2021 Orange Bowl: Georgia 34, Michigan 11

Tag: Cade McNamara


1Jan 2022
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2021 Orange Bowl: Georgia 34, Michigan 11

Georgia LB Nakobe Dean forces a fumble by Michigan RB Blake Corum (image via Zimbio)

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Never underestimate recruiting rankings. I listen to Stewart Mandel and Bruce Feldman’s podcast pretty regularly, and Mandel made the point that usually in these playoffs, the more talented team wins. Winning as an underdog in the CFP is very, very tough to do. Georgia has one of the top few classes every single year, while Michigan seems to be anywhere from about #8 to #25 on a yearly basis. So when walk-on center Andrew Vastardis gets obliterated by the #22 player in the country (6’5″, 275 lb. Travon Walker) on a pull . . . yeah, that’s what happens. This isn’t Rutgers or Indiana or Northwestern with 250-260 lb. 3-star defensive ends. The bottom line is that Georgia is the more talented team, at almost every position.

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25Dec 2021
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2021 Orange Bowl Preview: Pass Offense vs. Georgia Pass Defense

Kelee Ringo (image via SI)

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MICHIGAN
The Wolverines are smack dab in the middle of the pack at #67 in passing offense (226 yards/game) and they’re #40 in passing efficiency. Meanwhile, they’re #86 in passing attempts with just 359 on the season. Starting quarterback Cade McNamara has completed 199/308 (64.6%) of his throws for 2,470 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. McNamara does not have a particularly strong arm, but he has done a good job of deciphering defenses and keeping the ball out of harm’s way.

The offensive line has allowed just 0.77 sacks per game. Just like in the run game, they don’t have a ton of great players up front, but they play well together. Some stunts and games inside confused the group early in the year, but they seem to have righted the ship as the season went along.

On the receiving end, ten different players have caught touchdowns . . . and no one has caught more than 3. It’s hard to predict from week to week who might step up and make a big play, but the two primary targets have been wide receiver Cornelius Johnson (37 catches, 620 yards, 3 TD) and tight end Erick All (34 catches, 374 yards, 2 TD). However, the two biggest yardage games have come from true freshman running back Donovan Edwards (10 catches, 170 yards, 1 TD vs. Maryland) and freshman wide receiver Andrel Anthony (3 catches, 155 yards, 2 TD vs. Michigan State).

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28Nov 2021
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Michigan 42, Ohio State 27

Jim Harbaugh and Juwan Howard (image via NY Post)

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Holy Mary, Mother of God. I don’t think I have been that anxious about a Michigan victory since the Wolverines beat Washington State following the 1997 season. I predicted an Ohio State win (shame on me), but I thought Michigan had a chance. What I did not expect is, well, an ass-whooping. When I say an ass-whooping, I don’t mean on the scoreboard or really physically (although there was some of that). I just mean it was like Michigan did whatever they wanted to do the whole game. Run the ball? Yes. Trick plays? Yes. Get after the QB? Yes. Stop the run? Yes. Prevent big plays? Yes. This wasn’t a fluke victory whatsoever. Michigan looked like the better team from start to finish.

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21Nov 2021
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Michigan 59, Maryland 18

Donovan Edwards (image via Michigan Daily)

That was quietly ugly for Maryland. With my high school season having ended last week, I made the trip to Maryland because I had never been there for a game. Watching the game in person, Michigan was certainly in control for the whole game but in the first half, it seemed like the Terrapins were holding their own. Michigan should have been able to run all over them, but they couldn’t. Michigan should have been able to beat up and bruise Taulia Tagovailoa, but they couldn’t. It was a comfortable 24-3 lead at halftime, but it never seemed like Michigan was beating the pants off them. And then . . . well . . . the third quarter happened, when Michigan exploded for 28 points. Even though Maryland scored 15 in that stanza, the rout was on. I looked up at the scoreboard and thought, “Is Michigan about to score 60 on a Big Ten opponent not named Rutgers?” In truth, no, they weren’t. But they got as close as possible.

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16Nov 2021
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Michigan vs. Penn State Awards

Aidan Hutchinson (image via MLive)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Blake Corum. Corum missed most of the Indiana game and the entire Penn State game, leaving the Wolverines to rely heavily on Hassan Haskins. Corum has 130 carries for 778 yards (5.98 yards/carry) and 10 touchdowns. A report came out on Saturday that Corum would miss the next two games, but it’s unclear if that meant he would be out through the Maryland game or the Ohio State game. I’m not expecting Corum to come back this week, but it would be great if he could be back by OSU.

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