Michigan offensive lineman Jon Runyan Jr. missed the first two games of the year, but he was back for Michigan’s tilt against Wisconsin, a 35-14 loss.
Runyan said that he’s back to 100%, but the execution from Runyan and the rest of the line left a lot of room for improvement.
“The first three games, haven’t really been able to dictate the game how we want, to be able to throw the ball when we want, to be able to run the ball,” Runyan said.
The Wisconsin defense was able to pressure Michigan’s quarterbacks all day, whether it was Shea Patterson in there, Dylan McCaffrey, or Joe Milton. In all, Wisconsin had 7 QB hits and 2 sacks on the day (and a couple targeting calls on McCaffrey).
“Early on in the season this game is a real gut check for us. Moving forward, we just gotta keep our head down and keep working, and we know things have to get better,” Runyan said. “Everyone’s really determined and focused that our season’s not over.”
The key quote from Runyan was a heavy dose of reality, the type of acknowledgement necessary if Michigan has any hope of turning the season around and beating the best teams on their schedule. “We just can’t play like this all year or we’re going to get our butts kicked every week,” Runyan said. “We gotta play better.”
The Michigan offense passed for 259 yards and rushed for just 40 net yards. Michigan may have trailed early and abandoned the run to an extent, but when they did try to run the line wasn’t getting a push or creating any holes for ball carriers. Michigan rushed 10 times on first down, gaining 23 yards on those attempts.
As Runyan said, Michigan’s gotta play better, and they need to do so in all facets and phases of football.