Michigan vs. Notre Dame Awards

Michigan vs. Notre Dame Awards


October 29, 2019
Hassan Haskins (image via Detroit News)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Hassan Haskins. Haskins had 20 carries for 149 yards. This is just an affirmation of his fantastic overall play over the past few weeks, not necessarily a request to see him get more than 20 carries. Those 20 attempts included a 49-yard run, a highlight-reel hurdle, and lots of broken tackles. He’s averaging 6.2 yards per carry on the year.

Hit the jump for more.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . that one left-handed quarterback. I forget his name, but I hope he never plays another down at Michigan.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Daxton Hill. At this point I believe Hill is one of Michigan’s best eleven healthy defensive players. Hutchinson, Kemp, Paye, McGrone, Hudson, Glasgow, Lavert Hill, Thomas, Metellus, Hawkins, and Daxton Hill are at the top in the defensive rotation. Michigan running a 3-3-5 with three safeties seems to be a good look against spread teams.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Michael Dwumfour. I guess in the above equation, Dwumfour would be removed from the equation. He’s not playing poorly now that he’s healthy, but he’s not one of the top eleven, either.

Play of the game . . . Michigan getting a punt blocked. Yes, who would have known that Michigan having its punt blocked would turn into perhaps the biggest momentum swing of the game . . . in favor of Michigan? With a 0-0 tie and standing in his own end zone, Will Hart’s punt was blocked but still went beyond the line of scrimmage. Notre Dame linebacker/special teamer Jonathan Jones – who was once VERY close to committing to Michigan – tried to corral the punt, but it squirted out, only to be recovered by Michigan. Basically, since the kick still went beyond the line of scrimmage, it was treated as a muffed punt, meaning the Wolverines could recover it; that nuance seemed to be misunderstood by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. Michigan would proceed to break the scoreless tie by driving for a field goal.

MVP of the game . . . the offensive line. It’s hard to grade singular offensive linemen based on one watching of the film, but the big guys up front manhandled the Notre Dame defensive line. I thought both offensive guards (Ben Bredeson, Michael Onwenu) played extremely well. Michigan averaged 5.3 yards per carry on 57 attempts and tallied 303 yards on the ground. It was pure domination in the trenches.

37 comments

  1. GrandLake
    Comments: 68
    Joined: 8/22/2019
    GrandLake
    Oct 29, 2019 at 7:46 AM

    Let’s see less: hurdling defensive players. Love the effort but Haskins came down awkwardly which is easy to do. Great to get some more yards but not at the risk of broken ankle or torn up knee. Or become a better hurdler.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3321
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Oct 29, 2019 at 9:00 PM

      Yeah, I wasn’t a big fan of the mid-field hurdle, either. I’m glad he didn’t get punished too badly for it.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 9
    Joined: 9/25/2019
    BigCatsFanLandP
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:06 PM

    More of this guy on D: Josh Ross. Listen I’m not clamoring for it, I just bring it up since he’s got to be nearing “healthy status”. To me it’s an interesting sub-plot as I wonder what happens at that point? McGrone is playing really well, Glascow likewise, and I doubt they put Ross in at Viper. So, is he Pipped, splits time with/replaces Glasocow/McGrone, or something else happens.

    More specifically to the article, and I’m not one of the “let the 5-star play because he’s a 5-star” folks, but your assessment of Dax is spot on…he’s impressive. My feeble mind puts it this way, “he’s always there”.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 45
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Nick.
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:43 PM

    This is the writing piece I look forward to during the course of the season. You get to see what is going through the mind of a coach. I wish you would add a section to this from the coaching….what would you like to see more of and less of from the coaches.

    I agree 100% with your evaluation after the game. This was by far the best performance of the season and it happened against a quality opponent. The one thing that stood out to me watching this game was the very thing I complained about after the Illinois game. Jim didn’t pump the brakes during the game and continued to play aggressive football into the 4th quarter. That allowed the offense to get more reps and the team to continue to build on the second half of the PSU game. Could the Penn State game had a different outcome if they had not pumped the brakes before halftime during Illinois? Success breeds more success and when you halt that momentum things can change quickly.

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. Lanknows
    Comments: 5452
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Oct 29, 2019 at 2:22 PM

    Offensive LSMOTG this season:

    Charbonnet (MTSU)
    Tru Wilson RB (Iowa)
    Unspecified RB (Illinois)
    Hasskins (RB Notre Dame)

    Sounds like Thunder thinks we should run a lot more.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3321
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Oct 29, 2019 at 8:59 PM

      Christian Turner carries this year, listed chronologically:
      11
      3
      6
      11
      5
      1
      0
      4

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5452
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 29, 2019 at 9:39 PM

        Not sure your point here. He fumbled multiple times and deserved to lose carries because of it IMO. Arguing for backups to get more snaps is your thing.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3321
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Oct 29, 2019 at 9:54 PM

          Yep…notice who I wasn’t clamoring for. He has mostly disappeared from the rotation, and voila! Michigan suddenly has a competent rushing offense.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5452
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 30, 2019 at 2:31 PM

            Gotcha now.

            So you think the improved run game is the result of the change at RB? Dropping Turner from 8 carries a game to 3 is the primary difference here?

            I dunno about that one. Maybe part of it but I look at Charbonnet’s YPC and see the last 3 games (averaging 4.9, 5.4, and 6.4 ypc) as a big improvement relative to the previous few games against generally weaker competition (3.2, 4.4, 3.0, 3.0 ypc).

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 5452
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Oct 30, 2019 at 2:41 PM

              I think if Turner was the primary back this argument would be a bit stronger but it’s been a rotation all year except when Charbonnet took over against Army.

              The improvement has been across-the-board. Wilson, Turner, and Haskins all had arguably their best games of the year against ND and ZC looks much better the last few also.

              As usual with RBs the team-wide trend is more instructive than individual.

              Turner and Haskins had about identical production against Rutgers when they were the top 2 ball-carriers.

              • Thunder
                Comments: 3321
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Oct 30, 2019 at 2:51 PM

                You seem to have two contradicting viewpoints.

                In the past you’ve said things like, “The coaches are almost always right. We don’t see what they see in practice.” Well, right now the coaches seem to have reached a similar conclusion as me: other guys need to move ahead of Christian Turner. If the coaches are almost always right and the coaches agree with me (or I agree with the coaches, either way), then I don’t see what the issue is.

                On the other hand, you seem to be saying that there’s no difference and that Turner and Haskins were equal against Rutgers so no big deal or whatever.

                So are the coaches right and making good decisions? Or are they simply pulling names out of a hat, in which case they probably deserve criticism?

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 5452
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Oct 30, 2019 at 3:39 PM

                The coaches are probably right but I doubt it matters very much.

                I have no issue with the coaches taking carries from Turner. He fumbled repeatedly – that is bad. He blew protections – also bad. These are things I’ve been bringing up for years as more meaningful than differences in YPC (see Smith vs Shaw and Smith vs Isaac). Reliability is good.

                I don’t think RB personnel explains the improved run game production overall. That seems to be benefiting all the backs. I’ve been saying for years that rushing production is more about team/OL than RB.

                I don’t see a contradiction in the above views.

                The coaches are rotating backs freely and the biggest differentiation appears to be reliability – who they can trust. If they thought one guy was significantly better, they would ride him, like they did in the Army game. If that was happening I’d be inclined to think that guy was the best guy because I generally trust the coaches.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5452
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 30, 2019 at 3:55 PM

        I’m getting the sense you think I have some sort of attachment to Turner because I made an argument for him as the top RB candidate in the offseason. I don’t.

        I always acknowledged the uncertainty. I even though Evans being gone from the group might matter, against my “RBs don’t matter” axiom. Turns out it didn’t.

        I was good with Wilson too – a reliable walk-on would do fine if the OL was playing as well as I thought they would. And I wanted all the Charbonnet hype to be true of course.

        Once we got into the season and Charbonnet proved to be a naturally reliable player, delivering on some of the hype about his hard work and character, and Turner proved to have issues with fumbles and protection – my offseason guesses became irrelevant.

        If you want to pick at some of my previous opinions on RB the one I’d point you to is my criticism of tall RBs. Both Haskins and Charbonnet are 6’1 and look better than Wilson and Turner who are a couple inches shorter and about 20 pounds lighter. All hail the jumbo-backs!

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3321
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Oct 31, 2019 at 7:07 AM

          Nah, I don’t really remember who everyone likes or dislikes. I’m simply saying that there are only a handful of running backs, and the ones I was “promoting” in “Let’s see more of this guy on offense…” are doing well. You’re kind of picking at my choices each week, but they’ve all moved ahead of Turner – whom I have not been promoting.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 5452
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Oct 29, 2019 at 2:33 PM

    I strongly agree with putting the OL as the game MVP. They kicked butt and it was a nice contrast to last year when they did not.

    Also have to give consideration to the DL. The LBs made a lot of plays to be sure, but for a mostly 3-man line to hold up like they did without much substitution is something. I don’t know if Paye/Hutchinson/Kemp are NFL players but right now I don’t care. They are rocks. They remind me of the Martin/Van Bergen era DLs that were out there every damn down.

    I’m not sure the top 11 defenders thing is real debate. Situational whether Dwumfour or Hill makes more sense and I think Uche and Gray are probably getting more snaps than both of them.

    I believe Hill had at least one uncalled PI early in the ND game. He’s certainly impressive but I think Michigan is doing the right thing rotating players. Hawkins has a lot of talent too. Need to keep coaching up both of them. Definitely going to need Hill to play a BIG role against OSU. He’s having a really strong freshman year and looks to be a potential breakout star in 2020.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 7
      Joined: 10/27/2019
      MichAgain
      Oct 29, 2019 at 2:49 PM

      I think Paye and Hutchinson have bright futures in the NFL. I am sold on Hutchinson after seeing his strong play this year. His size and intelligence makes him a major match-up issue for teams. He also has the frame to put on weight.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5452
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 29, 2019 at 3:13 PM

        I’m not seeing the edge rush from Paye that’d you’d want for an NFL player. Uche delivers this but Paye not so much, though he does other things. Paye seems like more of a strongside/anchor type.

        Speaking of that position – Hutchinson has just 1.5 sacks and 7.5 TFL in his first 2 years. Still a few games to play, so let’s optimistically say he’ll have 3 and 10 by the end of the season. Notorious “disappointment” Rashan Gary had 6 and 16.5 by the end of his sophomore year and was roundly criticized for his lack of production as a pass-rusher. Yet Gary has outpaced Hutchinson (who everyone LOVES) by a good bit.

        Of course Gary got drafted in Round 1, though he hasn’t done anything in the NFL to disprove his doubters feelings.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5452
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 29, 2019 at 3:16 PM

          For the record, I love Hutchinson too. I think the role of the Anchor position does not lend itself to a ton of box score production – much like OL, DT, CB, etc.

          I think Hutch is the best NFL prospect on our DL right now, but I’d be a little surprised if he was a first rounder like Gary.

          I do think Uche will be “unleashed” as rush linebacker in the NFL but he’ll probably need to bulk up a bit more.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5452
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 29, 2019 at 3:17 PM

          Won’t it be something if Carlo Kemp or Michael Dwumfour somehow get through to the NFL after all the criticism they faced this year -almost exclusively from Michigan fans.

          • Thunder
            Comments: 3321
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Oct 29, 2019 at 9:08 PM

            Yep, that sure would be something…

            BTW, Dwumfour has 3 assisted tackles through 6 games, along with 1 PBU and 2 QB hurries.

            Kemp has 28 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 1 fumble recovery.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1264
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Oct 29, 2019 at 8:12 PM

          Of course, Hutchinson was not touted as the best Dline prospect in a decade, so better counting stats by Gary don’t prove that he wasn’t a bit of a disappointment.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5452
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 29, 2019 at 9:35 PM

            Up to you if you want set expectations at max hype buy-in or based on historical performance.

            That’s probably a kind way to put it.

            • Avatar
              Comments: 1264
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Oct 30, 2019 at 6:26 AM

              The hype is what it is. The fact that other highly rated recruits have also been disappointments doesn’t mean Gary wasn’t.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 5452
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Oct 30, 2019 at 2:17 PM

                I don’t think we agree here. Hype is something you can buy into or not. History is something you can ignore or not.

                We can talk about subjective feelings or we can talk about objective production.

                • Avatar
                  Comments: 1264
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Oct 30, 2019 at 8:17 PM

                  Neither is the basis for disappointment. Objective production relative to expectations is.

                  Yes, some highly rated recruits don’t do as well as expected in college. Some do. The former are disappointments, to some degree. The latter are not. Gary is in the former group. It’s perfectly natural to expect that a player’s performance relative to other recruits will carry over into college, so your argument that such expectations are overblown doesn’t fly.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 5452
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Oct 31, 2019 at 2:09 AM

                  Expectations are a choice.

                  You set them at the historical median or above them based on hope or hype.

                  In your case – for both Michigan football under Harbaugh – and for a 5-star DE you went above and beyond historical evidence to set YOUR expectations.

                  Of course you aren’t alone.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 5452
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Oct 31, 2019 at 2:10 AM

                  Put more bluntly – you choose to buy into hype.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 5452
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Oct 30, 2019 at 2:42 PM

                Feelings are feelings and facts are facts. Disappointment is a feeling.

                • Avatar
                  Comments: 1264
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Oct 30, 2019 at 8:19 PM

                  Yes, it is. And Gary’s career was a minor disappointment. To pretty much everyone except those who’ve decided they will retroactively have no expectations, and will therefore never have to admit to being disappointed.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 5452
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Oct 31, 2019 at 2:13 AM

                  I’m disappointed in plenty of players but not repeat all conference performers who get drafted in the first round.

                  Freddy Canteen disappointed me. Aubrey Solomon disappointed me. Gary and Hutchinson don’t.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3321
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Oct 29, 2019 at 9:05 PM

          Hutchinson has 2.5 sacks this year.

          Hutchinson: 4 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles in 2019
          Gary: 0 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble in 2016-2018

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5452
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 29, 2019 at 9:37 PM

            I used sports reference dot com for both

    • GrandLake
      Comments: 68
      Joined: 8/22/2019
      GrandLake
      Oct 29, 2019 at 3:29 PM

      Agree and would also add that was not a bad ND OL they were going up against. Hainsey Kraemer and Eichenberg were all highly rated coming out of HS and they were doing very little against the UM DL. I think Hill looks very impressive in that he looks like he is really starting to know what his assignment is and gets to the ball in a hurry. Can’t wait to see him coming on a blitz.

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 7
    Joined: 10/27/2019
    MichAgain
    Oct 29, 2019 at 2:46 PM

    I am not going to lie, I am excited about the 1-2 punch combo with Haskins and Charbonnet. The running back position was worrisome in the Spring, but they are proving to be one of the best parts of the offense.

    I like the Daxton Hill pick for defense, but I would add that it would also be nice to see some of the freshman defensive lineman. I haven’t really seen Hinton or Smith play yet. Also, it would be nice to see Luiji Vilain some more. He came in with a lot of hype, but that was derailed by injuries. I would be happy to see him in the same role as Uche last year.

  7. Avatar
    Comments: 338
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Oct 29, 2019 at 7:43 PM

    Being left handed I have to stick up for ‘lefthandedness’.
    Yeah Patterson ain’t Stabler & he looked worse than me when I throw righthanded.
    But at least one Michigan great ,Rick Leach, was left handed tho his passing stats ain’t all that great.

    Long Live Lefties! as we have had to learn to live with ourselves as well as function in the Righty World. Patterson’s lefty impersonation , like most Righties, is what happpens when you righties try to function in My World.
    HEY Shea! Stay out of My World………..INTJohn

  8. Lanknows
    Comments: 5452
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Oct 30, 2019 at 5:41 PM

    My Let’s See More of on Offense:

    McCaffrey, Turner, Sainristil, Hayes. I’d like Michigan to blow Maryland to bits and let these backups get some run. They may have much bigger roles next year. Not including a TE because I hope to see less of the 2-TE sets.

    Let’s See More of on Defense:
    Uche. Some talk in the offseason about mitigating the DT issues by simply playing fewer of them. The 3-3-5 was supposedly a liability against the run but didn’t look like it against ND. Let’s see if it has legs against a former Alabama-OC super genius.

  9. Lanknows
    Comments: 5452
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 01, 2019 at 10:56 AM

    OK – I get it now.

    What I found interesting was your focus on the RB position more generally. Not the specific guys you were calling out. You’re calling for a lot of change at what is in my (admittedly outlier opinion) – the most substitutable position on offense. Wasn’t intended as a criticism necessarily as much as an observation. Most of the other LSMOTG on offense have been related to injuries.

    You did call for Turner to get less time once I think. Charbonnet twice maybe? Add it up and I think that’s something like 7 or 8 times you’ve called for change in the RB situation.

    In my mind the big change in personnel has been Haskins surging from 4th to 1st. Everyone else is more or less in the same pecking order as the start of the season depending on how you want to look at Wilson’s injury.

    Anyway there is still a rotation among backs so that whole thing amounts to a handful of carries a game amongst a bunch of RBs producing at a similar level.

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