With the dynamic duo of Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins running the ball and the Michigan defense not giving up more than 17 points in a game, it can be easy to overlook what the special teams unit has done this year for the Michigan Wolverines. Special teams is an integral part of a winning football team, and their unit has been special through the first five weeks.
“I don’t think that there’s been a point where we had two guys (Jake Moody and Brad Robbins) both playing this consistently well,” special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh said. “We’ve had guys playing great, but I don’t know if we’ve ever had both guys at both spots playing this well all the time, so that’s a credit to them and the work they’ve put in over time.”
Moody has been very consistent so far this season going 8-of-9 on field goals and a perfect 23-of-23 on extra points. Moody’s long this season — and his career — is 52 yards, but he is comfortable even beyond that range.
“Kicking in a game is a lot more difficult once you get to the 50 plus range,” Moody said. “But I feel comfortable hitting anything inside of 60 in good conditions.”
The punting game has been performing well, too. Not only has Michigan punter Brad Robbins been effective at pinning teams deep and flipping field position, but the Wolverines cashed in on a huge turnover against Wisconsin off of a punt that hit a Badger’s leg.
“Everyone believes in Brad and they love blocking for him and they love covering punts,” Harbaugh said. “You look at the play that Joey V made in the game with the recovery — the thing that’s cool about that is that nearly the whole punt team was down there by the 10 yard line and was totally prepared for that type of thing to happen, and that’s not really the norm. We had darn near everybody right there on top of the ball when it happened and that just speaks to the belief that they have in each other and the fun that they have playing on special teams.”
Michigan’s special teams unit has consistently made winning plays throughout the first five weeks and is a big part of the Wolverine’s 5-0 start. With all three phases of the game clicking, Michigan will be a tough out for anybody.