Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . Derrick Green. If the line isn't opening holes, then I think De'Veon Smith should be getting more carries. Green actually ran harder than I thought he did last week, but he made one confusingly bad cutback when he should have gone to the front side, and he just doesn't have the same power as Smith. I still think Green is the more explosive player, but this line doesn't create enough room for that to matter much.
Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Jabrill Peppers. Peppers rolled his ankle against Appalachian State, so he wasn't able to play against Notre Dame. I think that may have had a huge effect on this game. Peppers is a playmaker with his speed and hitting ability, and it seemed like Notre Dame was picking on replacement Delonte Hollowell. I think Hollowell is a decent backup, a solid tackler, and someone you can throw in there in dime packages or for short stretches. But if you're counting on him to be nearly a full-time guy as your nickel corner, that's going to be an issue. Hopefully Peppers gets healthy soon.
Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . Channing Stribling. Once again I'm addressing the cornerback position, but I just don't think Stribling has "it" yet. He doesn't have great recovery speed, he's not particularly physical, and he just doesn't make any plays. He let Corey Robinson beat him on a skinny post for a 22-yard gain, and Stribling had a bead on a quick screen but proceeded to biff the tackle. The lack of healthy corners (Peppers and Raymon Taylor were both injured) forced Stribling into the game, but Michigan just needs to get healthy at the corner position.
Play of the game . . . why must I choose? There's almost nothing to pick. Michigan didn't score or create any turnovers. The only sack they notched was a snap over the quarterback's head. I guess I'll have to go with Devin Funchess's 33-yard catch over top of cornerback Cody Riggs's head down the right sideline. Whoopee.
MVP of the game . . . Devin Funchess and Jake Ryan. I thought both players had good games. Funchess (9 catches, 107 yards) was every bit the mismatch problem we expected, and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier moved him around to prevent the defense from keying on him. I also liked that he made an attempt to re-enter the game after getting hurt. Ryan made 11 tackles and was flying all over the place to stop the run. I could have done without his 15-yard penalty for hitting Everett Golson late, but the game was out of hand by then, anyway.