Sunday, October 31, 2021

Michigan State 37, Michigan 33


Aidan Hutchinson (image via Wolverines Wire)

Do more. Say less. I'm pulling out the phrase from John Beilein's basketball team from several years ago, but there's a mentality permeating Michigan that Michigan State is the "little brother" and they're a giant mess. I see this happening on Twitter, among parents, among former players, among Michigan-centric radio personalities, etc. You absolutely will not find it here. I don't think Michigan's players took the opponent lightly - they played hard - but I don't know if Michigan's 50/50 fortunes against MSU are going to change until the Spartans program gets more respect. I know a lot of people love him, but I hated when then running back (and current running backs coach) Mike Hart disrespected the Spartans in 2007 by calling them "little brother." (Of course, MSU head coach Mark Dantonio's response was equally childish if not more so, considering he was in his 40's or 50's at the time.) The rivalry has not been the same since then, and I really do think that comment was more significant than what some want to admit.

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Friday, October 29, 2021

Preview: Michigan vs. Michigan State


Sep 3, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III (9) runs with the ball against the Northwestern Wildcats during the fourth quarter at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan is now #5 in rushing offense (253 yards/game) and #14 in rushing average (5.46 yards/carry). They're also #3 in the country with 25 rushing touchdowns. Both of Michigan's running backs are on pace to gain 1,000+ yards during the regular season, which would be the first time two players top that mark since 2011 (Denard Robinson, Fitzgerald Toussaint). That won't be easy to achieve considering the tough opponents down the stretch, but it's still impressive to be on that pace after seven games. Up front the success may depend on the health of the offensive line, where left guard Trevor Keegan and right guard Zak Zinter both missed last week's game due to injury. Michigan State is #29 in rushing defense (119 yards allowed/game) and #22 in yards allowed per carry (3.27). The top two leading tacklers are senior safety Xavier Henderson (6'1", 210) and sophomore safety Angelo Grose (5'10", 180), followed by junior linebacker Quavaris Crouch (6'2", 230), a Tennessee transfer that Michigan pursued heavily in the 2019 class; they have 60, 53, and 52 stops, respectively. Henderson leads the team in non-quarterback takedowns behind the line with 5 so far this season. Redshirt junior Jacob Slade (6'4", 315) doesn't make many plays but he stops things up well, and redshirt freshman Simeon Barrow (6'2", 285) is more of the penetrator. It's not going to be easy sledding, but I expect Michigan to have some success running the ball.
Advantage: Michigan

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

2021 Michigan vs. Northwestern Awards


Hassan Haskins (image via Detroit Free Press)

Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . Andrel Anthony. Anthony has better speed than I thought he had coming out of high school, and he showed some playmaking ability on Saturday, squeezing a few yards out of what seemed to be doomed to be a big chunk loss on an end around. Maybe he's not ready to be a big-time contributor, but I think he should earn a few more snaps.

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Monday, October 25, 2021

2021 Ex-Wolverine Updates: Week 8


Ren Hefley


LB Jordan Anthony (Troy): Troy (4-3) had a bye.

RB Zach Charbonnet (UCLA): Charbonnet ran 15 times for 35 yards and caught 3 passes for 21 yards in a 34-31 loss to Oregon.

WR Kekoa Crawford (Cal): Crawford caught 1 pass for 15 yards in a 26-3 win over Colorado.

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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Michigan 33, Northwestern 7


Blake Corum (image via WXYZ)

Please use the links here to make your Amazon purchases (LINK).

FIRE MCNAMARA! OR DON'T! After the game yesterday, I hopped on Twitter and came across a tweet saying "Cade [McNamara] has missed almost everything today." I found that to be a very odd statement, considering he completed a season-high 74% of his passes. McNamara finished 20/27 for 129 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. He averaged 4.8 yards per attempt, which is a pitiful number. After I called the Twitterer out for being factually incorrect, he relented and lamented the fact that McNamara missed the deep shots down the field. Which leads me to my next thought.

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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Visitors: Michigan vs. Northwestern


Will Johnson


Kenneth Grant - DT - Merrillville (IN) Merrillville: Grant is committed to Michigan.

Will Johnson - CB - Grosse Pointe (MI) South: Johnson is committed to Michigan (LINK).

Marlin Klein - TE - Rabun Gap (GA) Nacoochee: Klein is committed to Michigan (LINK).

Tyler Morris - WR - La Grange Park (IL) Nazareth Academy: Morris is committed to Michigan (LINK).

Jimmy Rolder - LB - Chicago (IL) Marist: Rolder is a 6'2", 220-pounder with offers from Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio State, among others. He's a 4-star, the #36 linebacker, and #334 overall.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Tom Brady


Donovan Peoples-Jones (image via Twitter)

The Cleveland Browns' Donovan Peoples-Jones had an outstanding game on Sunday, catching 4 passes for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns. The two scores were a short catch-and-run and a 57-yard Hail Mary at the end of the first half.


  • QB Tom Brady (Buccaneers): Brady completed completed 24/42 passes for 297 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception in a 28-22 win over the Eagles.
  • LB Devin Bush, Jr. (Steelers): Bush made 6 tackles and 1 fumble recovery in a 23-20 win over the Seahawks.
  • WR Nico Collins (Texans): Collins caught 4 passes for 44 yards in a 31-3 loss to Colts.
  • RB Chris Evans (Bengals): Evans caught 3 passes for 49 yards and his first NFL touchdown, while also running the ball 4 times for 18 yards, in a 34-11 win over the Lions.
  • DE Kwity Paye (Colts): Paye made 1 tackle and 1 interception in a 31-3 win over the Texans.
  • S Jabrill Peppers (Giants): Peppers made 9 tackles in a 38-11 loss to the Rams.
  • DT Chris Wormley (Steelers): Wormley made 5 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 1 pass breakup in a 23-20 win over the Steelers.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Damani Dent, Wolverine


Damani Dent (image via 247 Sports)

Jacksonville (FL) Terry Parker safety Damani Dent committed to Michigan on Monday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Oregon and Pitt, among others.

Dent is listed at 6'0" and 190 lbs.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: 3-star safety, 5.6 grade
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #52 safety

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Sunday, October 17, 2021

2022 Recruiting Update: October 17, 2021


Jimmy Rolder (#8, image via Twitter)


Clewarwater (FL) Gaither outside linebacker Mario Eugenio decommitted from Michigan. This seems to have been a mutual parting of ways, according to Sam Webb, but I like Eugenio and wish he were still a part of the class. He's a 4-star and the #268 player in the country.


Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy offensive tackle Aliou Bah decommitted from Florida State, which seems like a smart decision these days. Now he seems to be headed for Georgia. I would not expect Michigan to be a factor here.

Concord (CA) De La Salle cornerback Zeke Berry decommitted from Arizona. Berry was relatively recently offered by Michigan. He's a 3-star, the #38 cornerback, and #382 overall. 247 Sports has him ranked highest at #142 overall. The Wolverines are expected to be involved as he makes his final decision.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

2021 Michigan vs. Nebraska Awards


Daxton Hill (image via ClickOnDetroit)

Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . A.J. Henning. Henning, who is athletic enough to be Michigan's punt returner, had 0 offensive touches against Nebraska and has 0 catches for the past three weeks.

Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . backup offensive guards. Michigan played five offensive guards due to injuries. The offensive guard position has been a relative weakness for Michigan this year, but nobody is good when they get down to guard #5. I've seen worse problems at guard #3 or #4, so this isn't a glaring weakness, but it would be nice to have some consistency and for somebody to step up and take over both guard positions.

Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . nobody.

Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . nobody.

Play of the game . . . Brad Hawkins's forced and recovered fumble against Adrian Martinez. Late in a tied game, Nebraska had the ball and had a chance to drive down the field for a score. Star quarterback Adrian Martinez took off on a rush attempt, and while trying to fight for a first down, he was held up by a couple Michigan defenders. Despite his claims that he was "just standing there" and thought the play was over, he was fighting for extra yardage and driving his feet forward. The whistle wasn't blown, and Hawkins ripped the ball out. That turned into the game-winning field goal for the Wolverines.

MVP of the game . . . Aidan Hutchinson, Daxton Hill, and Hassan Haskins. Triple H. Hutchinson made 6 tackles and helped keep Martinez in check. Hill made 5 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, and 1 interception, playing solid in coverage and making that 1 ridiculously nice pick. Meanwhile, Haskins churned out yards with 21 carries for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a highlight-reel hurdle over a defender and tons of yards after contact. 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Michigan 32, Nebraska 29


Hassan Haskins (image via Courier Express)

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I predicted a 34-28 victory for Michigan (LINK), which was only 3 total points off. And if Michigan hadn't whiffed on their two-point conversion attempt, it would have been even closer. Essentially, the game went almost exactly how I thought it would. I thought Michigan would be ahead late and then force a turnover, stopping a final drive, much like what happened against Rutgers. Instead, Michigan and Nebraska were tied late, and Brad Hawkins forced a fumble, leading to the game-winning field goal. Nebraska is a tough place to play at night - which we learned back in 2012 when Denard Robinson hurt his elbow and Russell Bellomy entered disastrously. Escaping with a victory this time feels good.

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Saturday, October 9, 2021

Preview: Michigan at Nebraska


Adrian Martinez

Michigan is #7 in rushing offense (255 yards/game) and #12 in yards per carry (5.57) despite not running the ball very well the past couple weeks against Rutgers and Wisconsin. Last week Michigan managed just 112 rushing yards on 2.55 yards per attempt, and that was a game in which Michigan did not suffer any sacks. Nebraska is #44 in rushing defense and allowing 3.67 yards per carry, which is a middling #54 nationally. While they allowed FCS Fordham to average 4.61 yards per carry, the Cornhuskers buckled down and held Michigan State to just 71 yards and 2.37 yards a pop a couple weeks ago. Sophomore inside linebacker Luke Reimer (6'1", 225) is their leading tackler with 51, while sophomore outside linebacker Garrett Nelson (6'3", 245) leads with 8.0 tackles for loss.
Advantage: Michigan

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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Tom Brady


Tom Brady

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady completed 22/43 passes for 269 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions in a 19-17 win over the New England Patriots. Those numbers aren't that exciting . . . except for the fact that in the win against his old team, he also became the all-time passing yardage leader in NFL history. He has now thrown for 80,560 yards, passing Drew Brees.


  • LB Devin Bush, Jr. (Steelers): Bush made 6 tackles and 1 sack in a 27-17 loss to the Packers.
  • DE Mike Danna (Chiefs): Danna made 4 tackles and 2 sacks in a 42-30 win over the Eagles.
  • LB Rashan Gary (Packers): Gary made 6 tackles and 1 sack in a 27-17 win over the Steelers.
  • DT Chris Wormley (Steelers): Wormley made 4 tackles and 1 forced fumble in a 27-17 loss to the Packers.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

2021 Ex-Wolverine Updates: Week 5


Leonard Taylor (#11, image via Dayton Daily News)


LB Jordan Anthony (Troy): Anthony made 3 tackles in a 23-14 loss to South Carolina.

RB Zach Charbonnet (UCLA): Charbonnet had 21 carries for 89 yards and 2 catches for 5 yards in a 42-23 loss to Arizona State. This is the first game this season in which Charbonnet has not scored at least one touchdown.

WR Kekoa Crawford (Cal): Crawford made 3 catches for 67 yards in a 21-6 loss to Washington State.

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2021 Michigan vs. Wisconsin Awards


Cornelius Johnson

Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . Cornelius Johnson. Johnson caught 2 passes for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns. He's averaging 24.5 yards per catch, and that's mostly against the starters. (Daylen Baldwin is averaging 25.8, but that has largely come late in blowout wins.) But through five games, he has just 10 receptions overall, or 2 per game, in other words. A receiver of his caliber should be getting more touches.

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Sunday, October 3, 2021

Michigan 38, Wisconsin 17


David Ojabo (image via MLive)

Michigan's defense won the day. The scoreboard says 38 points for Michigan, which is a good amount of points, but the Wolverines won the game with their defense. They held the Badgers to 43 total rushing yards, which is their lowest total since they had -26 yards against Northwestern in November 2015. Wisconsin's leading rusher was freshman Braelon Allen, who ran 5 times for 19 yards. Those overall numbers were aided by -13 yards from backup quarterback Chase Wolf and -21 yards from starting quarterback Graham Mertz, who were sacked a total of 5 times. Wisconsin's only real sustained success was a drive near the end of the first half when Mertz was 5/5 and threw a touchdown to wide receiver Chimere Dike.

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Friday, October 1, 2021

Preview: Michigan vs. Wisconsin


Graham Mertz

Michigan is #5 in rushing offense (291 yards/game) and #6 in yards per attempt (6.3) despite having a tough go against Rutgers last week (112 rushing yards, 3.0 yards/carry). Blake Corum is down to 6.9 yards per attempt and Hassan Haskins is down to 5.3. Both of those rushing averages are still very good, but Michigan needs a better game this week. The game was really slowed down in the trenches and by the play calling; starting left guard Trevor Keegan and left tackle Ryan Hayes both struggled in the run game, and Josh Gattis called a very uninspired game filled with repeated inside runs that repeatedly didn't work. Wisconsin, meanwhile, is the #1 rushing defense (23.0 yards allowed/game) and teams are averaging just 1.01 yards per attempt. Last week Notre Dame managed just 3 total rushing yards on 32 attempts, an absolutely abysmal effort. Senior inside linebacker Jack Sanborn (6'2", 236 lbs.) leads the squad with 5 tackles for loss, followed by senior defensive end Matt Henningsen (6'3", 291) with 4 and sophomore outside linebacker Nick Herbig (6'2", 227) with 3.5. Senior safety Scott Nelson (6'2", 205) leads the team with 13 tackles. Unless Michigan can open up the running game by throwing the ball effectively (see below), it's going to be tough sledding.
Advantage: Wisconsin

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