Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Cade McNamara. I wasn’t quite ready after the Wisconsin game, but now I’m ready. Quarterback Cade McNamara should be the starter going forward. He went 27/36 for 260 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, and he also ran in 1 touchdown. This happened after starter Joe Milton was 5/12 for 89 yards.
Michigan has only played Rutgers six times throughout history and has a 5-1 record against the Scarlet Knights. They first played in 2014. Here you can reminisce about the ten longest plays against Rutgers.
Giles Jackson 95-yard kickoff return TD (2020)
Jabrill Peppers 63-yard TD run (2016)
Chris Evans 61-yard TD run (2018)
Jake Rudock 56-yard pass to Jake Butt (2015)
Chris Evans 56-yard run (2016)
Karan Higdon 49-yard run (2017)
Shea Patterson 48-yard pass to Nico Collins (2019)
Cade McNamara 46-yard TD pass to Cornelius Johnson (2020)
Wilton Speight 45-yard pass to Amara Darboh (2016)
Karan Higdon 44-yard run (2016)
Hit the jump for videos of Jackson, Peppers, and Evans.
It’s 2020 and nobody knows anything, so here are my wild guesses for what we’ll see this year.
LEADING RUSHER Zach Charbonnet led the team in rushing as a true freshman last year with 729 yards. I do think Chris Evans will steal some of his carry share from last year, with Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum lurking, but Charbonnet should get the plurality of the opportunities. Prediction: Zach Charbonnet, 498 yards
Hit the jump for the rest of the prognostications.
Name: Giles Jackson Height: 5’9″ Weight: 179 lbs. High school: Oakley (CA) Freedom Position: Wide receiver Class: Sophomore Jersey number: #0 Last year: I ranked Jackson #61 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He made 9 catches for 142 yards and 1 touchdown, ran 10 times for 69 yards and 1 touchdown, and returned 24 kickoffs for 622 yards and 1 touchdown. TTB Rating: 76
As you can tell, Jackson didn’t redshirt in 2019. I thought he had a chance to play his way onto the field, mostly as a returner of some sort, but he was more involved in the offense than I expected. In addition to being named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten as a returner after averaging 25.9 yards per kickoff return, Michigan started to use him as a mismatch guy. He’s a super speedy receiver who can do the jet sweep thing, run wheel routes, run slot fades, etc.
Jackson probably deserves to be higher on this list here in 2020 now that fellow receiver Nico Collins has opted out of playing his senior season. Jackson was #7 on the team in receptions last year, and four of the guys ahead of him have departed. Michigan doesn’t have the height mismatch they had with the 6’4″ Collins, but they now have an array of speedy wideouts that can exploit linebackers and safeties.
Jackson ought to be a heavy contributor this season. With fellow slot receiver Ronnie Bell reportedly moving outside in Collins’s absence, that opens the door for Jackson, Mike Sainristil, A.J. Henning, and others to run RPOs from the slot. Jackson is not as tall as Bell, and without the basketball background, I’m not sure how well he would be able to handle high throws over the middle. But Jackson can threaten deep better than Bell, so there’s a trade-off. This should be a breakout year for Jackson, and I expect to see him used much the same way we saw K.J. Hamler play at Penn State.
Prediction: Starting slot receiver
Hit the jump for some of Jackson’s 2019 highlights.
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Last Monday I posted the top performers under Jim Harbaugh on Michigan’s offense (LINK).
DEFENSIVE END: 2016 Taco Charlton Charlton’s performance in 2016 is underrated by some, even though it resulted in the highest sack total since Brandon Graham matched it with 10.0 in 2008. Charlton finished the season with 43 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 2 pass breakups, and 8 quarterback hurries. He was taken in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft.