Michigan 28, Purdue 10

Tag: John O’Korn

23Sep 2017
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Michigan 28, Purdue 10

John O’Korn (image via Sporting News)

Hopefully Wilton Speight is okay. It sucks when your starting quarterback gets hurt, especially a high-quality character like Speight. It happened early in the game, and Speight was 2/4 for 10 yards, while also taking 2 sacks. He was crushed on a play that looked like it could have been flagged for targeting, since he was already in the grasp of another defender and got hit forcefully to the head. Jim Harbaugh says it’s a “soft tissue” injury, so that leaves something to the imagination.

Hit the jump for more on Saturday’s win.

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3Sep 2017
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Michigan 33, Florida 17

(image via MGoBlue)

The elephant in the room. Wilton Speight doesn’t look any better than he did in the spring. He was 11/25 for 181 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. He threw more touchdowns to Florida (2) than he did to his own guys. I don’t believe this is a Jim Harbaugh thing. Harbaugh has shown elsewhere that he’s capable of coaching the quarterback position. Speight is the lone guy in Harbaugh’s history who has regressed. I hope Florida was just really good defensively – despite having 10 players suspended and a starting safety out with a torn Achilles – but I have no faith in that being the case. Speight consistently overthrows balls, a frustrating thing when guys are wide open, and a dangerous thing when guys are in traffic. I’ve seen people insisting that the first pick-six was on Kekoa Crawford, whose hands it bounced off of, but that throw was high and a tough catch. The second pick-six in the general vicinity of Grant Perry was wildly overthrown.

The hippo in the room. John O’Korn looked about the same as he did last year, too. I don’t understand yanking Speight in order to have O’Korn hand off the ball three times before punting, either. You don’t need a backup QB to hand off the ball. Speight is better with the ball handling, anyway, so that first O’Korn series was a waste, and the draw play on third down was awkward.

The armadillo in the room. I sure hope Brandon Peters gets some playing time this year.

Hit the jump for more on the game.

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16Jul 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #47 John O’Korn

John O’Korn (image via Zimbio)

Name: John O’Korn
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 215 lbs.
High school: Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas
Position: Quarterback
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #8
Last year: I ranked O’Korn #22 and said he would be the backup quarterback. He started one game and finished the season 20/34 (59%) for 173 yards, 2 TDs, and o INTs; he also ran 12 times for 31 yards.
TTB Rating: N/A

Allow myself to quote myself:

O’Korn still has some considerable value here at #22. First, he may still earn the starting job, whether it’s for the opener against Hawaii or if Speight doesn’t play up to Harbaugh’s standards. Second, a backup QB is often needed in key situations, just like Speight was needed against Minnesota last season after Rudock got injured. And third, as Harbaugh likes to say, steel sharpens steel. Even if O’Korn doesn’t take a single snap this year, his presence will keep Speight working hard to hold on to the pole position.

That’s from last year’s countdown, and it sums up O’Korn’s role pretty well. Of course, he never won the starting job outright, but he came in handy when Speight injured his shoulder and had to miss the Indiana game. Based on what else we saw from Shane Morris throughout his career, Morris would have lost that game. O’Korn didn’t play well (7/16 for 59 yards), but a 30-yard run late in the game sparked the Wolverines to a victory. Otherwise, he played well in mop-up duty, but that one start – in the snow and swirling wind – was very shaky.

This year it looks like O’Korn will drop to third string. Redshirt freshman Brandon Peters appeared to pass up O’Korn by the spring, and Peters is even pushing Speight. O’Korn still has some decent physical skills when it comes to running ability and arm strength, but his struggles seem to have been mental. Speight struggled in the spring, and some think he’s still suffering from his collarbone injury; Peters is young and prone to some up-and-down play. I don’t think the combination of Speight and Peters will play poorly enough to give O’Korn a shot at starting unless a significant injury occurs, but the Wolverines did throw Morris out there in certain packages and gave him some snaps late in decisive victories. This might not be the end to a career that many of us imagined when we found out O’Korn was transferring from Houston a couple years ago, but it looks like he’ll finish out college as a backup. But from Michigan’s perspective, they’re in pretty dang good shape if their third-stringer has 1.5 seasons of starting experience.

Prediction: Third-string quarterback

21Nov 2016
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Michigan vs. Indiana Awards


Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Ty Isaac catching the ball, Wilton Speight, and Jabrill Peppers. I have three suggestions going into Ohio State. First, Isaac has been underutilized as a pass receiver. Coming out of high school, there were some who thought he might be best suited to play wide receiver or tight end based on his hands. Saturday’s catch on a screen pass was just his second reception of the year, but it went for 21 yards – just like his first catch of the year (against Colorado). He has 8 catches for 111 yards in his career. Michigan has not used the tailbacks in the passing game much this year, but Isaac could be an asset for a team that might have a dinged up or backup quarterback. Second, let’s see Wilton Speight. He’s the starting quarterback, and Michigan needs him if the Wolverines want to play in the Big Ten championship game or the College Football Playoff. He’s still not 100% after getting injured against Iowa, but I think you have to at least give him a shot and try to keep him upright as long as you can against OSU. Otherwise, a lot of your other team goals go down the drain. Lastly, Peppers is a potential difference-maker. I heard last week that he would probably play more running back against Indiana, but then he only saw one snap there, perhaps because it was such a tight game in cold, windy, snowy weather. Michigan has been deploying Peppers on offense throughout the season, to varying effects, but they need to use him effectively against a solid Ohio State defense. That includes using him as a decoy, handing off the ball, and then keeping it at times.

Hit the jump for more awards from the Indiana game.

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