Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Jalen Mayfield. Naturally, because it’s 2020 and everything sucks, Michigan had one returning starter on the offensive line and that lone returning starter was the first lineman to get hurt. Mayfield missed the Indiana game, and so did left tackle Ryan Hayes. I said in the lead-up to the game that I thought Michigan would lose the game if Mayfield didn’t play. The Wolverines had 18 rushing attempts for 13 yards (0.7 yards/carry) and the Hoosiers had 3 sacks.
What’s Harbaugh’s worst loss at Michigan? Michigan State lost 49-7 to Iowa, so was that it last week? Or was it getting wiped off the field by a team you hadn’t lost to since 1987? The Hoosiers are a better program right now than the Spartans, so there’s less shame in a competitive sense. But still, even Rich Rodriguez (2-0) and Brady Hoke (2-0) managed not to lose to Indiana.
Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . the running back with the hot hand. Hassan Haskins had the best game on the ground for Michigan, rushing 8 times for 56 yards (7.0 yards/carry) and 1 touchdown. He had the hot hand for a team that’s trying to spread around the carries. In a close game, you need to stick with the hot hand. I like Zach Charbonnet’s speed and toughness, and I like Blake Corum’s quickness and vision, but Haskins was doing well, and the staff just forced the other guys in there. Why is a guy who’s getting 7.0 yards/carry only running the ball 8 times when the quarterback is only getting 5.9 yards per attempt passing the ball?
This was bad. I want to get this out of the way first. I don’t like it when people say “This is inexcusable!” I will totally forgive Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown if they beat Ohio State. But you can’t just lay an egg against a rival – a terrible rival with a first-year coach who just lost to Rutgers – and walk away largely unscathed. This is probably the worst loss of Jim Harbaugh’s career, even though perhaps the 2015 loss was more heartbreaking, considering it took place with :00 seconds left on the clock. At least you could see this one coming.
Name: Vincent Gray Height: 6’2″ Weight: 190 lbs. High school: Rochester (MI) Adams Position: Cornerback Class: Redshirt sophomore Jersey number: #31 #4 Last year: I ranked Gray #25 and said he would be a backup cornerback (LINK). He made 20 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 5 pass breakups. TTB Rating: 71
Gray entered the 2019 season as a likely backup to Lavert Hill and Ambry Thomas, but for a short time, it looked like he might be pressed into significantly more duty when Thomas was hospitalized with colitis. Luckily, Thomas recovered and Gray had some wiggle room to grow and learn. Gray made one start throughout the season and got a pretty good grade from PFF, notching 5 pass breakups in that backup role. While he didn’t make many big plays, he was in position to flail and be physical and avoid getting beaten much.
This year Gray was expected to be the #2 corner behind Thomas, but Thomas has opted out in favor of preparing for the NFL Draft. That leaves Gray as perhaps the #1 corner on the team as the most experienced guy. All other options have been garbage timers or haven’t seen the field in college yet. Gray has good length, but his speed and quickness are a little bit of a question mark. He makes me nervous if he’s matched up against some of the better receivers in the league, but cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich and defensive coordinator Don Brown have worked wonders with corners overall, with the lone exception of when they come up against Ohio State.