|Jake Butt, Chris Bryant, and Fitzgerald Toussaint|
Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . nobody. I think the lineup against Minnesota puts the best eleven players on the field. Bryant got his shot at guard. Derrick Green got a fair amount of run with 10 carries. Jehu Chesson started at wide receiver ahead of Jeremy Jackson and Joe Reynolds, and he responded with 3 catches for 33 yards. Devin Funchess was used as a receiver without wasting time trying to turn him into a blocker.
Let's see more of this guy on defense . . Richard Ash. Rumor is that backup nose tackle Ondre Pipkins is out for the year with a knee injury. So far this year, Pipkins and Quinton Washington were the only two rotation guys at nose tackle (aside from Jibreel Black in obvious passing situations). Ash has barely played throughout his career, but I don't think he's been completely terrible when given opportunities. Michigan might need to be more creative, and they might need to bump backup 3-tech Willie Henry down to the nose. But I would like to see Ash get a shot to fill Pipkins's shoes before any position changes occur.
Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . nobody. The defense is playing well, and I think playing Raymon Taylor and Courtney Avery at cornerback is the right choice. The coaches have toyed with Channing Stribling and Jourdan Lewis at times, but the trio of Taylor, Avery, and especially Blake Countess gives Michigan the best chance to win. Countess was beaten deep once on Saturday (although the ball was underthrown and incomplete) and outmuscled by tight end Maxx Williams for a short touchdown pass, but he also picked off a pass for a 72-yard touchdown. The starters are pretty much entrenched at every other spot.
Play of the game . . . Devin Gardner's 46-yard bomb to Devin Funchess down the right sideline. The downfield passing game has been questionable this year, aside from the Notre Dame game and Jeremy Gallon. While I thought and still think that Chesson can be a downfield threat, it was nice to see Gardner hook up with his fleet-footed tight end. If Gardner can hit one or two of those deep throws each game, that should force teams to take a man out of the box, which would open up more room for Toussaint.
MVP of the game . . . Devin Funchess. Funchess had 7 catches for 151 yards and 1 touchdown, and this was the first game where his mismatch capabilities really showed for a full game. He dove, jumped, broke tackles, and outran people to average over 21 yards/catch. That's the best performance by a Michigan tight end in over 40 years.