That’s certainly more like it.
Waking up Sunday morning is much better with a Michigan W. I’m a huge sports nut, but the only team of mine that can legitimately affect my mood is the Wolverines. A loss will bother me all week, and a win really gets my week started on a high. Let’s get into it
I saw what I wanted to see from the Wolverines’ offense. Yes, I would’ve loved more passing attempts, but Shea looked really good when they gave him the opportunities. He finished the game 12-of-17 for 125 yards and three TDs. Some of the throws Patterson made were absolutely filthy.
In particular, the touchdown to Donovan Peoples-Jones near the goal line was an incredibly difficult throw that deserves more attention than it will get. It’s a throw that John O’Korn, Brandon Peters, and probably Wilton Speight couldn’t have made. It was the type of throw that makes you excited for what this offense may be capable of.
The defense was lights out and held Western to about a third of their yardage production compared to a week earlier against Syracuse. Noah Furbush got an interception, Rashan Gary got a sack and Khaleke Hudson blocked another punt. It was fun.
Michigan has some things to work on next week against SMU. Patterson took another bad sack, and the defense really struggled to generate a consistent pass rush. Brown may need to look into mixing his packages up on the blitz.
Next up is a 3:30 p.m. tilt against SMU on BTN. SMU stinks so this should be another opportunity to expand the offense and get guys comfortable. I would really like to see a left tackle change as Jon Runyan was dominated again. He’s clearly giving it his all, but it doesn’t appear that he has the skillset for the position. A move back inside would help him tremendously.
Michigan’s next three opponents all lost this weekend, but Nebraska and Northwestern should still put up a good fight. We all knew coming in that the time between Notre Dame and Wisconsin was going to be about growth, about adjustments.
So far, so good, but it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that blowouts are the expectation in these games. Nothing U-M did yesterday showed that they’re ready to take on the Badgers. It was, however, a good sign to see them look so crisp in taking care of business — something that rarely happened in 2017.
Around the Country
We’re all feeling pretty #FirmForHerm, right?
Unlike Sparty, Ohio State and Penn State took care of business this week, as did Wisconsin — though it took them a while to get going.
Florida State almost lost to an FCS team, while down the road Florida was busy losing to Kentucky for the first time since the 80s.
Texas A&M gave Clemson a hell of a scare, Bama did Bama things, and South Florida just returned another kick-off for a touchdown against Georgia Tech.
Kyler Murray is a human highlight reel, Notre Dame avoided a disaster, and Stanford beat USC, but the real loser was whoever decided to watch that game.
Oh, and Kansas won its first road game since 2009.
Dan’s Picks (6-4; 4-1 last week)
After a 1-3 start, VaTech’s demolition of Florida State on Monday night kicked off a great week. Michigan, Penn State, Texas A&M, and USF all covered. The only loss was the aforementioned Kansas stunner. Unreal.
South Florida + 9.5 @ Illinois
SMU @ Michigan -32
Florida State -3 @ Syracuse
Hawaii + 5 @ Army
Vanderbilt @ Notre Dame -14