As I sat at Notre Dame Stadium in the first quarter last night, I didn’t think much of who was on the field and who wasn’t. But then as the first half came to an end, one of the first things that crossed my mind was this:
“Where the hell was Chris Evans that entire half?”
He didn’t record a single carry, a single catch — nothing. He was on the field, but no stats were recorded. Karan Higdon had every carry in the first half, minus Shea Patterson having to use his wheels every now and then.
Evans was not utilized until much later in the game. He ran the ball twice for one yard, and one of his carries was, by far, the worst offensive play call I have seen from Michigan in a LONG time — a speed-option on third-and-three.
Yes, Jim Harbaugh allowed that play to happen. I was baffled after watching that. Disgusted, in fact. I almost vomited right there and then.
But the fact remains the same — Evans had little-to-no playing time up until it was too late to utilize his skills. By the time the coaching staff really put him in, the ball was having to be thrown down the field, not in the flat where Evans can try and juke defenders.
Remember last year against Ohio State when Evans, you know, actually got the ball early and often and helped lead Michigan down the field for points? It worked well then, and it would have worked well last night.
We’ve been told all offseason Michigan was set to use a player at a running back/wide receiver hybrid position. There wasn’t anything remotely close to that last night. It was very disappointing to see Evans unappreciated and underutilized yet again. He could be one of Michigan’s most deadly players on offense.
I hope to see a lot more of Evans in the offensive game plan against Western Michigan this week. If not, my concerns for the play-calling on offense are going to continue to rise.