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.
Hit the jump for the rest of the game recap.