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Several Michigan position units outside the defense are trending in the right direction

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Several position units outside the defense are in the top-25 nationally and trending in the right direction halfway through the season.

SMU v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It’s hard to believe the 2018 college football regular season is halfway finished already. Michigan is now 5-1, climbing the polls, and its goals are still alive.

They’re now entering the gauntlet of their schedule, which will help clear up questions surrounding their progression as a program.

A big reason why the team is 5-1 is because of their highly ranked defense nationally under Jim Harbaugh since he arrived, along with adding defensive coordinator Don Brown in 2016.

Michigan has been tested at times so far, including one 17-point comeback win on the road at Northwestern and a tough loss at Notre Dame.

Wolverine fans should be excited about where some of the players and position units stand after six weeks, and I’m not just talking about the defense.

So far in 2018, the offense and special teams have helped make Michigan look more like a complete team. The Wolverines could be a force if these national rankings continue to trend in the right direction.

Offense

  • Passing — 80th (average of 220.8 yards)
  • Total — 55th (was 68th last week), averaging 420.7 yards.
  • Rushing — 42nd, average of 199.83 yards.
  • Scoring — 29th (38.2 average points)

Shea Patterson

  • Completion percentage — 16th 68.8 percent)
  • Passer rating — 21st (160.65)
  • Yards per attempt — 24th — (8.6)

Karan Higdon

  • Total yards per game average — 13th (116.4)

Special Teams

  • Average kick return yards — 55th (21.69 yards)
  • Average punt return yards — 63rd (9.17 yards)
  • Return yards allowed — 70th (8.4 yards)

Will Hart

  • Punting average — 2nd (51.67 yards)
  • This was something I mentioned last week in a position ranking story since the average punt in 2017 was close to 10 yards less.

Quinn Nordin

  • Field goal completion percentage — 20th (88.9 percent, 8-of-9).

It’s very promising the offense has a pulse, looks physical and is improving at blocking and pass protection. What’s also promising is looking at the defenses Michigan has yet to face.

Tru Wilson who?

Tru Wilson is not a name many thought would be in conversions halfway through the season.

He’s establishing himself on the offense and making plays like this:

With Chris Evans injured, Wilson has been a valuable asset both in the run game and in pass protection. The depth on offense is really starting to show with plays like the one Wilson made in the video above.

Michigan has the tools and talent to be a great team, and the missing pieces over the last few years seem to be improving.

Let’s see how they fair against the more challenging opponents remaining on their schedule, starting Saturday against No. 15 Wisconsin.