Looking strictly at the stat sheet, you wouldn’t think the Michigan Wolverines struggled much on offense. Milton threw for 300 yards at 62.7 percent completion rate. Michigan ran for 152 yards, 4.5 yards per carry, which isn’t great, but better than the 3.3 yards per carry average from the Spartans.
The issue was two-fold:
- Failing to capitalize when in good field position
- Negative plays to set-up third and longs
Many people point to the wildcat and call it a terrible call. It’s one of those plays if you get right, it looks great. If you get it wrong, you look like an idiot. I agree the play-calling there left some to be desired, but a better pass does earn a touchdown.
Michigan was 7-for-17 on third downs, which on the surface doesn’t look bad, but 17 third downs is a lot for a single game. Michigan often got behind schedule with lots of negative run plays, setting up an offense that had to lean on Milton a little bit more than what he seemed comfortable with.
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