Michigan vs. Michigan State Awards

Michigan vs. Michigan State Awards


November 2, 2020
Hassan Haskins (image via MLive)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . the running back with the hot hand. Hassan Haskins had the best game on the ground for Michigan, rushing 8 times for 56 yards (7.0 yards/carry) and 1 touchdown. He had the hot hand for a team that’s trying to spread around the carries. In a close game, you need to stick with the hot hand. I like Zach Charbonnet’s speed and toughness, and I like Blake Corum’s quickness and vision, but Haskins was doing well, and the staff just forced the other guys in there. Why is a guy who’s getting 7.0 yards/carry only running the ball 8 times when the quarterback is only getting 5.9 yards per attempt passing the ball?

Hit the jump.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Erick All. Michigan has a fifth year senior Nick Eubanks and a redshirt sophomore in Luke Schoonmaker. All might be the most talented of the three, but he probably already has more drops (at least 3) than Eubanks has in his career. Quarterback Joe Milton is targeting All too much, and it’s taking away from his desire to scan the whole field.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . a corner in a deep third. Don Brown has his work cut out for him this year in a bigger way than any time before during his Michigan tenure. He wants to be aggressive and play man coverage, but he just doesn’t have The Dudes. Vincent Gray is not a guy who can be put on an island. Gemon Green might get there, but he’s not there yet. Brown needs to start working on different and more varied coverages, whether it’s Quarters, Cover 3, etc. I don’t think Brown has done a good job this season of matching his defensive scheme to his personnel.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Vincent Gray. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I don’t think Gray can last where he is now. He seems like a guy who would be a prime candidate for a move to safety next year. In fact, Michigan would probably be better off moving Dax Hill to corner and putting Gray at safety. (Word is that Hill has balked at the idea of playing corner.) Gray’s athleticism has been a big question mark going all the way back to high school, and at this point, I think the writing is on the wall.

Play of the game . . . Hassan Haskins’s 19-yard run. It’s kind of sad that this is probably the biggest highlight of the game, but Haskins broke a couple tackles and hurdled a defender on the sideline.

MVP of the game . . . Hassan Haskins. He had 8 carries for 56 yards (7.0 yards/carry) and 1 touchdown.

24 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Nov 02, 2020 at 8:37 AM

    Sucks even more upon review.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 8
    Joined: 7/14/2020
    Moonraker
    Nov 02, 2020 at 9:11 AM

    I’d like to see Haskins play on both sides… that shed and tackle of the punt in the first game was stellar, and looks the part of a dominant linebacker, whereas I constantly have ire towards Ross somehow.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 30
    Joined: 9/3/2015
    Nov 02, 2020 at 9:58 AM

    Another candidate for play of the game was Jake McCurry’s heads-up hustle play on the Robbins punt, busting his tail to get downfield to field the punt and throwing the ball backwards against his momentum to avoid the touchback and pin MSU inside the 5.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 02, 2020 at 11:15 AM

      Yeah, you’re right. I probably should have chosen that one.

    • TheWolverines24
      Comments: 8
      Joined: 5/17/2017
      TheWolverines24
      Nov 02, 2020 at 12:34 PM

      Play(s) of the game was running straight up the gut on every 2nd and long. Forcing the team into averaging almost 9 yards to go on 3rd was truly mesmerizing.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 1
    Joined: 11/2/2020
    mikeymac
    Nov 02, 2020 at 10:37 AM

    I was surprised Harbaugh hired Gattis instead of an experienced offensive coordinator. Our defense kept it close with OSU before DB arrived. My 2 cents anyway. Go Blue!!

    • joseph dreamed dreams
      Comments: 6
      Joined: 10/26/2020
      joseph dreamed dreams
      Nov 02, 2020 at 1:29 PM

      It’s not just the Gattis hire. I dont get many other coaches that have been hired, and not making Greg Mattison the DC. All the talk I see from from Michigan fans around the internet (not necessarily talking about here) about hiring young coaches just because they are young doesnt hold water with me. Young also means inexperienced.
      Im not expecting nig things from Michigan. Im expecting 4th place in the Big10 East. I was expecting 3rd. But it looks like 4th now.
      I want a staff of very experienced coaches who have a track record of developing players and winning. I dont think Alabama fans are wishing the experienced ‘old’ coaches get replaced.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 400
      Joined: 12/24/2016
      INTJohn
      Nov 02, 2020 at 2:18 PM

      Well, don’t forget about hiring son Jay from the beginnig who had zero coaching experience at the time. Nepotism at its finest. Somewhere in America there had to be someone with coaching experience who was much better qualified but hey, Jimmy’s 25 ish yr old son gets his first gig at Michigan. Who previous was employed by oh yeah, Uncle Johnny.
      Another example of Harbaugh bs re Michigan Football – yeah all Harbaugh’s crap has been going on from the beginning. But………
      After 6 years we now know its not just a family affair.
      As I See It…………INTJohn

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 02, 2020 at 10:52 AM

    The hot hand may not exist. Most experts don’t think it does. e.g., Charbonnet had 3 runs totaling zero yards after his 70 yarder at Minny. Haskins had 5 carries for 16 yards before he busted his 66 yarder.

  6. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 02, 2020 at 10:59 AM

    The most disappointing play of the game was probably when Gray was playing off coverage and still got worked.

    I think Brown and Zordich have done amazing things at CB the last few years but right now the talent is just not there. Thomas is very badly missed. Recruiting has been bad for a few years and it’s showing.

    I think they can get right in 2020 but agree with Thunder that it’s going to take a different gameplan than what Brown is used to.

    They also might need to start throwing stuff at the wall. Seldon, DGW, etc. Probably not the answer but maybe one of them is a gamer.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 02, 2020 at 11:20 AM

      I said it a couple weeks ago, but looking at the season countdown and being down 3 of the top 10 players to start the season is not a good situation. McCaffrey’s absence may not be much of a factor (yet) because Milton has remained healthy so far, but where is Michigan really struggling so far?

      They can’t hit/catch a deep ball, and they can’t defend these downfield routes. Well, that’s Nico Collins and Ambry Thomas right there. Even Collins couldn’t catch some of the balls that Milton is overthrowing by 10 yards, of course. But the presence of Thomas would have completely changed the tenor of Saturday’s game. You COULD leave Thomas on an island and just send safety help toward Gray/Green’s side.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Nov 02, 2020 at 11:48 AM

        Agree. Thomas and Collins probably both would belong in the top 5.

        Last time we lost a top 5 guy (Speight) was 2017.

  7. Avatar
    Comments: 400
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Nov 02, 2020 at 2:25 PM

    Did anyone on Michigan Football in this game really deserve any kind of award? Only award in this game goes to Mel Tucker who against Rutgers got his first signature loss and in one week turned it around going on the road & got his First Signature Win.
    Something Jim Harbaugh has yet to accomplish at Michigan after 6 years.

    As I See It………..INTJohn

  8. joseph dreamed dreams
    Comments: 6
    Joined: 10/26/2020
    joseph dreamed dreams
    Nov 02, 2020 at 4:09 PM

    I am probably jyst repeating myself in saying I’m not expecting big things from Michigan. 3rd or 4th in the Big 10 East year after year is where my expectations are. I will still lok fir goid college football. Clemson vs ND might be a good one this weekend. Georgia vs Florida too. I can always find one good game each weekend. Im not looking for it from any given Michigan game

    • Avatar
      Comments: 400
      Joined: 12/24/2016
      INTJohn
      Nov 02, 2020 at 8:32 PM

      You are inadvertantly touching upon the apparent Harbaugh Legacy of his tenure at Michigan: Apathy

      Yes, Apathy – In his 6 years,thats what Harbaugh has brought Michigan Football and the fanbase too. A State of Complete & Utter Apathy.

      Never in my life; and I saw my first Michigan football game as a kid when the Wolverines destroyed Oregon state in the ’65 Rose Bowl; have I seen any Michigan Coach bring to the entire Michigan Football Nation such Apathy. Even under Hoke, Wolverine Nation still believed there was much better that could be done & achieved and would be done and achieved. But this belief is now dead thanx to Jim Harbaugh.
      Michigan no longer believes that it can do better; have come to expect getting their annual OSU ass kickin; can no longer have confidence to consistently defeat teams like MSU; no belief in winning any kind of championship……
      Thanx…….Jim! Yep you’re a great motivator of, oh yeah……APATHY!

      The Michigan Football Tradition is dead and this attitude of complete Apathetic despair has occured on Jim Harbaugh’s watch with his 6 years of complete & utter coaching prima donna bullshit…………

      The culmination of Harbaugh’s Coaching Legacy at Michgian is Apathy.
      Its time to Fire the man!
      As I See it…………..INTJohn

      • DonAZ
        Comments: 523
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        DonAZ
        Nov 03, 2020 at 5:40 AM

        Some of that is on Harbaugh, and some of that is the environment in which college football exists today. The apathy with which you speak exists not just at Michigan, but at college programs across the country to different degrees. The game today simply is not what it once was.

        I blame, in large measure, the playoff system. The four-team playoff structure, when it was first created, an arms race to gain access to the top talent nationwide. The arms race is largely over at this point, and teams like Michigan have been shut out of the access to the top talent. That’s not necessarily permanent, but to change the dynamics *now* will require quite a bit more than it required 6 years ago when the playoff system was implemented.

        Some say it’s cyclical, and it’s possible for once-proud programs to ascend once again with the right coach. Maybe, but the evidence for that is thin and getting thinner every year. It’s ALL about recruiting, and recruiting is ALL about the perceived chances of getting to the playoffs. Michigan likes to talk about its history, but to athletes today none of that matters. Will Michigan help them get to the playoffs and be a champion? Answer: no. Will Ohio State? Answer: yes.

        I look across the college landscape and I see once-proud programs becoming increasingly irrelevant: Michigan, Texas, USC, Nebraska, Florida State, Tennessee … all facing a *massive* uphill battle to get enough top talent to come to change the dynamics. They get *some* talent, but they don’t get enough to fill out the positions both wide and deep like Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama do. Teams like Georgia and Florida and doing what they can to claw back into the conversation; teams like Oklahoma and Penn State are desperately trying to hold on; and most of the other teams are falling back and giving up. They are accepting the new reality. Fan bases are coming to understand and accept the new reality, and they are re-calibrating their expectations.

        Michigan will never be a top-tier program. That’s partly on Harbaugh, who might have stayed in the discussion had he lit a fire starting in 2015. But part of that is just the dynamics of college football today, where the top talent is coalescing around a handful of programs.

        Expanding the playoffs won’t help this, by the way. Since the playoff system inception in 2014, we’ve seen a number of cases where a fourth team got into the playoff only to get trucked: Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Washington come to mind.

        Meet the new reality. It’s not going to change.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3849
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 03, 2020 at 7:45 AM

          Counterpoint: It is going to change, because everything changes.

          At one time there were juggernauts like Nebraska in the 1980s and 1990s. Miami at one point seemed like it was going to be unstoppable. And so on. All it takes is a bad hire or two, a scandal, etc., and things can come crashing down.

          I do think it’s a problem that the NCAA is going to have to address sooner or later, and perhaps the Name Image Likeness thing will bring some parity. Places like USC, Stanford, Oregon, Michigan, Texas, etc. have a lot of rich alumni and cache that could even the playing field a little bit.

          Personally, I think Clemson would be hurt by the NIL stuff, because that is not a highly valuable school outside of the football program. Compare that to Stanford and Michigan (rich alumni in the business and tech world), Texas (oil!), USC (celebrities, Hollywood, etc.), and I could certainly see some 5- and 4-stars venturing to those parts of the country instead of Clemson, South Carolina.

      • DonAZ
        Comments: 523
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        DonAZ
        Nov 03, 2020 at 7:22 AM

        I posted a comment here that went into moderation for some reason. I’ll post a shorter version and hopefully it’ll go through.

        Some of that apathy is due to Harbaugh, some of it is due to the state and nature of college football today. It’s not just Michigan that’s apathetic; many other team fan-bases are recalibrating their expectations in face of the new reality of a few teams getting all the top talent. Whole conferences — the Pac 12 — are having to deal with this new reality.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3849
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 03, 2020 at 7:37 AM

          I certainly don’t mind your making multiple comments, but if you don’t feel like doing that, just know that if a comment gets sent to moderation, it will usually get approved in pretty short order. I know why some comments go to the “Pending” category (too many links, etc.), but I’m not sure about a lot of others, like yours this morning. Computers do weird things sometimes.

          • DonAZ
            Comments: 523
            Joined: 8/12/2015
            DonAZ
            Nov 03, 2020 at 7:50 AM

            Okay, thanks … I’ve never had a comment here go into moderation, so I wasn’t sure if you would see that any time soon. I don’t know what it’s like on the other side of things … that is, what you see, and how obvious it is that something is awaiting moderation.

            I wanted to answer INTJohn’s point about apathy because while I agree to a point, I don’t think it’s fully on Harbaugh. I’ve been a fan of Michigan football since the 1973 season, and I’ve seen ups and downs. What strikes me is how that ‘apathy’ to which he speaks is not just Michigan. I can sense it all across the spectrum by fans of other teams I know. There’s a certain “resignation” in the air about what’s realistic nowadays.

            I spend summers in West Virginia, and I know a lot of WVU fans here. Nobody here expects WVU to get to the playoffs. Their expectations are calibrated to doing well enough so the people here can have some pride in their team. They would be perfectly happy with a 8-4 or 9-3 team year after year.

  9. Avatar
    Comments: 16
    Joined: 9/2/2018
    johnnavarresrightarm
    Nov 02, 2020 at 5:40 PM

    I don’t get the defensive back situation; it’s not like they’re all young guys, Gray and Green are both in their third years. These guys couldn’t hang with the MSU receivers, who, mind you, were a mix of freshmen and sophomores….what are they going to do when they play OSU and Wisconsin?

    At least when Notre Dame was running circles around JT Floyd and James Rogers, it was Golden Tate and some other solid receivers doing it. Outside of Jaylen Reed, I had never heard of the others.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 02, 2020 at 7:21 PM

      They’re going to…struggle.

      Okay, in defense of the defensive backs, Michigan lost its top defensive back in Ambry Thomas. Thomas was supposed to be around. He’s not. Michigan wasn’t able to even devote an extra scholarship to replacing him (or Collins), whether through signing a 2020 recruit or taking a transfer. It’s essentially like taking a season-ending injury in fall camp. Teams are going to struggle when their top WR and top CB both get injured in the pre-season.

      How would the 2004 season have gone if the team lost Braylon Edwards and Marlin Jackson to injury in the pre-season? How much worse would the 2013 season have been if Jeremy Gallon and Blake Countess both got injured in the pre-season?

      My point is this: Players can only perform to the best of their ability. I don’t think we got A+ efforts from Gray and Green – they can do better – but they’re also not being put in a position to win. The coaches also need to do better and put them in a position to win.

      • DonAZ
        Comments: 523
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        DonAZ
        Nov 03, 2020 at 10:39 AM

        I kinda feel sorry for Gray. He’s got to feel like he’s letting the team down with his coverage busts. You’re a coach … what do you do with young people going through something like this? I have to imagine there’s a balance: it can’t be “Oh, it’s okay” because you want the player to work on getting better; but it can’t be “It’s all your fault!” because it’s not.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3849
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 03, 2020 at 11:16 AM

          We actually had a situation VERY similar to this in the not-too-distant past.

          GOOD NEWS: I’m not sure what the other coaches did on the staff, but as an individual, I sent the kid messages and talked to him individually, saying that I had confidence in him based on what I had seen from him in previous seasons. Luckily, he was a hard worker with a good mindset, and he continued to get better and work on his craft. We moved him back farther off the ball and played more zone coverage. He made a game-saving tackle later in the year.

          BAD NEWS (IF YOU’RE MICHIGAN): We moved him to safety the next year.

          GOOD NEWS: He made some excellent plays at safety.

          That’s a 100% true story. IMO, you try to build him back up mentally. In that case, the kid was really one of our best athletes, and it would have been a big drop-off athletically to the next guy. So we needed him on the field. But you also adjust your scheme to make sure you’re not putting him in a position to get beaten over and over again.

          In Gray’s case, I’m not so sure that he’s one of the best 11 athletes on defense. So maybe he should get benched. Or maybe he should move to safety. But I do fully believe this, and so should everyone else: Michigan can’t keep lining him up on the outside in man coverage so frequently. SOMETHING has to change.

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