The Michigan Wolverines came out on top in week two, defeating UNLV by a final score of 35-7. Here are four players whose performance stood out the most and made key contributions to the win.
Another week, another solid performance from junior quarterback J.J. McCarthy. His day would end in the third quarter after the Wolverines got out to a 35-0 lead, but he still finished with an impressive stat line. He completed 22 out of 25 passes with 278 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 38 rushing yards.
His ability to avoid pressure and make throws on the run stood out in this game, as well as his precision and ability to fit the ball into tight windows. Through two games, he is taking the step forward that many hoped he would. It will certainly be interesting to see if he can keep it up later in the season against higher-caliber opponents.
Wide receiver Roman Wilson had his second great showing of the season today, finishing with four receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. His biggest play of the game came in the third quarter, where J.J. McCarthy found Wilson on a crossing route that he took for 47 yards to the endzone.
J.J. McCarthy & Roman Wilson been COOKIN' this year— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 9, 2023
Wilson’s impressed early in the season and is further cementing his role as Michigan’s go-to receiver. His ability to get open and to run after the catch would make him a favorite target for any quarterback, but the connection he has developed with J.J. McCarthy so far looks to be special.
The Michigan pass rush failed to record a sack in the season opener against East Carolina, but it answered the bell today. Jaylen Harrell specifically stood out, as he would record a sack and contributed on another (1.5 total for the game). He would also finish the game with five total tackles.
We had previously heard Jim Harbaugh laud his group of edge rushers, and Harrell might be the best of the bunch. He certainly brings the most experience to the table, as he started 12 games on the edge last year. If Michigan’s pass rush is going to continue to get after the quarterback like it did today, Harrell will be a big reason why.
Kenneth Grant has gotten off to a solid start this season. Going into the year, Kris Jenkins and Mason Graham seemed to be the two defensive tackles getting the most attention, but Grant has really stood out so far. He recorded four total tackles today, including 1.5 sacks and two and a half tackles for a loss, making his presence felt up front.
Grant’s emergence is inspiring for the Michigan defense, as it shows that they have another player capable of making an impact in the trenches. Look for Grant to continue to wreak havoc up front and cause problems for opposing offenses.