Week 2 was an entertaining one for the Michigan Wolverines. Every aspect of the game was dominated by the Wolverines, and rightfully so. The Western Michigan Broncos of the MAC conference were a much inferior opponent, and the Wolverines nearly shut them out.
The final score was a resounding 49-3 victory for the Wolverines. There is a lot to break down from the game and the week, so here is what we learned in the second week of the Michigan football season.
Did you know that Michigan wide receivers are allowed to score touchdowns?
Not one, not two, but three wide receivers scored touchdowns. This was the first time a U-M wide out scored in 364 days. I almost forgot what it was like to see a receiver wearing maize and blue in the end zone, but it was a commodity against Western Michigan where Nico Collins ended the drought on a 44-yard bomb from Shea Patterson.
Later, Donovan-Peoples Jones caught a 5-yard reception for his first career receiving touchdown.
Finally, in the fourth quarter, Dylan McCaffrey led an impressive drive down the field. The redshirt freshman connected with walk-on Jake McCurry for an 18-yard touchdown. Hopefully this will instill confidence in this young receiving group for the bigger games coming up.
The offensive line is capable of protecting the quarterback
Even though it was against poor competition, the offensive line looked better. Were there still moments of defeat? Absolutely, but for the most part they paved the way for Karan Higdon and Chris Evans to run for a combined 242 yards and three touchdowns.
Likewise, they created a sustainable pocket for Patterson so he could stay composed, go through his progressions, and make accurate throws. Patterson finished 12-of-17 with 125 yards and three touchdowns. I almost wish Harbaugh would have given Patterson more opportunities to throw the ball and get more comfortable in the system rather than running the ball 36 times.
Overall, there was vast improvement from the majority of the offensive line. As a group, they allowed only two sacks, five tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry.
Although this was against a much weaker opponent than last week, we can only hope that this will transcend to the following weeks against stiffer competition.
If a running game is established, the offense becomes more fluid
The Wolverines established a running game early against Western Michigan, and because of that the offense appeared to flow much more smoothly. Karan Higdon ran for 140 of his 156 yards in the first quarter. Higdon acquiring that much attention opened up the play action pass for Patterson. The power offense is an effective system against weaker competition.
If the offensive line can make the holes for Higdon and Evans to run through, this offense will work like a machine. The question is if the offensive line can create those holes against some of the top defensive lines in the country. It isn’t tough against a team like Western Michigan, but they couldn’t do it against Notre Dame, and they will have to do it against Wisconsin and Ohio State later this season. The offensive line is and will continue to be the biggest question mark of this offense.
There is a really good running back on his way to Ann Arbor
Michigan commit and Oaks Christian running back Zach Charbonnet continues to turn heads in his senior season. Take a look at this play:
The 4-star running back has over 600 rushing yards in four games this season. The senior is ranked as the ninth best back in the 2019 class, but with more runs like this that will change quickly.
The Wolverines next match up is against SMU (0-2) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network.
For more quality and up to date information on Michigan Football, follow @MaizeNBrew and @DanPlocher on Twitter.