So, I'm stuck with the tall task of filling in for Pete since he attended the game yesterday. Please bear with me. After a disappointing loss in the season opener, Michigan eventually shutdown the Oregon State Beavers behind a stout defensive effort. The offense even found its groove as the game wore on. With his first win as Michigan's head coach, Harbaugh has us drinking the kool-aid in massive amounts. And for good reason. Here are the game balls:
Offensive Game Balls
The Offensive Line (again)
Again, I ask you, can you believe it? After a poor performance in the run game last week, the offensive line took a big step forward by opening holes that "buses could drive through" against the Beavers. The last time Michigan ran the ball for 225 yards and four touchdowns feels like a dream. And Chris Spielman could not stop singing praises about Ben Braden's performance throughout the game. Beyond the success on the ground, the Wolverines have only surrendered one sack two games into the 2015 season. Rudock's getting time to survey the field, an opportunity recent Michigan quarterbacks haven't been afforded. There's still room to improve, but the offensive line continues to move in the right direction.
Following a performance full of missed opportunities against Utah, Smith erased any doubts about whether or not he deserves the starting spot against the Beavers on Saturday. 23 carries for 126 yards and three touchdowns fails to illustrate the determination and power Smith displayed throughout the contest. Time and again he powered through defenders to gain extra yards like it was nothing. De'Veon was a workhorse on Saturday, a critical piece in Harbaugh's offense, and he could prove to be very dangerous behind an improving offensive line.
Defensive Game Ball
The Entire Unit (again)
I could have singled out Chris Wormley after another solid performance to start the season, but the defense should not be broken up after their dominating performance on Saturday. Yeah, the defense gave up a seven play, 79-yard touchdown drive in under two minutes to start the game. They also looked a little shaky after that in the first quarter. But that didn't last, and they, well...take it away Drew:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">In the final three quarters: Michigan: 357 yards on 58 plays Oregon State: 2 yards on 32 plays</p>— Drew Hallett (@DrewCHallett) <a href="https://twitter.com/DrewCHallett/status/642792793476304896">September 12, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Everything's coming up
Milhouse Harbaugh in Ann Arbor. Go Blue!