It wasn’t an easy day to throw the football in New Jersey, with winds over 30 MPH gusting and swirling.
But by the end of the game, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson was 18-of-27 for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns.
With rough conditions for a quarterback to throw in, Patterson had to be fundamentally sound.
Patterson’s footwork was excellent, as was how he’d torque his upper-body to add the extra mustard necessary on deep balls. His body was in sync, his mechanics were on point, and he was rifling footballs from the pocket and while throwing on the run.
Shea Patterson ➡️ Nico Collins: wide open Michigan TD— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) November 11, 2018
Big day in for Patterson in the Wolverines win pic.twitter.com/wVScrxsNtD
“That was a really tough night to throw the ball, it reminded me of my days back in Solider Field with that wind and conditions,” head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “But he made some unbelievable throws with that swirling wind. Also our receivers did a great job catching the ball in the elements.”
In the play above, you can see that there are ten Rutgers defenders within five yards of the line of scrimmage. The Scarlet Knights stacked the box repeatedly against Michigan, daring Patterson to throw in less than ideal conditions. While Rutgers stopped the run, Patterson absolutely shredded their defense and was the difference maker that led to yet another domination against the team in red.
“He looked as good as he’s ever looked in the pocket. Not panicking. Moving subtly to get to the quiet spot,” Harbaugh said. “There’s drills for sure, things you coach. You do the same drills with some guys and they don’t ever get it, and you do those drills with guys who really have the spatial awareness and the feel, and the innate ability, and they can get really good.”
By all accounts, it looks like Patterson has gotten really good, and if he finishes the season strong he will get an invitation to the Heisman Trophy Ceremony.
Patterson is up to 1,927 passing yards, with a 67% completion percentage, along with 17 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.