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Michigan defense preparing for ‘warrior’ TCU QB Max Duggan

The Wolverines know damn well that Duggan can kill them on the ground and through the air.

Big 12 Championship - Kansas State v TCU Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines are just one game away from a spot in the National Championship in Los Angeles. They could potentially punch their ticket on Saturday evening, but the TCU Horned Frogs will have something to say about that.

Led by quarterback Max Duggan, TCU’s offense has been among the best in the nation throughout the 2022 season. The senior has thrown for 3,321 yards, 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He also ran for 404 yards and six touchdowns, proving he is among the more versatile players in college football.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday in Arizona, Michigan’s leading tackler on the season, linebacker Junior Colson, detailed the Horned Frog’s quarterback and how they will be honing in on him throughout the course of the Fiesta Bowl.

“He’s a great guy, he makes great reads,” Colson said. “He can kill us with his legs if we let him; that’s one of his biggest weapons is his legs. He’s a warrior, he’s a fighter. You can tell, every time, especially if things get tough, he will put the team on his back and carry them.”

Duggan showed his versatility on the main stage in the Big 12 Championship Game. Despite losing by a field goal in overtime to Kansas State in that game, he completed 18-of-36 passes for 251 yards, one touchdowns and one pick. He also ran 15 times for 110 yards and one score.

Watching the Big 12 Championship, you could tell Duggan was getting exhausted late in the game. He was putting the team on his back, especially late in the game to force overtime and have a shot at winning the game.

He has earned the respect of Michigan’s entire defense, especially edge rusher Mike Morris, who admires Duggan’s game.

“I love watching him, he’s an exciting player to watch,” Morris said. “Just willing his body and his team to win each and every game, especially in that Kansas State game, and I’m looking forward to playing him. I love playing guys who don’t quit, and I feel like that’s what he stands on. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Morris was also asked about what the Wolverines need to do to stop Duggan and prevent big plays from happening. His answer, as realistic as it is, is easier said than done.

“What I see on film is we just got to have a level rushes,” Morris said. “We can’t let him escape the pocket. Outside of the pocket, (we) can’t let him step up. The interior guys need to push the pocket and (the edge rushers) need to close the pocket in and create a phone booth. Once we do that, I feel like he will be uncomfortable and won’t make as good of throws as he’s been doing. So that’s all we have to do.”