Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Ronnie Bell. Maybe this is an emotional reaction to the backlash Bell received for dropping the potential game-tying or game-winning pass on Saturday night, but I thought the kid played very well overall. He caught 5 passes for 82 yards, he blocks, and he earns yards after the catch. He’s Michigan’s version of Julian Edelman. And yes, that means he’s Michigan’s best receiver.
This was Shea Patterson’s best game. Patterson has taken a lot of criticism this season, and some people were still clamoring for backup Dylan McCaffrey – or even Joe Milton – to start. I thought this was Patterson’s best game this season by far, and one of his top few performances as a Wolverine overall. His numbers weren’t great (24/41 for 276 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 12 carries, 34 yards, 1 TD), but part of that was due to drops and general refereeing inefficiency. Donovan Peoples-Jones dropped two passes and Ronnie Bell dropped one, and there were a couple pass interference calls that should have been called against Penn State but weren’t, resulting in incompletions. Patterson had one truly bad throw, and that was the interception.
Name: Brad Hawkins Height: 6’1″ Weight: 213 lbs. High school: Suffield (CT) Suffield Academy Position: Safety Class: Junior Jersey number: #20 Last year: I ranked Hawkins #57 and said he would be a backup safety/Viper (LINK). He made 24 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 1 pass breakup. TTB Rating: 78
Hawkins played a little more than I expected in 2018, likely in part due to the absence of Jaylen Kelly-Powell for a chunk of the year. Tyree Kinnel and Josh Metellus were slated to be the starters, with J’Marick Woods, Kelly-Powell, and Hawkins vying for backup snaps. However, Kelly-Powell suffered an injury that caused him to miss half the season, increasing the opportunities for Hawkins. Hawkins struggled at times but came up with some solid plays, which seems about on par for a sophomore safety.
After losing Kinnel to graduation, there’s room to step up for someone at the safety spot. The options there include Kelly-Powell (who has reportedly been spending much of his time time at nickel corner), but mostly the coaching staff seems to be looking at Woods, Hawkins, and freshman Daxton Hill. I get the sense that the coaching staff wants Woods to get first crack at the starting gig so Hawkins is free to play the nickel spot. There are rumors about next year seeing a position switch for either or both of Hawkins and Woods to end up at the Viper position once Khaleke Hudson and Jordan Glasgow graduate.
Hooray for fewer commercials. I have to say it was very nice not to have to sit through commercial break after commercial break after commercial break. I get that college football can’t exist in the form that it does without commercials, but some of the recent games have been tiresome. I don’t watch the commercials, ABC. I go to the bathroom, get a snack, or check my phone.
Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Chris Evans. Evans left the SMU game two weeks ago with a hamstring injury, and he’s still not back. He didn’t travel to Evanston with the team. Michigan needs more playmakers on offense, and Evans can be one of them.