O’Korn, who was originally from Huntingdon (PA) Huntingdon, started five games as a sophomore in high school before moving to play at Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas. He had 2,552 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions as a senior and led Aquinas to a state title; he also ran 95 times for 576 yards and 15 touchdowns. In the state title game, he had 339 passing yards, 95 rushing yards, and 4 total touchdowns. He was a 3-star, the #32 pro-style quarterback, and #645 overall in the 2013 recruiting class and earned offers from Houston, Mississippi State, and Wisconsin, among others.
Hit the jump for more on O’Korn’s career at Michigan.
Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Brandon Peters. If Peters were the quarterback in this game, I think Michigan probably wins it. Unfortunately, Peters got concussed against Wisconsin and was still in concussion protocol when the Ohio State game came around. It was the right call for the health of Peters, and I’m glad the medical staff didn’t clear him. But it was unfortunate for Michigan. Hopefully Peters is ready to go for the bowl game.
Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . John O’Korn. O’Korn didn’t have an absolutely terrible game (17/32, 195 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), but he missed a handful of open receivers and threw a really, really, really, really, really bad interception when Michigan was down just 24-20 with a little less than three minutes left. O’Korn took the blame for the loss, and that’s entirely fair. Good for him. But he doesn’t give Michigan a very good chance to win.
Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Tyree Kinnel. For most of the season, I’ve said I like the defensive rotations. I just want Kinnel to be healthy after it looks like he suffered a concussion when hitting Ohio State receiver Austin Mack.
Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Jordan Glasgow. As much as I respect the Glasgow family – and even Jordan himself – Michigan has better safeties. Both Kinnel and J’Marick Woods got injured, which forced Glasgow into action late in the game. Hopefully, he can just concentrate on special teams in the bowl game.
Play of the game . . . Donovan Peoples-Jones’s 42-yard punt return. Peoples-Jones made several people miss, accelerated up the sideline, lowered his shoulder, broke a tackle, spun back for extra yards, etc. It was a brilliant return, and it indicated that it would be great if Michigan could find ways to get him the ball more.
MVP of the game . . . Rashan Gary. Naysayers might point to Gary’s missed tackle, which came right after he left the game with a shoulder injury (that seems to have been nagging him for several weeks). It didn’t look great, but bad shoulders can do that to a guy. Even so, he finished the game with 10 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. He was Michigan’s best defensive player on Saturday, and nobody on offense had a standout game.
That was a great game plan by Michigan. I’ve complained about the play calling earlier this year – and so have plenty of others – but I have to give credit where credit is due, too. This was the best effort by the offensive coaching staff all season. They showed new formations and broke tendencies left and right. We saw Khalid Hill and Ben Mason lined up at tailback, we saw fullback sweeps, we saw a fake double-screen pop open a tight end, we saw Michigan play with down and distance a bit, etc. I had an issue with a couple play calls, but fewer than most tight games (and there are always going to be questionable play calls). The creativity kept Michigan in the game longer than I expected them to be in it. After all, I predicted a 38-10 loss for the Wolverines, so the gap was 17 points tighter than I thought.
Brandon Peters, we hardly knew ye. The redshirt freshman quarterback was 9/18 for 157 yards in about three quarters of play before being knocked out of the game. This was just his third start after replacing the ineffective John O’Korn, who was himself replacing the injured Wilton Speight. Peters was in the midst of showing the whole country what a lot of us Michigan fans saw in the spring game, and that’s the fact that he’s Michigan’s best quarterback. Peters did lose a fumble while making an ill-advised lunge for the goal line, but that was his first and only turnover in about four full games of work and 64 passing attempts. Peters was being evaluated for a head injury, almost certainly has a concussion, and will probably miss next week’s game against Ohio State.
Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Brandon Peters. Obviously. He went 10/14 for 124 yards and 1 touchdown. He didn’t take any sacks, and he seemed to be finding the open guys. Perhaps more encouragingly than what we saw with O’Korn against Purdue, Peters mostly wasn’t fitting the ball into tight windows. While O’Korn seemed to be locking onto one guy and getting him the ball no matter what, Peters seems to be going through his progressions a bit more. O’Korn was 3/6 for 13 yards and 1 interception with 2 fumbled snaps prior to leaving the game.