Monday, November 4, 2013
Michigan vs. Michigan State Awards
Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . Drew Dileo. Dileo is/was recovering from an injury, which is why he didn't play much on Saturday, but I think he makes Michigan's offense very difficult to defend. With Jeremy Gallon and Devin Funchess on the outside, a healthy Dileo working the middle is a tough third option. Most teams have a quick and/or fast slot receiver to use, but Michigan's slot option at this point is the lumbering Jeremy Jackson. Hopefully Dileo can come back fully healthy for the remainder of the year.
Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . Jeremy Jackson. I really don't care who enters the game in his place, but Jackson needs to have his feet glued to the sideline. I sincerely have not seen a slower, less athletic wide receiver get significant playing time for Michigan in my entire life. He can't get separation and can't jump, and he's not a good enough blocker to justify putting him on the field. Whether it's Dennis Norfleet, Joe Reynolds, or Da'Mario Jones, somebody should be taking Jackson's snaps.
Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Blake Countess at left cornerback. I keep seeing teams pick on Jourdan Lewis and Channing Stribling on the outside, and I can't help but think that maybe Countess would be best used on the outside. Stribling is a good sized, fairly physical kid, and Dymonte Thomas has been practicing at nickel corner; one of those two guys might be worth a look instead of putting Stribling/Lewis out there, both of whom have been beaten regularly.
Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . the freshman corners. For the reasons stated above. I think they'll both be good down the road, but they're not right now.
Play of the game . . . Devin Gardner's 58-yard pass to Jehu Chesson. There really aren't many options for play of the game, but this was a solid one, regardless. Gardner launched a deep ball down the left hash, and the youngster Chesson - who has had a hard time adjusting to balls in the air - leaped up to grab it in double coverage. Not only was it Michigan's longest play of the day, but it showed that Michigan might have another developing deep threat for other teams to respect. Michigan currently has three guys who can get vertical - Chesson, Gallon, and Funchess - and even with Gallon graduating after this year, there could be more guys to stretch the field with Da'Mario Jones, Drake Harris, Freddy Canteen, and/or Maurice Ways potentially earning time.
MVP of the game . . . Frank Clark. In what was essentially a blowout loss with very little scoring, it's tough to pick a real MVP. The most productive guy on offense was Jehu Chesson (3 catches, 82 yards), and usual stalwarts Devin Gardner (14/27 passing, 210 yards, 1 pick; 18 carries for -46 yards), Jeremy Gallon (5 catches, 67 yards), and Devin Funchess (6 catches, 65 yards) were mostly held in check. Clark, though, had a career-high 9 tackles, a career-high 2.5 tackles for loss, and 1 quarterback hurry. Michigan State had a very difficult time handling him up front.