Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wide Receiver Preview: Michigan vs. Virginia Tech

Jarrett Boykin (#81)

The leading receiver is fifth year senior Junior Hemingway, who has caught 32 passes for 636 yards (19.9 yards per catch) and 2 touchdowns.  Redshirt junior Roy Roundtree started all 12 games but finished fourth on the team in receptions, with just 18 for 342 yards (19.2 yards per catch) and 2 scores. 
Backups: Redshirt sophomore Jeremy Gallon popped out of nowhere to grab 30 passes for 450 yards (15.0 yards per catch) and 3 touchdowns; many of his receptions came on tunnel screens, although he made a few big catches downfield.  Sophomore Drew Dileo made 9 receptions for 121 yards (13.2 yards per catch) and 2 touchdowns; he's a dependable receiver but rarely targeted.  Senior Martavious Odoms' production dwindled once again to 7 receptions for 131 yards (18.7 yards per catch) and 3 touchdowns; he missed some time early in the year recovering from a broken wrist, but has still made some humongous catches for the Wolverines.  Fifth year senior Kelvin Grady and sophomore Jeremy Jackson have combined for 7 catches, 100 yards, and 0 touchdowns.

Starters: Senior Jarrett Boykin caught 57 passes for 731 yards (12.8 yards per catch) and 5 touchdowns.  Boykin is 6'2", 218 lbs. and is Virginia Tech's career leader in receptions and receiving yards.  Fellow receiver and fifth year senior Danny Coale grabbed 52 receptions for 787 yards (15.2 yards per catch) and 3 scores.  Redshirt junior Marcus Davis started 7 games on the year and finished with 29 receptions for 499 yards (17.2 yards per catch) and 2 touchdowns.
Backups: Junior D.J. Coles was the third leading receiver despite starting only 2 games; he caught 34 passes for 449 yards (13.2 yards per catch) and 3 touchdowns.  Senior Dyrell Roberts, redshirt junior Corey Fuller, and redshirt freshman Willie Byrn combined for 6 receptions, 79 yards, and 0 touchdowns.

Boykin and Coale offer a less explosive but more consistent pairing than do Hemingway and Roundtree.  Michigan's early struggles in the passing game meant that the receivers didn't get much of a chance to catch the ball, because it was either horribly thrown or Robinson was running the ball.  Hemingway, Roundtree, and even the 5'8" Jeremy Gallon were thrown plenty of jump balls and came down with their fair share, leading to the former two's averages of 19+ yards per catch.  All three have shown the ability to run after the catch, but they don't get many chances to do so.  Meanwhile, Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas has been more consistent this season and has thrown the ball 389 times (compared to Denard Robinson's 237 attempts).  That's why Boykin and Coale have caught more passes (109 total) than Michigan's entire wide receiver group (103).
Advantage: Virginia Tech

1 comment:

  1. I feel like our offense could be so much more lethal if the passes were thrown to the receivers in stride. I can think of a few times off the top of my head that would have been an easy touchdown if the receivers hadn't had to slow down to make the catch.

    Hopefully the last 3 games of the season represent what we will see from Robinson going forwards and the offense will get that truly home-run threat from the passing game that takes safeties out of the box.