2017 All-Big Ten Offense

Tag: Zach Gentry

12Nov 2017
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Michigan 35, Maryland 10

Zach Gentry (image via WTOP)

That is what we expected. I’ve seen a fair amount of consternation about Michigan “only” winning by 25 points, which I find to be somewhat humorous. I picked a 31-10 win in Friday’s preview, and I saw some other predictions that were in the general vicinity. A 25-point win for the Wolverines isn’t anything to shake a stick at, and yet people were complaining. Michigan went up 28-0 before being outscored 10-7, but that’s a blip. This is a young team at most spots, and expecting them to completely obliterate Maryland seemed like a stretch. This isn’t a team that should be expected to squeeze out a 56-0 win against the Terrapins, who have some talent. One reason is . . .

The injuries are mounting. Michigan is in somewhat of a precarious position going into games against Wisconsin and Ohio State over the next two weeks. Aside from missing a starting LT (Grant Newsome), the starting QB (Wilton Speight), and the #1 WR (Tarik Black) with long-term injuries, the Wolverines were without the starting RG (Mike Onwenu) and a part-time starting RB (Ty Isaac), and in this game, they lost starting RB Karan Higdon, DE Rashan Gary, LB Mike McCray, and CB Lavert Hill for stretches. In the latter stages of this game, Michigan was down 8 players that should be starting (plus Ty Isaac, who was the leading rusher until recently). Every team goes through injuries, but not many teams find a 25-point win disappointing when that many players are injured.

Hit the jump for more.

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18Sep 2017
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Michigan vs. Air Force Awards

Zach Gentry (image via Scout)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Zach Gentry. Gentry’s snaps seem to have increased over the past week or two, and his targets have, too. After not recording a reception in week one, he has 3 catches for 71 yards in the last two games. It was mentioned during the broadcast yesterday that Tim Drevno sees him as being similar to Coby Fleener at the same age, except a better blocker. That’s saying something, considering Gentry is still a terrible blocker. Regardless, Michigan needs offensive playmakers, and Gentry can get separation from linebackers and safeties.

Hit the jump for more awards from Saturday’s win.

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17Sep 2017
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Michigan 29, Air Force 13

Donovan Peoples-Jones

Red zone woes. Michigan has scored touchdowns on just 1 of 10 opportunities inside the 20-yard line. They don’t have difference-makers on offense at quarterback or wide receiver, and running back Ty Isaac needs a crease to be at his best. For the past couple years, Michigan could bring in Jabrill Peppers as a Wildcat quarterback, running back, or slot guy, but they don’t have that guy right now. The offensive line needs to improve to help make that difference, and Wilton Speight needs to be better, too. Luckily, kicker Quinn Nordin has been pretty darn good in his first three games, and he’s actually tied for #1 nationally with 11 made field goals (on 13 attempts). That is good for Nordin, but it’s disappointing that Michigan has attempted 13 field goals, which is the most in the country.

Hit the jump for more on Saturday’s win.

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13Jul 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #50 Zach Gentry

Zach Gentry (image via 247 Sports)

Name: Zach Gentry
Height: 6’7″
Weight: 244 lbs.
High school: Albuquerque (NM) Eldorado
Position: Tight end
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #83
Last year: I ranked Gentry #61 and said he would be a backup tight end. He played in seven games.
TTB Rating: 84

Gentry has had an interesting career in just two years on campus. Brought in as a blue-chip quarterback, he struggled with the offense and began taking snaps as a tight end during the bowl preparation at the end of the 2015 season. He then struggled with blocking at the tight end position, so he spent the second half of the 2016 season taking reps at wide receiver. This spring Michigan was down a couple tight ends from last year, and Gentry was back at tight end.

Gentry still struggles with blocking, despite the fact that he’s listed at 244 lbs. Honestly, he’s terrible at blocking as an in-line tight end. He’s not aggressive, and he’s slow to get off the ball. I would be surprised if Michigan uses him in that role at all this season. However, he is a unique specimen as a receiving prospect, and he has shown that ability on multiple occasions. His most exciting play was a long catch-and-run touchdown in the spring game; it was a busted coverage, but he made a (walk-on) defender miss in space and then sprinted to the endzone. The ability is obvious. Whether Michigan uses that athletic ability or not remains to be seen, but it’s there. I think the idea of a matchup problem is overused, but a guy who’s 6’7″ and can run like Gentry is a rarity.

Prediction: Backup tight end

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