|Drake Johnson (image via MLive.com)|
Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . De'Veon Smith. Smith has had ample opportunities this season, playing in all nine games, getting the second-most carries on the team (77, compared to Derrick Green's 82), and not doing a great deal with those chances. Sure, he leads the team with 5 touchdowns, but he's a short-yardage and goal-line runner. Perhaps he should be leading the team in touchdowns even if everyone were healthy, because he's able to plow through linebackers and defensive backs for some extra yards. But Smith's vision isn't Mike Hart-like, which many fans said early in the season, and he's not quick enough through the holes that he sees. On a team that lacks big plays, your bell cow at running back shouldn't be a guy so ponderous.
Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Willie Henry. Henry got hurt against Michigan State last week, and I am not sold on his replacement, Chris Wormley. Wormley seems to be good for one or two good plays a game, but he's not consistent enough. Wormley's motor has always been a question mark for me, and I have yet to see him play a full game of good football.
Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . Delano Hill. Hill was in on 3 tackles this past Saturday, but he was again missing tackles and getting out of position at free safety. He did have a nice blitz in the third quarter, but otherwise, I was not impressed. I don't know the answer, but Hill isn't it right now. He has been a liability the past two weeks, although the impact in this game was minimal because of the opponent.
Play of the game . . . Drake Johnson's 16-yard touchdown run to end Michigan's scoring. Johnson burst up the middle, juked a defender to the right, and then high-stepped through a tackle attempt before crossing the goal line. It was a fun ending and a welcome sight for a team that has lacked suddenness at the running back position. Honorable mention for this award goes to Amara Darboh for blowing through a solid tackle attempt on a quick screen. Not a ton of yardage, but fun to watch.
MVP of the game . . . Drake Johnson. He offered Michigan fans some excitement when there was very little else to get the heart pumping. De'Veon Smith wasn't getting the job done, and Justice Hayes is mediocre. Jake Ryan also had a very good game (11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles), but the linebacker position hasn't been as concerning as the running backs.