Michigan vs. Wisconsin Awards

Michigan vs. Wisconsin Awards


October 15, 2018

 

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Dylan McCaffrey. I liked that Michigan started trying to devise ways to get McCaffrey involved in the offense, even with Shea Patterson still in the game. It didn’t prove beneficial in this game (McCaffrey lined up at slot receiver, motioned in behind the QB, and then ran a return motion while Michigan threw a quick screen to the opposite side), but it may set up some things in the future. The presence of an athletic QB (who had a 44-yard TD run) who can also throw the ball is probably more versatile than having a Wildcat QB like Jabrill Peppers, even though McCaffrey isn’t as explosive.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Joe Milton. I get that teams are going to use the new redshirt rule to their advantage, but I didn’t like seeing Milton so early in the game against Wisconsin. I don’t mind his playing time, but I would have preferred to see it just if/when the game got out of hand, like his 23-yard run when Michigan already had a significant, insurmountable lead.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Rashan Gary. I would really, really like to see him healthy for Michigan State next week.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Kwity Paye. Because I want Gary to start.

Play of the game . . . Shea Patterson’s 81-yard run. Not only was the 81-yard run a huge play that set up a touchdown, but it showed the evolution of Michigan’s play-calling and design. There are pieces of Jim Harbaugh’s offense that he has not been able to use much without a talent like Patterson, but now some of those things can be implemented. That’s something new for MSU and other opponents to evaluate and defend, which might open up other opportunities within the offense.

MVP MVC of the game . . . Ed Warinner. I know this is cheating a little bit, but the biggest difference-maker in this game was offensive line coach Ed Warinner. Even with a somewhat depleted Wisconsin front, past Michigan offensive lines would have struggled mightily with Wisconsin’s defensive linemen and linebackers. They controlled the line of scrimmage up front, and generally, the only pressure on Patterson came when he held onto the ball forever due to Wisconsin’s great job of covering on the back end.

13 comments

  1. Comments: 848
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Oct 15, 2018 at 8:04 AM

    As far as Gary, I would much rather give him three more weeks of rest and have him as healthy as possible for Penn State and Ohio State. Michigan State’s offense isn’t even as good as Wisconsin’s, and Gary would not be the difference between winning and losing.

    • Comments: 12
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      EGD
      Oct 15, 2018 at 8:11 AM

      I kind of agree with this. But Gary was literally in tears after M lost to State last season. I think he’d need to be on a ventilator to keep him out of this game.

  2. Comments: 962
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Oct 15, 2018 at 8:08 AM

    Mac has looked good so far, but I really hope Shea stays. Out depth would be very thin without him, and DMac is a bit thin to assume he’d make it through an entire season healthy. That’d leave us with a (raw) Milton and a TrFr macnamara

    • Comments: 5
      Joined: 1/9/2017
      pkatz
      Oct 15, 2018 at 9:31 AM

      Interesting how you left Peters out of the QB depth chart… inquiring minds want to know what you are implying there.

      • Comments: 848
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Oct 15, 2018 at 10:37 AM

        It’s what pretty much everyone knows..Peters will never play another significant snap here. A shame that his career hasn’t taken a more positive direction, but college quarterbacking is an unforgiving business.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3827
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 15, 2018 at 1:11 PM

          In hindsight, the fact that he was 3rd string behind O’Korn should have been all we needed to know.

          • Comments: 848
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Oct 15, 2018 at 3:53 PM

            Of course, at that point we didn’t know if McCaffrey was going to be any good, Milton was going to be a true freshman, and we didn’t know that we were going to have Patterson at all for 2018, so in spite of his being third string, Peters’ prospects for meaningful playing time looked a lot better.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3827
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Oct 15, 2018 at 4:33 PM

              His circumstances looked better a year ago, but Speights’ return, McCaffrey’s development, and off season additions were expected.

              He’s the same talent he was, regardless of circumstance. The same player that was behind Speight and O’Korn as a sophomore. Look around the college landscape and you know seniority doesn’t offer you much security.

              The biggest change, without question is in fan perception. He was treated as a the savior, now he’s taking up space.

              And before everyone fills out the transfer paperwork for him. If he’s on track to graduate one semester early (December 2019) he’d get an extra year of eligibility AND a Michigan degree by sticking around for essentially 4 months. His odds of playing next year may be slim at Michigan but if he transfers they are zero (unless he’s on track to graduate in May.)

              Perhaps in a matter of months we’ll see Patterson go pro, McCaffrey get hurt, and a ‘resilient’ Peters outplaying Milton to save the 2019 season… you never know.

              • Comments: 848
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Oct 15, 2018 at 9:20 PM

                Yes, he is the same player he was a year ago. But until Patterson was eligible for this year (which didn’t happen until April) and until McCaffrey showed signs of being good (which didn’t happen until September, when he took his first ever college snap), and even before Speight transferred, a player only that good had a legitimate chance to see significant playing time at QB this year. Why do you think everyone was sweating Patterson’s eligibility?

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3827
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Oct 16, 2018 at 12:49 PM

                  Because the alternatives to Patterson were a RS Freshman who sat behind Peters last year, a raw true freshman, and Brandon Peters. Who, it should be noted, was not good!

          • Thunder
            Comments: 2614
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Oct 16, 2018 at 6:04 AM

            It’s entirely possible that O’Korn was awesome in practice. People said he was the best QB on the team in 2015 when he was ineligible and Rudock started. Then he played well as a backup to Speight in 2016, with the only real blip being a snowy game against Indiana. And he had a very good game against Purdue in 2017. Add on his 1.5 years as a starter at Houston, and it’s not really surprising that he was ahead of a freshman/redshirt freshman.

            I think O’Korn is one of those guys who really just collapsed under the pressure of playing big-time college football. He was a plus athlete for the QB position, a hard worker, had some arm talent, etc., but sometimes you don’t recognize some of those mental shortcomings until you’re playing under the bright lights.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3827
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Oct 16, 2018 at 12:45 PM

              My opinion on O’Korn.

              First off he deserves credit for his resilience and being an excellent teammate. As far as I know: Character gets an A+. Sitting on that podium after OSU couldn’t have been easy. He faced a lot of nasty things head on.

              As a player, I think he gets too much blame, but he’s not a starting-caliber QB for top 25 program. He’s a guy who can get you by for a minute, but he needs a quality OL and plus talent at the skill-positions to win.

              You can have a bad QB or a bad OL, but you can’t have both. Michigan had both last year. As a 5th year senior and the only guy who was healthy all year, the first half of that falls on the failings of O’Korn above all else. He was bad in 2017.

              O’Korn was bad in 2016 too. Indiana was his season beyond mop up duty. Indiana’s QB was better on that day.

              I’ve staunchly defended Speight on this blog but I admit to overrated his ability. He’s sitting behind a freshman now. Yet, O’Korn was clearly inferior despite an edge in experience. If he was that good in practice – he would have been in over Speight.

              Peters situation is also telling for O’Korn. People act like he was a newborn fawn getting it’s legs under it. No. He was a sophomore – same class as Peterson. The coaches were so scared of putting him out there they all but refused to throw downfield. In 1972 that might have been fine, but in today’s game that’s an indictment.

              He’s 4th string now, behind a freshman who everyone said was a raw-as-can-be. We have a lot of information now and it’s all pointing in the same direction about Peters. This fanbase was dead wrong about him. It’s OK to admit it… MAYBE he becomes a good QB in a different situation but right now, in his junior year, he is not good. Odds are long that he will be.

              O’Korn lost his job to a younger player who was not good. O’Korn was not a good QB and the theory that he was far better in practice is dubious at best, IMO.

  3. JC
    Comments: 210
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Oct 16, 2018 at 10:05 AM

    I agree with everything you said. One thing I’ll try to discount a bit is the Ed Warriner MVC. With Wisco’s injuries, I think they were starting a walk-on DL. That’s not going to leave a lot of room for a deep rotation to give starters a rest. Could be why our rushing numbers got so much better in the second half. I’m not saying you’re wrong in awarding him the MVC, but to put a negative spin on things for perspective.

    One thing I’ll echo loudly is Milton. When he came in during the drive in the first quarter, when things are moving smoothly, I was yelling at my TV. What was that?! Why disrupt the flow of the game like that, for an obvious run? Freshman QB in his first minutes. They’re not going to have him throw, so the playcall is predictable, and we were moving the ball just fine without that gimmick.

    As always, thanks for the write-up, it’s a pleasure reading.

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