Brandon Peters is the name everyone has circled after the Michigan Wolverines moved to 6-2 on the season on Saturday afternoon against Rutgers and it looks like they have the spark they have been looking for on offense.
Here are the takeaways from Saturday’s game:
Peters Finally Debuts
Michigan fans have been clamoring for Peters since the Spring Game back in April and after a roller coaster season so far, he was finally given an opportunity to see what he could do.
John O’Korn got the start for the Wolverines and had two fumbles and an interception as the team failed to move the ball. It simply was not good enough against a doormat program in Rutgers and it became abundantly clear that it was time for a change.
Jim Harbaugh and staff got Peters into an early rhythm and the offense clicked almost instantly. They scored three touchdowns on his first three possessions of the game and he finally gave the Wolverines a quarterback that teams had to respect instead of loading the box to stop the run (more on their success on the ground shortly).
It was one game. O’Korn looked good against Purdue and was unable to produce at a high level, so a good performance from Peters against Rutgers perhaps has to be taken with a grain of salt until we see what comes next.
However, the upside of what he brings is higher than anyone else right now.
Peters should be the starter moving forward, but growing pains have to be expected. Not only are they coming, but they are also beneficial as this group looks to finish on a high note and build something for the 2018 season, which became the thing that needed to happen after dropping to 2-2 in conference play after the Penn State game.
He would finish the day 10-of-14 for 124 yards with a touchdown pass to Chris Evans.
Banner Day for the Offensive Line
A quarterback is often times only as successful as the guys up front are (unless O’Korn is in the game, apparently) and they had their best showing of the year. Karan Higdon, Ty Isaac, Chris Evans and Kareem Walker all had lanes to run through on Saturday afternoon.
Everything was working after the quarterback change and it seemed to spark the offensive line, as well. There were a handful of running plays that could not have been possibly blocked any better.
Defense Has Rough Patches
Michigan’s defense is still as talented as almost any in college football and for the most part held the Scarlet Knights in check. There were a few busted plays and long runs, namely on the 65-yard wildcat rush from Janarion Grant, but the defensive line continues to be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.
That side of the football is the strength of this team by a wide margin, but it often gets overlooked that they are extremely young as well. It was not good enough against Penn State, but the theme moving forward is building stock for 2018 and the struggles could benefit them moving forward.
Special Teams Not Too Special
The Wolverines had a solid showing on both sides of the ball on Saturday but there were some special teams errors. Donovan Peoples-Jones and Ambry Thomas are still having problems fielding kicks and punts, but one would hope that would iron itself out over time.
Quinn Nordin is not going to get a lot of hate and should not, but he missed his lone field goal attempt from 37-yards out. He made all of his extra points and it was a cold and windy day, so it is what it is there.
Other than that, what did you guys see on Saturday that should be brought up? Sound off in the comments below!