Michigan is off to a 3-0 start after an uninspiring and sloppy performance against Bowling Green on Saturday night.
However, despite the struggles there were still some bright spots. Here are the players whose performance was worthy of a game ball and helped secure the victory.
On a night where the offense as a whole seemed to be sputtering, senior running back Blake Corum was one of the few bright spots. The running game has been criticized a bit, but Corum seemed to quiet the noise, at least temporarily. Corum started off the night strong, turning on the jets for a 54-yard run on the first play of the game. He finished with 101 yards on 12 carries, along with two touchdowns.
It was comforting to see Corum come to the rescue in a way with the passing game turning in a sour performance. He showcased his ability to break off long runs early, but was also consistently picking up chunks of yards to keep the offense moving. It was also great to see him looking like his old self after his injury at the end of last season.
The secondary was the victim of some aggressiveness from Bowling Green early. Michigan’s lack of depth at cornerback was exposed, as the Falcons continually took downfield shots. Mike Sainristil seemed to be one of the few bright spots though, as Bowling Green’s quarterbacks weren’t picking on him in coverage.
Sainristil finished with three tackles, including two for a loss. He also displayed some athleticism by getting to the quarterback for a sack. Sainristil has only been playing defense since last season, but his experience will be valued in a relatively inexperienced cornerback room.
Defensive Front Seven
While the defense surrendered its fair share of yards through the air, it was mostly because Bowling Green was unable to find much success on the ground. The defensive line and linebackers made life difficult for the Falcons and lived in the backfield for much of the game. Linebackers Junior Colson and Mike Barrett finished the night with seven and five tackles, respectively. Through three games, it looks like this Michigan defense is the real deal, and should help to carry the team, like we’ve grown accustomed to in recent seasons.
Jenkins was relatively quiet on the night, finishing with only two tackles, including one for a loss. However, he gets some bonus points for his interception at the beginning of the third quarter. After Michigan’s offense went three-and-out to start the half, Jenkins’ interception set the offense up with a short field, leading to another Corum touchdown which essentially sealed the game.