After surviving a triple-overtime scare from Rutgers last week, the Michigan Wolverines went back to their losing ways against Penn State. Key injuries on both sides of the ball continue to deplete an already limited roster, but the issues run deeper than just the players on the inactive list.
Once again, Michigan was unable to make the stops on defense, and too many drives puttered out without results, especially once Cade McNamara suffered a shoulder injury. However, the Wolverines still had a shot to close the gap in the fourth quarter, primarily due to the work of Hassan Haskins.
Game Ball: Hassan Haskins, RB
Last week the coaching staff finally decided to scrap the committee approach and to treat Haskins as the true RB1. The redshirt sophomore answered the call, racking up 111 yards and a score on a hefty 23 carries against the Scarlet Knights. His previous high in carries this season was just eight against Michigan State.
Michigan went right back to Haskins on Saturday and he again surpassed 100 yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and scoring both of the team’s touchdowns. His 59-yard run in the first quarter demonstrated his big-play ability, and his goal line scores and 4th-and-1 conversion speak to his ability to grind out yards as well.
The Wolverines are fortunate to roster four legitimate running back threats, but it was just not working to have them all see equal touches and not be able to get in a rhythm. Haskins proved that he is capable of shouldering a heavy workload last season, and he gives the offense the best shot to have a positive running game right now.