Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Zach Charbonnet. Charbonnet’s first carry of the game was a 70-yard touchdown up the gut on power. He ended up with 70 yards on 4 total carries, so his other three carries netted zero yards, but I would still like to see Charbonnet touch the ball more if/when the game is on the line. Michigan did a good job of spreading out carries to keep people happy and fresh, but we know Charbonnet is tough – and that touchdown run showed more speed than what he had last year. In the 2019 season opener, he broke away against Middle Tennessee and didn’t have the same explosion he showed against the Gophers.
Hit the jump for more.
Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . extra tight ends. Early in the game, Michigan was killing Minnesota with its spread looks. The Gophers simply couldn’t match up with Michigan’s “speed in space.” And yet for some reason, the coaching staff decided to start packing things in tight with extra tight ends. That bogged down the offense. I’m not saying Michigan shouldn’t use multiple tight end sets, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Anthony Solomon. Solomon made 2 tackles and looks to have bulked up since last year. He’s not fully developed yet physically, but I think he has the quickness and instincts to be an impact player this year.
Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Ben VanSumeren. Every time I saw VanSumeren on defense, he was getting blocked. Michigan played him at SAM in its odd stack look, and while coaches have said positive things, I didn’t see anything last night that makes me think he needs to be on the field. Michigan’s hands might be tied with all the departures from the position group (Drew Singleton, Jordan Anthony, Devin Gil, Osman Savage, Charles Thomas, etc.), but I’m not sure VanSumeren is the answer at SAM.
Play of the game #1 . . . Michael Barrett’s sack and forced fumble that turned into a 15-yard touchdown for Donovan Jeter was a thing of beauty. It seemed like it affected Minnesota’s play calling and Tanner Morgan’s effectiveness for a while.
Dr Blitz, baby.— Due# (@JDue51) October 25, 2020
Viper Michael Barrett, lined up over a receiver, posterizes Tanner Morgan for a picture perfect hamblasting.
5th year senior Donovan Jeter snatches the ball in the air and walks in for a #BigManTouchdown pic.twitter.com/EqeIHA2x2A
Play of the game #2 . . . Taylor Upshaw chases down Mohamed Ibrahim. This play did not get enough attention from the announcers. Backside defensive end Taylor Upshaw (6’4″, 256 lbs.) runs down Minnesota starting running back Mohamed Ibrahim (5’10”, 210) from behind, saving what looked to be an easy touchdown. This play alone raises my expectations for Upshaw.
Gotta be more stout on the edge here. But something else needs to be pointed out here.— Due# (@JDue51) October 25, 2020
Taylor Upshaw's effort. He comes all the way from the backside to run down Ibrahim. His effort saves 4 points.
Damn fine play. pic.twitter.com/CUOoatWlV6
MVP of the game . . . Michael Barrett. Barrett had some huge, momentum-swinging plays in this game, affecting the game in numerous ways. Several players had good games, from Joe Milton to Hassan Haskins to Kwity Paye to Aidan Hutchinson. But even more than Haskins – who had some big runs and sniffed out a fake punt – Barrett rose to the occasion in different phases. Defensively, he made 7 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble (see above). On special teams, he picked up a squib kick and returned it 66 yards deep into Minnesota’s territory; and even more alertly, he recovered a Blake Corum fumble on a kickoff return, preventing Minnesota from capitalizing on a freshman mistake.
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