Don’t get me wrong – I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday’s victory. I don’t have the Big Ten Network, so by the time I got out of Saturday morning football practice and got to the sports bar where I watch BTN games, it was about 12:15 p.m. and I had already missed two touchdowns.
But I don’t think I learned much about this team. Every Michigan player who looked good was doing so against a walk-on-type player. If you had any doubts about Delaware State’s lack of talent, consider fourth-string QB David Cone’s final stat line of 3/3 for 54 yards.
Michigan set records with 727 total yards and 461 rushing yards. True freshman running back Vincent Smith had 17 carries for 166 yards and 1 touchdown. Redshirt freshman scout team running back Michael Cox had 82 yards on 11 carries, including a 57-yard TD. Even failed tailback-turned-fullback had 73 yards and a touchdown on a 9.1 yard average per carry.
In short, yesterday was ridiculous.
However, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in Michigan’s defense. This is surely nit-picking, but Michigan only recorded 2 sacks (both via Brandon Graham) on 36 dropbacks. The Wolverines didn’t force a single turnover. They held Delaware State to 2.5 yards per carry and only gave up two field goals, so I’m not alarmed. However, for a team that’s good enough to score 63 points, it sure would be nice to see the defense perform just as dominantly.
Offensive game ball goes to…Michael Cox. Vincent Smith had better statistics, but I wasn’t that impressed with Smith. He has adequate speed, elusiveness, and strength, but nothing I saw really wowed me. Cox, on the other hand, looks like the second coming of Brandon Minor. He runs hard and the first tackler almost never brings him down. And while he didn’t exactly look fast on that 57-yarder, he’s fast enough to get the job done.
Defensive game ball goes to…Brandon Graham, I guess. Nobody on defense looked that impressive. Graham had 2 sacks and 3 tackles total. For such a dominating performance, it was kind of a yawner on this side of the ball.
Let’s see less of this guy on offense…backup running backs. It would be great to have both Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor healthy. For once. They’ve been together for four years, and I don’t know if they’ve been 100% healthy at the same time for even one game in that span.
Let’s see less of this guy on defense…Teric Jones. This was Teric Jones’s first extended playing time at cornerback, and it’s pretty clear why the coaches moved Troy Woolfolk back to CB instead of perhaps giving more playing time to Jones. He’s only a true freshman and he didn’t play CB in high school, so he’s only been playing cornerback for about two months. But Delaware State was able to pick on him a little bit, and he didn’t really seem up to the challenge yet. Hopefully the defensive backfield can stay healthy enough for the rest of this year to keep Jones from having to play critical minutes.
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