Review of 2018 Season Predictions

Tag: Joshua Uche


10Jan 2019
Blog, homepage 36 comments

Review of 2018 Season Predictions

Nico Collins (image via MGoBlue)

I always like to look back at my predictions for the previous season to see how well I judged the year beforehand. Here’s the link to my 2018 Season Predictions (and the comments): LINK.

LEADING RUSHER
Prediction: Karan Higdon, 1100 yards
Actual: Higdon, 1178 yards
Thoughts: Higdon was about as effective as I thought he would be, although he would have ended up with more yardage if he didn’t miss one regular season game (due to injury) and then the bowl game (due to selfishness). I was surprised he was named First Team All-Big Ten, but there were some other backs in the conference who were not as effective as I thought they would be.

LEADING RECEIVER
Prediction: Donovan Peoples-Jones, 750 yards
Actual: Nico Collins, 632 yards
Thoughts: Collins had a breakout season, going from 3 catches for 27 yards in 2017 to leading the team in receiving yardage (and being #2 in receptions) in 2018. Peoples-Jones was just behind Collins by a mere 20 yards and led the team in receptions (47), but Collins was the big downfield target.

LEADING TACKLER
Prediction: Devin Bush, Jr., 95 tackles
Actual: Bush, 79 tackles
Thoughts: As the middle linebacker, Bush was an obvious choice, but his instincts and sideline-to-sideline speed ensured that he would make plays all over the field. Safety Tyree Kinnel was not far behind with 74 tackles in one more game, since Bush missed the bowl game.

Hit the jump for the rest of the review.

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27Nov 2018
Blog, homepage 8 comments

2018 All-Big Ten Defense and Special Teams

Devin Bush, Jr.

The Big Ten released its all-conference defense and special teams units on Tuesday (LINK). Devin Bush, Jr. was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as well as the Linebacker of the Year. Other Michigan honorees include:

COACHES

First Team
Line: Chase Winovich
Line: Rashan Gary
Linebacker: Devin Bush, Jr.
Defensive Back: Lavert Hill
Defensive Back: David Long, Jr.
Punter: Will Hart

Second Team
Defensive Back: Josh Metellus

Third Team
Return Specialist: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Honorable Mention
Line: Bryan Mone
Linebacker: Khaleke Hudson
Linebacker: Josh Ross
Linebacker: Joshua Uche
Defensive Back: Tyree Kinnel

MEDIA

First Team
Line: Chase Winovich
Linebacker: Devin Bush, Jr.
Defensive Back: Lavert Hill
Punter: Will Hart

Second Team
Line: Rashan Gary
Defensive Back: Josh Metellus

Third Team
Defensive Back: David Long
Return Specialist: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Honorable Mention
Line: Kwity Paye
Linebacker: Khaleke Hudson
Linebacker: Joshua Uche
Defensive Back: Tyree Kinnel

The #1 story I take away from this is that Michigan’s defense is pretty darn good. But the #2 story is that other coaches in the conference pegged Josh Ross as an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten linebacker, but he couldn’t wrangle the starting gig away from Devin Gil.

30Sep 2018
Blog, homepage 79 comments

Michigan 20, Northwestern 17

Karan Higdon (image via Valdosta Daily Times)

Never apologize for a victory. There are going to be a lot of complaints about Michigan in regard to this game, but it goes in the books as a win and moves the Wolverines to 4-1 on the year. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when this would have been a loss because the offense never would have been able to mount enough momentum to score 20 points in a comeback attempt. In the post-2011 Brady Hoke years, the defense would have played well, the offense would have put up 10-13 points, and then the D would have cracked from having to be on the field forever.

Hit the jump for the rest of the recap.

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30Aug 2018
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2018 Season Predictions

Nico Collins (image via Twitter)

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LEADING RUSHER
Karan Higdon emerged from last season as the de facto starting running back, and there’s no reason to think he’ll lose that job now, especially after adding about 15 lbs. of muscle in the off-season. Chris Evans projects to be the #2 guy.
Prediction: Karan Higdon, 1100 yards

LEADING RECEIVER
The wide receiver position is a huge mess right now after the transfers of Eddie McDoom, Drake Harris, Maurice Ways, and Kekoa Crawford . . . and, oh yeah, the injury to Tarik Black’s foot. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a tight end lead the team in receiving yards, but I’ll go with Donovan Peoples-Jones. He’s one of four healthy scholarship receivers on the roster, along with Grant Perry, Oliver Martin, Ronnie Bell, and Nico Collins.
Prediction: Donovan Peoples-Jones, 750 yards

Hit the jump for the rest of the season predictions.

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18Jul 2018
Blog, homepage 1 comment

2018 Season Countdown: #40 Joshua Uche

Josh Uche is changing from #35 to #6 (image via MWolverine)

Name: Joshua Uche
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 226 lbs.
High school: Miami (FL) Columbus
Position: Linebacker
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #35 #6
Last year: I ranked Uche #51 and said he would be a backup SAM linebacker (LINK). He made 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 sack.
TTB Rating: 82

Uche has the unfortunate luck of being a little bit of an odd fit in Michigan’s defense. Last year I thought he would be a backup SAM linebacker when Michigan went to heavier fronts, but it turned out that Michigan mostly just kept Khaleke Hudson in there at Viper most of the time. Uche is more of a pass rush specialist, but you don’t always need pass rush “specialists” when your regular defense is getting home with blitzes and excellent play from the defensive line. Furthermore, Michigan had Noah Furbush to come in as a part-time pass rusher and blitzer, and Furbush did a good job as a sub package guy.

Khaleke Hudson returns this year at Viper, and once again, Furbush remains present as a sub package player. Michigan wants to get Uche on the field, so he’s playing some at WILL linebacker. He’s battling Devin Gil, Josh Ross, and others, and I think Uche will lose the battle to be the starter. However, defensive coordinator Don Brown has mentioned that they have certain packages designed with Uche in mind, and he can be a rusher like Furbush. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing some third down packages with both Uche and Furbush on the field; since Michigan can lock up on the back end, those are some dangerous guys to send on a blitz package.

Prediction: Backup linebacker, special teamer