a decision on how to coach him.

    Hopefully staff can teach him not to take big hits. McCaffrey is not Earl Campbell and hopefully lesson learned.

    • JC
      Comments: 210
      Joined: 8/17/2015
      JC
      Nov 08, 2018 at 2:39 PM

      That’s one argument: Getting McCaffrey ready for next year.

      But if Patterson goes down, we could need McCaffrey this year. I would like to win this year.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 08, 2018 at 2:46 PM

      Boy, you really must have liked those “Final Destination” movies. I don’t buy your interpretation that a broken collarbone was inevitable.

  6. Lanknows
    Comments: 3827
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 08, 2018 at 10:39 PM

    Yeah, I’m in the get-the-backups-in camp. Hopefully quick. So do you get there by taking shots and qb-runs to score fast or do you see if you can’t repeat PSU by blowing them up with runs. I’d try for option B first and take it from there. Might be a good day to reestablish the jet sweep and screen game a bit. When you do throw – max protect and let the receivers win their matchups.

    Who you bench first is a combination of TTB-rank and existing injuries. Gary maybe shouldn’t even play – no worries of rust with him. Higdon/Evans have both missed time, so yeah – lets see Wilson/Samuels/Turner.

    Clearly Patterson is #1 though here, so let’s let the backups compete in a game situation.

    Are these questions disrespectful to a Rutgers team that’s probably better than in years past – you bet. Sorry Rutger.

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