Michigan vs. Indiana Awards

Tag: Jake Rudock

17Nov 2015
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Michigan vs. Indiana Awards

Jake Rudock had a record-setting day on Saturday

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Joe Kerridge at H-back. Kerridge, a virtual starter on offense at fullback, has been splitting time with Sione Houma. Kerridge, however, is the superior blocker, and that’s pretty much all H-back Henry Poggi does on offense. With Michigan’s defensive line depth depleted, it might be a good idea to get Kerridge some snaps at H-back and let Poggi concentrate on defense. Meanwhile, Houma can handle the fullback duties.

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15Nov 2015
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Michigan 48, Indiana 41 (2 OT)

Jehu Chesson had a great day receiving, although this attempted leap did not end well.

I’m glad Jake Rudock transferred to Michigan. I’m not sure what Michigan’s record would be without Rudock, but they wouldn’t be 8-2. This one would have been a loss for sure. Rudock was 33/46 for 440 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 1 interception. On top of that, several times he bailed out Michigan with his legs and finished as Michigan’s leading rusher with 7 carries for 64 yards (9.1 yards/carry). He accounted for 504 total yards, which (I believe) is the second-most total yards in Michigan history, behind Devin Gardner’s 584 total yards against Indiana in 2013.

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10Nov 2015
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Michigan vs. Rutgers Awards

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . 
Sione Houma. I’m not in love with Houma as a tailback, but it sure is fun to watch him play with his hair waving all around and his 240 lb. body barreling into people. He finished the game with 6 carries for 19 yards and 1 catch for 32 yards. He’s a decent enough threat at fullback now that I think opponents are going to have to keep on eye on the fullback dives and traps, and that might spring one of the tailbacks on the outside at some point. Houma isn’t quite the blocker that Joe Kerridge is, but Houma is good enough at catching and running that I think it mostly makes up for the blocking differential.

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8Nov 2015
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Michigan 49, Rutgers 16

This is an old picture but oh well.

Michigan did what they should have done. Michigan had some occasional issues stopping the run (running backs Robert Martin and Josh Hicks averaged 8.1 and 4.6 yards/carry, respectively), but it didn’t hurt them much because Rutgers wasn’t balanced at all. I was fairly impressed with Martin, who has some quickness, while both backs run tough. Without wide receiver Leonte Carroo, Rutgers had zero threats in the passing game. I mentioned in the game preview that I thought Michigan would struggle to pull away if Carroo played, but that clearly wasn’t an issue.

Jabrill Peppers on offense. On the one hand, I like the way that Michigan is strategically using Peppers on offense. Instead of giving him a series of plays, they are rotating him in and out of the game, showing different formations, etc. Sometimes you see teams give a guy a series or two throughout a game, but I think defenses can key on the guy and get used to him being on the field. With the way Michigan uses him, the defense has to adjust on the fly to a guy who can line up at WR, RB, and QB and be the most dynamic player on the field. It’s a good strategy. On the other hand, I think Michigan will have to unleash Peppers a little more down the stretch if it’s a closer contest. The thing that’s missing at times is the play where Peppers runs exactly what the play looks like it’s going to be – a go route, a toss sweep, etc. He is Michigan’s most dynamic player, but I think he needs to touch the ball in conventional ways, too. He said after the game that he suffered a thigh bruise in practice that hampered him a little bit, so this wasn’t the week to push it. I’m looking at a game like Ohio State as a place where he should probably be in on some standard plays.

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1Nov 2015
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Michigan 29, Minnesota 26

That was a great game for Minnesota. If the Gophers were facing almost anyone else, I would have been rooting for them to win. With the recent retirement of Jerry Kill, the frenzied crowd, the excited players, that was a fun game to watch. As a Michigan fan, player, or coach, you had to be wary of the emotions of the game. Some teams totally cave in that situation, and some play out of their minds. Minnesota did the latter. Unfortunately for them – but not for Michigan – I think head coach Tracy Claeys and his staff let the moment get a little too big for them at the end with some questionable game management.

I was closer to being right than I wanted to be. In my game preview (LINK), I predicted “Jake Rudock gets knocked out of the game, Wilton Speight can’t find his helmet, and Shane Morris burns his redshirt to come in and win the game.” Well, hot damn. Rudock did get knocked out of the game, and Shane Morris was warming up on the sideline, but it was Speight – helmet and all – who came in to throw the game-winning touchdown pass. Michigan seemed snake-bitten all game, and at one point late in the game, Michigan was without its starting QB, its starting RB, and its starting TE. I had started to think that it just wasn’t meant to be for the Wolverines on Saturday night.

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