IT’S A TRAP! I was expecting a relatively close battle (I predicted 28-17 Michigan), and the great and powerful Lee Corso predicted an Indiana victory. But it turns out Michigan had other ideas this year. After a slow start on defense, the Wolverines defense put the clamps on Indiana. Michigan was down 14-7 at one point and then scored 32 unanswered points the rest of the way. Indiana’s secondary was severely outmatched in this one, and Michigan took advantage to the tune of 366 passing yards and 5 touchdowns through the air.
Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Donovan Peoples-Jones. Peoples-Jones played quite a bit on Saturday, but I just want to take this opportunity to express how important Peoples-Jones is to this offense. I really think his absence from the field hampered Michigan during the first few weeks of the season. The team was missing its best receiver and the only reliable punt returner. His 4 catches for 62 yards didn’t set the world on fire, but he offers a different element to the team than anyone else can provide.
There’s a lot that we could get into with the new offense, so I think it might be best to just go position-by-position on that side of the ball.
The two-quarterback thing needs to be nixed. Jim Harbaugh and Josh Gattis are probably trying to make Dylan McCaffrey happy by putting him on the field with Shea Patterson, but it’s a bad move. The offense isn’t in sync when both are on the field. Whoever’s behind center is late getting the play off, and then they threw an inside screen to McCaffrey, who was immediately swarmed under by big guys. Why put your lanky backup QB in a situation where he catches a ball three yards away from 250+ pound defensive linemen and linebackers?
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Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s time! Fighting in the maize and blue corner, it’s . . . the 2019 season predictions. You can check out my 2018 season predictions and how they fared here (LINK).
LEADING RUSHER I am not confident in this pick whatsoever, but I’m sticking with what I predicted a couple weeks ago: Tru Wilson edges out Zach Charbonnet. Charbonnet is the most talented back to land at Michigan in years, if not decades, so I’m very willing to be wrong on this one. In fact, I want to be wrong. Please prove me wrong by rushing for 850 yards, Zach Charbonnet… Prediction: Tru Wilson, 700 yards
Hit the jump for the rest of the prognostications.
Name: Nico Collins Height: 6’4″ Weight: 222 lbs. High school: Birmingham (AL) Clay-Chalkville Position: Wide receiver Class: Junior Jersey number: #4 Last year: I ranked Collins #34 and said he would be a backup wide receiver with 15 catches for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns (LINK). He started eleven games and made 38 catches for 632 yards and 6 touchdowns. TTB Rating: 85
Collins had a huge breakout season in 2018. Coming out of a spring where Tarik Black was reported to be the most outstanding receiver on the team, I expected Collins to take a back seat to Black and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Instead, Collins turned out to be a huge factor in the passing game. He was #1 on the team in receiving yards (632), #2 in receptions (38), #2 in receiving touchdowns (6), and #1 in yards per catch (16.6) out of players who caught 10+ passes.
Collins isn’t a big catch-and-run guy, but he’s a downfield threat because he has decent straight-line speed and great size to box out defensive backs. He’s Devin Funchess without the drops and with a better work ethic. Buzz about Black has fizzled since his latest broken foot, but some have been suggesting that Collins has been the best player on the team during spring and fall camp. I expect him to continue to ascend and get more of a chance to show what he can do in Michigan’s new offense.
Prediction: Starting wide receiver; 60 catches for 990 yards and 10 touchdowns