Michigan 30, East Carolina 3

Tag: CJ Stokes

4Sep 2023
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Michigan 30, East Carolina 3

Roman Wilson (image via Rivals)

Football is back! All is right in the world when it’s football season. In another few days, the NFL season will be back and we can all enjoy Heaven for a few months. It has been a long off-season for me on an individual level, and this is also a chance to break away from the 2023 Season Countdown and get back into a groove with writing about various topics.

This was a boring matchup. I like seeing different opponents, but with East Carolina, there were no storylines. It’s not a geographical matchup. When I looked through the roster and coaching staff, there was no crossover. East Carolina doesn’t recruit in the state of Michigan. No transfers or ex-staffers from Michigan. There was no angle. The most interesting aspect going into the opener, aside from seeing who starts for Michigan, was . . .

. . . Peacock. The Peacock stream sucked. I signed up for Peacock on Friday because there’s really no other reason to do so earlier. And I don’t really care about the expense. I’ll pay $5.99 to watch a Michigan game. But when I’m paying for it, I expect a good product. When I paid for cable, I expected ESPN and FS1 and BTN to give me a good product. Otherwise, I’ll just turn off the volume and think through it myself. I don’t need Mike Tirico and one of the Simms brothers to tell me what’s happening on the game. Peacock actually complied – presumably on accident – when there was just no audio for several minutes. The fourth quarter feed got blurry, too, but maybe that had something to do with my local internet. But Peacock also cut out a play, there was no pregame show, the halftime show was boring, and oh yeah . . . the Simms kid isn’t exactly top-notch. If I wanted crappy analysis, I would watch some of the ex-Buckeye talking heads like Josh Perry and Joey Galloway.

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4Aug 2023
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2023 Season Countdown: #47 C.J. Stokes

C.J. Stokes (image via MLive)

Name: C.J. Stokes
205 lbs.
High school: 
Columbia (SC) Hammond
Running back
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
I ranked Stokes #83 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He ran 55 times for 273 yards (5.0 yards/carry) and 1 touchdown, while catching 1 pass for 15 yards.
TTB Rating:

Stokes had a bit of a head-scratching 2022. He was the #798 overall recruit in the 247 Composite, but he immediately jumped to the #3 running back slot, sliding past Tavierre Dunlap and a couple walk-ons. He got his biggest chance against Illinois when he ran 11 times for 36 yards in the absence of Donovan Edwards (who was injured) and Blake Corum (who got injured against the Illini), but a couple crunch time plays went to walk-on Isaiah Gash. Later in the season, linebacker Kalel Mullings converted to running back and became the backup to Edwards with Corum out. Stokes was nowhere to be found in the Big Ten championship game against Purdue or in the playoff game against TCU.

Personally, I liked what I saw from Stokes, who averaged 4.8 yards per carry as a freshman against Big Ten opponents. With an additional nine pounds added since last season (196 to 205), he should be a little stronger and tougher to bring down. But he has a battle on his hands for the #3 spot, with Mullings, freshman Benjamin Hall, and freshman Cole Cabana now on campus. Michigan went from having four scholarship backs in 2022 to suddenly having seven (depending on how one categorizes LB/RB Mullings), so competition for carries will be tougher in 2023.

Prediction: Backup running back

13Nov 2022
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Michigan 34, Nebraska 3

Blake Corum (image via Toledo Blade)

Nebraska sucks! Yes. Yes, they do. Nebraska is a 3-7 football team with an interim head coach, no defensive playmakers except outside linebacker Garrett Nelson, and no quality FBS quarterback right now. Nebraska’s best play on Saturday was to call a pass and then let the quarterback scramble up the middle and hope he doesn’t hurt himself. Unfortunately, that play ended one too many times with the quarterback hurting himself. Meanwhile, the two quarterbacks, Chubba Purdy and Logan Smothers, combined for 9 rushing attempts and 40 total yards. The team ended up with 146 total yards, or exactly 106 yards that didn’t come on QB scrambles.

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25Sep 2022
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Michigan 34, Maryland 27

Blake Corum (image via CBS Sports)

That was closer than it should have been. Maryland has scared me for years, because they’ve had offensive playmakers. This goes back to the days of NFL veteran receiver D.J. Moore, but also a variety of running backs like Ty Johnson and Anthony McFarland, Jr. Now the Terps have a stable of good receivers and a couple solid running backs in speedster Roman Hemby and 235 lb. Antwain Littleton II, who I learned during the game had been a 295 lb. recruit. But the defense is catching up to the offense with size and speed in the secondary. They’re turning into a formidable opponent.

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11Sep 2022
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Michigan 56, Hawaii 10

J.J. McCarthy (image via WXYZ)

Hello, J.J. McCarthy. Well, McCarthy didn’t wait too long to stake his claim for the starting quarterback job. He completed 11/12 passes for 229 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions while rushing 1 time for 16 yards. His first pass was a 42-yard bomb to Roman Wilson for a touchdown, and he didn’t really slow down after that. Every pass was accurate, even a crisp RPO slant to Ronnie Bell that accounted for McCarthy’s lone incompletion. It was an excellent starting debut against an atrocious team.

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