Review of 2018 Season Predictions

Tag: Will Hart


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
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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.

23Sep 2018
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Michigan 56, Nebraska 10

This wasn’t deemed a penalty until much deliberation (image via Lincoln Journal Star)

That was unexpected. Nebraska isn’t very good this season, but I still thought Michigan would struggle. I predicted a 24-17 game in which the Wolverines would play down to the level of the Cornhuskers. I was wrong. Michigan’s defense played superb football, and the offensive line was overwhelmed the whole day. It also helped that Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez was not up to full speed after getting hurt against Colorado; he wore a knee brace and only seemed to be operating at 75% or so. Michigan’s offense was also clicking at a higher level than they have been, and that’s a credit to them. Nebraska’s defense shouldn’t have been as out of sync as the offense, but a Michigan offense that had been struggling in many ways really took it to them.

Hit the jump for the rest of the recap.

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3Sep 2018
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Michigan vs. Notre Dame Awards

Chase Winovich (image via Yahoo)

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Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Chris Evans. Something must have been going on with Evans (discipline, injury, etc.), because he’s a potential playmaker and only touched the ball 4 times in the season opener against Notre Dame. I heard in the off-season he was working in the slot, and Michigan is short on receivers. But all Evans got was 2 carries for 1 yard and 2 catches for 37 yards. The coaching staff needs to find a way to get him the ball.

Hit the jump for more awards from Saturday night.

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15Jul 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #45 Will Hart

Will Hart (image via Twitter)

Name: Will Hart
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 196 lbs.
High school: Hunting Valley (OH) University School
Position: Punter
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #17
Last year: I ranked Hart #84 and said he would be a backup punter. He punted 13 times for 490 yards (37.7 yards/punt) with 1 touchback, 5 fair catches, and 6 punts inside the 20-yard line.
TTB Rating: N/A

Last season was an odd year for punters at Michigan. Michigan brought in freshman Brad Robbins late in the recruiting cycle, and he was expected to be the guy. However, Robbins struggled. Michigan didn’t let strong-legged Quinn Nordin pull double-duty as the kicker and punter. So they turned to Hart, who was very inconsistent. At times he hit some decent punts, but he never averaged over 40 yards/punt in any contest throughout the year, and his 37.7 yards/punt average for the entire season was less than stellar. (It would have been last in the Big Ten if he had enough punts to qualify.)

This year I expect Robbins to be the guy, and he averaged 40.4 yards/punt (#11 in the Big Ten). However, he has not proven to be consistent enough to ward off Hart permanently, and it might be important for Hart to give Robbins competition and keep him on his toes. There’s a chance Hart won’t punt a single ball this year, but based on last season, this is still a question mark for the Wolverines.

Prediction: Backup punter