Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee State Awards

Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee State Awards


September 3, 2019
Zach Charbonnet (image via MLive)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Zach Charbonnet. The true freshman earned the first start for a freshman in a season opener since Sam McGuffie in 2008. And let me throw out the suggestion that Charbonnet will have a better career in a Michigan uniform (McGuffie had 486 rushing yards, 175 receiving yards, and 4 touchdowns in his one season in Ann Arbor). Charbonnet had 8 carries for 90 yards and 2 catches for 9 yards. He showed some toughness, vision, pass catching ability, pass blocking ability, and a little bit of speed.

Hit the jump for more.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Dylan McCaffrey. McCaffrey is a fine athlete in his own right, but Michigan has a way of bogging down its offense when they try to run gadget plays. If you’re going to come up with a package of 3-4 plays for the backup QB to be on the field, I’m okay with it. But make sure you can run it to perfection. Sometimes with gadget plays/packages, Michigan looks like they ran the play once or maybe twice in practice before putting it in prime time. On top of that, you need to script smarter plays for McCaffrey, and an inside screen ain’t it.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Jordan Glasgow. Glasgow got the start at WILL linebacker over Devin Gil and made 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. He’s on pace for 72 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and 24 sacks. Gil started for all of 2018 and ended up with 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. For the record, I’m NOT suggesting that Glasgow will keep up anything approximating that pace, but I am suggesting that Glasgow did things we’ve never seen Gil even flash the ability to do.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Ben Mason. I thought Mason (3 tackles) did an okay job at defensive tackle, though not much should be made of it because of the lack of a quality opponent. But his presence on the starting defensive line means Donovan Jeter and Mike Dwumfour aren’t up to speed. Hopefully those other guys can get healthy and relegate Mason to being the rotational piece that he should be.

Play of the game . . . Jordan Glasgow’s second sack. Glasgow channeled some Chase Winovich with the effort he put in to sack Asher O’Hara for a second time. Glasgow whiffed on O’Hara up the middle and O’Hara scrambled to his left, but Glasgow changed direction, caught back up to him, and dragged him down by the jersey with a diving effort.

MVP of the game . . . Shea Patterson. I guess some people have been saying bad things about Patterson in the aftermath of that game, but I don’t understand that at all. Patterson fumbled early and put the ball on the ground a couple times after taking a nasty hit that he was evaluated for at halftime. But he also looked very much in command of the offense, and a couple throws were mere inches from blowing the game wide open. He finished the game 17/29 for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 9 carries for 28 yards. Once he gets in sync with his receivers and the offense in general, I think he’s going to put up some silly good numbers in a couple contests.

34 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1575
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 03, 2019 at 8:03 AM

    The coaches were wrong to put both QBs in together. There, I said it

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1262
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Sep 03, 2019 at 8:09 AM

      You’re wrong. No one who hasn’t coached is qualified to find fault with anything that a current coach does. There, I said it.

      • GKblue
        Comments: 319
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        GKblue
        Sep 03, 2019 at 9:18 AM

        While you often position yourself as the devil’s advocate WCB and take some shots for it, you are not always wrong. This was not one of your most thought out positions.
        There are a great many football knowledgeable folks posting. Sometimes they have worthy opinions. Think about it, calling for a passing attack in a monsoon against MSU? If I am not qualified, I’m still bitchin’.
        I like McCaff as the future. I don’t want to see him get broke on a junk play, use him as a QB especially after Patterson got dinged.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1262
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Sep 03, 2019 at 10:29 AM

          I was actually being sarcastic and making fun of the persistent mgoblog meme that if you’re not a coach, you should just STFU and never presume to question the decisions or strategy of someone who is.

          In this case, every living, breathing person, regardless of coaching credentials knew as soon as they heard the idea of putting Patterson and McCaffrey out there together that it was an epically bad idea, and in the event, it was just as big a shit show as everyone predicted. Skepticism and criticism in this case were entirely warranted, as they frankly are in any number of instances.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5445
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 03, 2019 at 11:37 AM

            If it had worked people would love it. Jon Navarre catching a pass is one of the most memorable highlights of the 2000s. Gattis would have been hailed as a genius. If it worked twice — the revolution is here!

            Unfortunately – it looked like trash. I haven’t seen anyone who hopes we get more of it.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 42
            Joined: 1/2/2016
            peterfumo
            Sep 03, 2019 at 11:54 AM

            I frequent mgoblog and don’t get that vibe there. None of the people who write there ever played or coached if I am not mistaken. They question the coaches all the time. Are you referring to the the fans who post there?

            • GrandLake
              Comments: 67
              Joined: 8/22/2019
              GrandLake
              Sep 03, 2019 at 1:53 PM

              I think mgoblog gets decent material from the staff but most days I am convinced that the fan base consists of mainly kids 14 and under.

            • Avatar
              Comments: 1262
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Sep 03, 2019 at 6:28 PM

              No, not the regular writers, but quite a few of the more juvenile posters use that dodge.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5445
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2019 at 11:28 AM

        FWIW – I 100% agree that coaches can be criticized. Everyone makes mistakes and can learn. Practice tells you a lot but games are different. It’s not black and white. “Always” is always wrong.

        I criticize coaches myself. Approach to injury management. Scholarship allocations. Playcalling. I wouldn’t be reading this post if I thought it was always wrong to criticize coaches.

        Where I take umbrage with many fans is the constant criticism of personnel decisions. It’s particularly acute with Michigan fans but it’s universal. And fans are usually wrong. Almost always wrong? We don’t get to see practice, and even if we did, we wouldn’t be as good as the guys getting paid 7 figures to make the calls.

        The backup QB talk happens every year. Every dang year. It may be 1% of fans or 50% of fans but it happens. Some people booed Patterson? C’mon.

        I don’t know that it’s ever been validated at Michigan. Peters probably got closest but he wasn’t exactly good and the coaches were proven right to be afraid of letting him do anything risky.

        The RB talk happens every year – ditto. These bold calls for backups are proven to be wrong across multiple coaching staffs, teams, leagues.

        Sometimes – most times – the things that went wrong went wrong for reasons other than personnel. That’s lazy thinking, IMO. It’s knee-jerk.

        There’s an inherent naive optimism to this. Bit of hope in the face of evidence. Easy fix. Seeing what you hope to see. Human nature I guess but I think our coaching staff has been good enough to have earned a bit more respect.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1262
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Sep 03, 2019 at 8:17 AM

    On offense, more of everyone who’s getting the job done. We’ve had our fun, gave lots of guys a look against a soft opponent, but now it’s time to get serious. Black and Collins need to be getting more than 3-4 touches a game, especially with DPJ out for the foreseeable future, and Sainristil looking not so much like a starter. Whoever our best RB is needs to be getting more than 8 carries.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 1575
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 03, 2019 at 8:54 AM

    Once Black went down with cramps, I was cool with going easy on him

    Why do we have key players cramping two years in a row? Another topic

  4. Lanknows
    Comments: 5445
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2019 at 11:01 AM

    Offense – just keep doing what you’re doing. Got some kinks to iron out but focus should be on week 4.

    Defense – ready for Jeter to be back. Army is different than Wisconsin but their ground-oriented attack will be a good test for the DL and LBs.

    I’d also like to see more Uche.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1262
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Sep 03, 2019 at 12:09 PM

      Wisconsin will almost certainly be a tougher game, but Army is completely losable if we don’t exploit the talent advantage of our offense vs their defense to the fullest, right from the first series. We will almost certainly need more than 19 pass completions in the whole game to win in anything but a nail-biter.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5445
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2019 at 1:06 PM

        We’ll lose if Army dictates tempo with long clock-killing drives. Our defense is the key.

        I disagree that our offense scoring fast and/or through the air is a key matchup. Oklahoma scored on their first 3 drives and they lasted 2:40, 2:36, and 1:54. They were all 6 plays or less. Still went to OT.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1262
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Sep 03, 2019 at 2:30 PM

          I trust our defense to be better than Oklahoma’s last year, and significantly better than Rice’s this year. But we also can’t afford to leave points on the field, as this offense tends to do when it slogs along on long drives. Using our speed and better talent to generate big plays that get us out to an early lead, and reduce the possibility of drive-stalling mistakes, will be key.

          At some point in the second half, our defense may start to wear down, and we want to have at least a 2 TD lead when we start trading scores. Then their 8-9 minute drives become a liability for them.

          On the other hand, if they get the ball with a lead any time in the 2nd half, we may be screwed.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5445
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 03, 2019 at 9:30 PM

            Well, the key point is to build a lead. That means making stops and scoring, both. I think Mitch McGary said it best.

            Where we disagree is in the need to score quickly. I’m more interested in not letting Army score, as they tend to do that slowly.

            Our defense won’t wear down if it’s producing 3 and outs. Our defense won’t wear down if our offense is producing sustained drives.

            I believe Don Brown is up to this test as I have a theory that we’ve spent the last 8 Novembers preparing for this Saturday.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1262
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Sep 03, 2019 at 2:48 PM

          Think of it another way. Does Army have a better chance to win if we make this a low-scoring game or a high scoring game?

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5445
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 03, 2019 at 3:47 PM

            Army’s chances are better if there are fewer possessions. The Michigan defense will have far more to say on that matter than the offense. That’s because Army wants to have 10 minute long drives every time.

            Can we stop them from doing that? If not – the game will look like Oklahoma.

            Michigan should try to score as fast as it can until it has a commanding lead. But that’s not where the game will be won or lost.

            This shouldn’t be a shootout. If it turns into that it means our defense sucks.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 5445
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    FWIW I 100 percent agree that coaches can be criticized. Everyone makes mistakes and can learn. Practice tells you a lot but games are different. It’s not black and white. “Always” is always wrong.

    I criticize coaches myself. Approach to injury management. Scholarship allocations. Playcalling. I wouldn’t be reading this post if I thought it was always wrong to criticize coaches.

    Where I take umbrage with many fans is the constant criticism of personnel decisions. It’s particularly acute with Michigan fans but it’s universal. And fans are usually wrong. Almost always wrong? We don’t get to see practice, and even if we did, we wouldn’t be as good as the guys getting paid 7 figures to make the calls.

    The backup QB talk happens every year. Every dang year. It may be 1 percent of fans or 55 but it happens. Some people booed Patterson? Cmon.

    I don’t know that it’s ever been validated at Michigan. Peters probably got closest but he wasn’t exactly good and the coaches were proven right to be afraid of letting him do anything risky.

    The RB talk happens every year – ditto. These bold calls for backups are proven to be wrong across multiple coaching staffs, teams, leagues.

    Sometimes – most times – the things that went wrong went wrong for reasons other than personnel. That’s lazy thinking, IMO. It’s knee-jerk.

    There’s an inherent naive optimism to this. Bit of hope in the face of evidence. Easy fix. Seeing what you hope to see. Human nature I guess but I think our coaching staff has been good enough to have earned a bit more respect.

  6. Lanknows
    Comments: 5445
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    FWIW I 100 percent agree that coaches can be criticized. Everyone makes mistakes and can learn. Practice tells you a lot but games are different. It’s not black and white. “Always” is always wrong.

    I criticize coaches myself. Approach to injury management. Scholarship allocations. Playcalling. I wouldn’t be reading this post if I thought it was always wrong to criticize coaches.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5445
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 03, 2019 at 11:30 AM

      Where I take umbrage with many fans is the constant criticism of personnel decisions. It’s particularly acute with Michigan fans but it’s universal. And fans are usually wrong. Almost always wrong? We don’t get to see practice, and even if we did, we wouldn’t be as good as the guys getting paid 7 figures to make the calls.

      The backup QB talk happens every year. Every dang year. It may be 1 percent of fans or 55 but it happens. Some people booed Patterson? Cmon.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5445
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2019 at 11:31 AM

        I don’t know that its ever been validated at Michigan. Peters probably got closest but he wasn’t exactly good and the coaches were proven right to be afraid of letting him do anything risky.

        The RB talk happens every year and ditto. These bold calls for backups are proven to be wrong across multiple coaching staffs, teams, leagues.

        Most times the things that went wrong went wrong for reasons other than inferior personnel. That’s lazy thinking, IMO. It’s knee-jerk. Guys are going to make mistakes and personnel decisions wont stop that.

        Theres an inherent naive optimism to this. Bit of hope in the face of evidence. Easy fix. Seeing what you hope to see. Human nature I guess but I think our coaching staff has been good enough to have earned a bit more respect.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5445
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2019 at 11:32 AM

        I don’t know that its ever been validated at Michigan. Peters probably got closest but he wasn’t exactly good and the coaches were proven right to be afraid of letting him do anything risky.

        The RB talk happens every year and ditto. These bold calls for backups are proven to be wrong across multiple coaching staffs, teams, leagues.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1575
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Sep 03, 2019 at 9:19 PM

        Not really, but it may seen that way because …. well, because you interact with a lot of Michigan fans. I’ve lived all over the country, and have have worked with fanatics from all over in the last quarter century
        In the south we’re considered “ok with 9-10 wins a year” Those fans are brutal, just another level

        “It’s particularly acute with Michigan fans but it’s universal”

  7. Lanknows
    Comments: 5445
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    I dont know that its ever been validated at Michigan. Peters probably got closest but he wasnt exactly good and the coaches were proven right to be afraid of letting him do anything risky.

    The RB talk happens every year and ditto. These bold calls for backups are proven to be wrong across multiple coaching staffs teams leagues.

  8. Lanknows
    Comments: 5445
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Most times the things that went wrong went wrong for reasons other than inferior personnel. That’s lazy thinking, IMO. It’s knee-jerk. Guys are going to make mistakes and personnel decisions wont stop that.

    Theres an inherent naive optimism to this. Bit of hope in the face of evidence. Easy fix. Seeing what you hope to see. Human nature I guess but I think our coaching staff has been good enough to have earned a bit more respect.

  9. Lanknows
    Comments: 5445
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2019 at 11:35 AM

    “Michigan looks like they ran the play once or maybe twice in practice before putting it in prime time”

    Man I really hope this is how things went down. I worry they actually wasted a bunch of time on this package given Harbaugh talked about it publicly many weeks ago. I’d love to think it was a deliberate distraction to throw off opponents. We’ll see.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1262
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Sep 03, 2019 at 12:56 PM

      I’m having a hard time thinking of a scenario where having McCaffrey out there, either as a decoy, or someone we actually intend to get the ball to, gives us an advantage that outweighs the risk of his getting hurt, and the consequences if he does.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5445
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2019 at 1:24 PM

        When Harbaugh talked about using 2 QBs I didn’t think he was really serious about having them both at the same time. I’d be good with never seeing it again.

        Sort of doubt they’ll just scrap it altogether though. Harbaugh likes to do some fun goofy stuff.

        I do think people are a little too worried about getting McCaffrey hurt. I know a big part of that is that he got hurt on a run last year. Still – I can’t remember a fanbase so worried about the fragility of a backup. He’s a junior – he needs to play more and with that comes risk – no matter if he is running, catching, or sitting in a pocket.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1262
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Sep 03, 2019 at 2:43 PM

          Goofy stuff can be fine if used sparingly. If they wanted to keep a gadget play that used both of them in their back pocket, and pull it out at just the right time in a big game, fine and dandy. But it’s not something you’re going to want to waste against a cupcake, and you don’t want to throw away plays and take unjustified risks with a potentially important player just to play mind games with a team you won’t see until November is silly.

          And sure, there will always be an injury risk if he’s playing, just like with any player. But playing QB is necessary, and whenever he’s out there at QB, Patterson is on the bench, and NOT at risk. But using him to catch a screen pass that plenty of more expendable players could do as well or better, is a silly risk, with no necessity and no upside.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5445
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 03, 2019 at 3:51 PM

            If we are trying to preserve the health of Patterson the bigger deal is get him out of the game earlier. Ditto for McCaffrey.

            In general I think Harbaugh is too conservative with going to backups earlier in games that seem to be decided. I’d like to see a little more faith put in the backups, but I understand that HCs are generally conservative about this.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1575
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Sep 03, 2019 at 9:26 PM

          1) Gattis has had to QBs on the field at a time at Happy Valley and Tuscaloosa. When JH said it, he meant it. Problem is, our guys looked like they had no dang idea where to line up or what to do

          2) the concern is Dylan is a toothpick; 220lb my butt. He runs a lot, especially compared to how often he passes. He runs into contact. He’s mentally tough (intangibles through the roof), and played AFTER breaking his collarbone. You can see on the next play he hands it to Wilson, with his arm just dangling in pain. Peters came in right after, but Mac would have stayed in longer if he could. That’s a dangerous combination, and worth the concern

          We need to develop our next starting QB. Do it in the air – let ZC & Turner run, and our deep WR pool catch screens in traffic

  10. GrandLake
    Comments: 67
    Joined: 8/22/2019
    GrandLake
    Sep 03, 2019 at 1:49 PM

    I generally assume the coaching staff knows far more about football than I ever will but if McCaffrey needs time on the field let him run the offense on the 3rd series of each game or come in for specific QB plays. Him running an inside screen makes as much sense as putting Hill out on punt returns just bad risk mgt.

    Could also make a case for Ambry Thomas on lets see more of this guy on defense. Great performance esp considering he was allegedly down to 160lbs at one point.

  11. mos12
    Comments: 31
    Joined: 8/15/2016
    mos12
    Sep 03, 2019 at 6:06 PM

    OK, I’ll criticize the coaches. Putting Lavert Hill out for Punt Returns? Really? Take maybe the most irreplaceable player on the defense and put him in a position where he could easily get hurt or even just dinged up? Sorry, that one I don’t get. It’s not like he has amazing hands (apparently anyway).

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