Sunday, November 21, 2021

Michigan 59, Maryland 18


Donovan Edwards (image via Michigan Daily)

That was quietly ugly for Maryland. With my high school season having ended last week, I made the trip to Maryland because I had never been there for a game. Watching the game in person, Michigan was certainly in control for the whole game but in the first half, it seemed like the Terrapins were holding their own. Michigan should have been able to run all over them, but they couldn't. Michigan should have been able to beat up and bruise Taulia Tagovailoa, but they couldn't. It was a comfortable 24-3 lead at halftime, but it never seemed like Michigan was beating the pants off them. And then . . . well . . . the third quarter happened, when Michigan exploded for 28 points. Even though Maryland scored 15 in that stanza, the rout was on. I looked up at the scoreboard and thought, "Is Michigan about to score 60 on a Big Ten opponent not named Rutgers?" In truth, no, they weren't. But they got as close as possible.

Hit the jump for more.

We witnessed Donovan Edwards's coming out party. Edwards had 8 carries for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns against Northern Illinois earlier in the year, but you can never trust performances against MAC opponents too much. Then Edwards went dormant for several weeks while Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum carried the load. Edwards missed the Indiana game and played sparingly against Penn State, and then this game was an explosion. While he had just 3 carries for 8 yards, he had 10 (!!!) catches for 170 (!!!) yards and 1 touchdown against Maryland. That was the most catches for a running back in Michigan history, topping Anthony Thomas, who had 8 against Ohio State in 1997 and 8 in 1999 against Syracuse. The most electrifying was a 77-yard wheel route catch and run where Edwards outraced a Maryland linebacker to catch the ball and then made three defensive backs look slow as he cut back across the field for the score.

Cade McNamara looked shaky early. McNamara did not look sharp to start the game, throwing a ball into the ground and getting some wide open looks where the ball was batted down at the line of scrimmage. Throwing a ball past the line of scrimmage from the pocket when the ball comes through at about five feet off the ground is generally a bad idea. And then by the end of the game, McNamara was 21/28 for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns. I know Maryland's defense isn't good, but offensive coordinator Josh Gattis called a very good game, attacking all kinds of weak spots. McNamara rarely had to throw at a well covered receiver, and even backups J.J. McCarthy, Dan Villari, and Alan Bowman had receivers running free.

Good for the young guys. It was great to see a bunch of young guys get some playing time, such as linebacker Jaydon Hood, defensive end T.J. Guy, walk-on receiver Will Rolapp, and others. Walk-on receiver Matt Torey blocked a punt, Guy got a sack, and Rolapp caught a 26-yard pass from Villari. Those things might be the pinnacle of Torey and Rolapp's careers, and it didn't come against an FCS or MAC school - it came against a Big Ten foe.

Speaking of young guys . . . I'm legitimately concerned about the outside linebacker situation for 2022. Aidan Hutchinson is certainly leaving for the NFL after this year, and I imagine David Ojabo is likely to go, too. Hutchinson's primary backup is Braiden McGregor, whose next good play will be his first. McGregor still looks a bit gimpy from the knee injury he suffered as a senior in high school, but even his left (uninjured) leg looks very skinny. He looks tentative coming off the ball. I thought he was going to be the next Hutchinson, and maybe he still can be pretty good, but I can't help seeing a huge drop-off next season in the pass rush. Mike Morris, Taylor Upshaw, and Jaylen Harrell have all played those edge spots this year, but none of them are as explosive as either Hutchinson or McGregor.

All hail Jay Harbaugh! The younger Harbaugh is just riding Jim Harbaugh's coat tails . . . except Jay Harbaugh's units are always excellent. Is it a coincidence that Erick All and Luke Schoonmaker are better in 2021 than Nick Eubanks/All/Schoonmaker were in 2020 after Harbaugh moved from running backs coach to tight ends coach? Maybe. Michigan averaged 0.0 kickoff returns for touchdowns for the five years from 2010-2014. They have averaged 0.7 per year since the Harbaughs came on board in 2015, and Jay has been the main special teams guy in that time, except when John Baxter was on the staff that first year. Furthermore, Michigan has blocked 17 punts/kicks from 2016 onward. The only year Michigan didn't block a single kick was - you guessed it - the 2020 pandemic year when everything sucked. Even if he changed his name to Jay Schmarbaugh, he would be a good coach.

Pass rush issues. Michigan got 2 sacks on Saturday, and they came from the expected sources: Vincent Gray and T.J. Guy. Uh, what? For the second week in a row, it seemed like Michigan's edge guys were just going willy-nilly after the quarterback with no regard for hemming in the quarterback. That was a bad idea against Penn State because Sean Clifford is willing to step up and run inside. It's a slightly less bad idea against Tagovailoa, who is afraid to run inside but has very good speed. That hurt Michigan more than once, but especially when Tagovailoa broke out for a 17-yard touchdown. Hutchinson ran way too far upfield, middle linebacker Josh Ross was caught not understanding how to keep outside contain (not a common task for a middle 'backer), and Tagovailoa walked in untouched. Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud isn't much of a runner (he has 0 rushing touchdowns and ran for a long of 15 against Oregon in week two), but if he can step up and underneath the pass rush to buy extra time, that's going to make it very tough on Michigan's defensive backs next week.

What was Maryland like? Having never been there before, I didn't know what to expect. I actually really liked the campus. I had no idea where to park, so I drove around campus for a while before settling on a random residential street curb. It was a long way from the stadium, but I like to walk so I enjoyed it. There were lots of interesting nooks and crannies, random outdoor stairs, streams running through campus, pedestrian bridges, etc. When I got to the stadium, it seemed like it was 75% Michigan fans. As I looked around, the only real pockets of red I saw were the backs of empty seats. The only people who talked crap to me were a couple drunk college kids, whom I ignored. All the other Maryland fans were pretty sheepish. At one point the announcer said something to the effect of:

Maryland students, if you've attended all seven home games this season, your name will appear on the video board and you will have a chance to win a prize.

I looked up at the video board, expecting to see a list of 100 student names or so and saw . . . five. At a school with 41,000 students, only five of them (0.0122%) went to all the home games. Yikes.

The battle for bowl eligibility is next week. Maryland faces Rutgers next week, and both teams are 5-6. For all the talk that Maryland's Mike Locksley and Rutgers's Greg Schiano have their programs headed in the right direction, being 6-6 or 5-7 in year two isn't great. Maryland is 1-6 in its last seven games and Rutgers is 2-6 in its last eight. More importantly regarding bowls, though, Michigan is facing Ohio State next week and could end up in the Big Ten Championship game with a possible Rose Bowl trip or playoff appearance coming. This will be an exciting week for Michigan fans.


  1. Maryland is terrible in all phases of the game. That said, I was happy & impressed to be wrong about the MICHIGAN game plan. If they were looking ahead to ohio, it was by using Maryland as a punching bag. This to me was the best game Gattis has called, because all he did was exploit the weaknesses of their Man Coverage

    Kudos to Jay. His special teams may be the momentum turner next week. Go Blue!

    *"I know Maryland's defense isn't good, but offensive coordinator Josh Gattis called a very good game, attacking all kinds of weak spots"

  2. we need to see more of those edwards type stat lines from michigan. theyve rarely ID'd a matchup or hot hand and hammered it via air. refreshing to see.

    agreed re OLB/DE depth. theyve recruited a slew of ok rotational pieces but i dont see any real top notch athletes waiting in the wings. heres hoping several guys hit the weights and seriously elevate their games (and recruit a few more). all 85 scholarships matter when trying to build championship rosters.

    jay has always been a good coach. he comes across as really sharp and you know he spends long hours in the building and on the road bc (a) he has competitive harbaugh blood (b) to outwork any nepotism criticism. ST has been strong. and moody may be one of the nations better kickers.

    i noticed some rotation again at OG, didnt appear injury related - seems a little late in the year to be pressing those buttons at OL.

    hopefully the starters ready to handle heavy load vs osu since backup DL have had issues this year. unfortunately i dont think itll matter as osu simply has more talent, better coaching and superior winning culture. lets see the fellas keep it competitive though

    1. I share the concerns about DEs to a degree. Obviously there is going to be a step down from two guys who could go first round, but Harrell and McGregor are promising and Morris and Upshaw are decent players too.
      Remember that Ojabo was still just a project coming into this season. Thunder ranked him 43 in the preseason countdown. At this point I think you have to give Nua the benefit of the doubt after Paye, Danna, Hutchinson, Uche, Ojabo. I would have loved to see them play more but Harrell and McGregor have talent and well, you can kind of understand why a coach would want to ride Ojabo and Hutchinson right?

      That all said, I think Michigan will also keep an eye out on the transfer market for an edge rush guy. We'd all love another Mike Danna.

    2. Filiaga left the Maryland game with what looked like a shoulder injury, so the rotation is at least somewhat injured related.

    3. I was surprised Filiaga took over as starter. Maybe they wanted options going into OSU. Injury management is an issue this time of year obviously.

    4. I agree with Lank and Thunder on DE situation. Definitely an area of concern, but there are young bodies currently in the rotation, and some freshman that are redshirting and could surprise as pass rushers in a specialist role. So we’ll have to wait and see.

    5. Losing Hutch & Ojabo will hurt, without a doubt

      My hope (prayer?) is that Hinton/Mazi continue to develop, and the younger guys are ready to actually contribute, vice subbing in for breathers. This will spread our DL talent & threat across the group, giving opposing OL more to deal with

      From there, it's on MacDonald to scheme pressure. So long as the other position groups improve, I think we can be okay

  3. I realize this is looking forward to OSU, rather than back towards Maryland. But here goes: I watched the OSU/MSU game, and unless Michigan's defensive front can get pressure, it's going to be a long afternoon. Those three receivers OSU has are terrific, and C.J. Stroud looked really good at getting the ball *in stride* to those guys. Michigan's defensive backfield is pretty good, but they won't be able to hang too long is Stroud has time. So the relative lack of production by Hutchinson and Ojabo a bit concerning.

    Positive note: seeing Donovan utilized as a receiver out of the backfield was encouraging. We've not seen much of that in the last few years.

  4. Year 7 people - where are you? Much less counting this year.

    Bad week for the Harbaugh haters. Bad year. I'd love to hear from the Matt Campbell people now. There was a lot of them.

    Hail Harbaugh. You have to give the man credit for an astounding turn around. Last year was an all around cluster and he could have ridden it out as an outlier and made excuses but instead he replaced his 4 most veteran and well respected coaches with a bunch of young guys and instead stuck with Gattis and Moore and Nua.

    They'll probably lose to OSU and haters will say the same stuff again. I'll tune it out till they give me a solution (a name). It'll never be anyone who has accomplished half of what Harbaugh has.

    Thunder is right about Jay Harbaugh. He was early on defending him from the nepotism charges too. This has been going on for years. Michigan special teams have been truly outstanding this year. Harbaugh to the NFL? Yeah maybe, but not that one...

    Gattis probably will be poached. Things still don't feel all the way cohesive but our WRs looked pretty good yesterday, Cade gets better and better. We're seeing the O being able to take advantage of stacked boxes at last. It's Maryland, sure, but this team wasn't at this point early in the year. The fix to the short yardage problems (play action) did it's job.

    No it doesn't mean anything for OSU. Yes it's good anyway.

    10 wins and a very enjoyable year. Anything else is gravy. This may or may not be the year they slay the beast but Harbaugh has us in the right place to try to do the very hard thing.

    All that nonsense about being overpaid, not having fire, replacement level performance, etc. It should really tell people something to look around the college landscape and see what's going on at Texas, Tennessee. Brady Hoke had what record here? He's 10-1 at SDSU. Anyone asking what Matt Campbell, or whatever other flavor of the year it is, could do with UM level talent should think about Brady Hoke. We already know.

    Harbaugh is the coach of the year if he beats OSU. If he doesn't, he's just one of the best damn coaches in the country. We already knew this but emotions are a hell of thing.

    High fives all around. Even to the haters.

  5. Weren't you supposed to talk about just Cincinnati like the rest of the internet? Gah, it's all over.
    Anyway, the LB actually did cover the wheel. He was on it from the snap. But for some reason he was playing too far inside. The Maryland DC was expecting a crossing route, or a post or a turn around, orsomething from the Michigan RB?

    1. Oh, sorry.

      Cincinnati sucks. There.

      Yeah, the linebacker covered the wheel route, but not well. I don't think he was mis-aligned. It's just tough at inside linebacker in man coverage because you have to respect the run and remember your run fits. If he plays wider, Michigan can run the ball and seal off the linebacker to the backside.

      It ended up being almost like a pick route with the tight bunch, because the LB can't go directly to the wheel without running into someone.

    2. and I loved it. Seems our LBs have been stuck in a bind like that for years (Mike McCray comes to mind)

      That Gattis & Harbaugh abused Maryland in this way - while making use of a TrFR RB not yet ready between the Tackles - made me hopeful for ohio ... maybe we do have some stuff set aside for them?

    3. @JE. I'll be diplomatic and say that it's worth considering that Edwards is ready. He's not as good as Haskins or Corum but he can probably run between the tackles effectively.

      Last week you said something like he'll fall down over a blade of grass and then he went off for 170 yards. So maybe rather than doubling down on specifying his limitations instead consider that he's probably a pretty capable player overall and that his recruiting ranking, while perhaps inflated to a degree, and his recruiting profile as a guy who was "ready", along with the consistent praise from coaches, and clear effort to get him the ball since week 1, is all indicative of a solid RB.

      Edwards is stuck behind 2 very good RBs so he isn't getting a lot of time but the one week that he was healthy and the guy in front of him wasn't, he had a huge day. Not surprising to some of us.

      Anyway, even if it was true that he is limited between the tackles, it doesn't matter. Because if your RB can get you 170 yards he can get you 170 yards. If the defense opens up between the tackles to manage that, all the better. It's the coaches job to call plays that utilize the talent they have and Gattis did that against Maryland.

      Michigan has good RBs. They always have good RBs. One guy goes out the next guy steps in. There's a lot of narratives otherwise but this is the one that holds up. The biggest exception I can think of was when Mike Hart took over as starter his freshman year.

      Hopefully we get Corum back vs OSU and the high caliber RB play continues.

    4. Agreed with all of the above until the "Michigan has good RBs. They always have good RBs" comment. If Corum and Haskins are on the team in 2016, I think we go undefeated (or at the very least, beat Iowa). YPC aren't everything and obviously the OL is a huge determinant of RB success, but you can't convince me that Haskins / Corum aren't a significant upgrade over Deveon Smith.

    5. The "blade of grass" comment is not meant to be taken literally; it's a trope used commonly by players & coaches regarding ball carriers who go down on initial contact

      Anyway, I also made clear that Edwards is talented, but needs room. What I really liked about this game is - with Corum out & HH needing rest prior to The Game - Edwards' talent was maximized. We didn't run him between the Tackles, because he's no good at that (yet) ... Instead of frustrating us with Harball, we got the Gattis speed in space. Young Edwards was put in a position to succeed

      RBs matter. How the RB is used matters. Against ohio, we need to remember that

    6. If the offensive line is dominant, then all running backs look really good. If the offensive line is merely good, then the quality of the RB begins to matter. Very few teams have truly dominant offensive lines. That's especially true in the playoffs, where defensive lines equal to the task show up.

      Time after time on televised games, when a running back breaks a long run, the slow-motion analysis will usually show the RB seeing a hole -- usually different from the designed play, and often before the hole appears -- and make the cut. That ability is rare. Combine that with the ability to keep balance, and it makes for a very good running back.

      The implication that running backs are replaceable cogs in the machine -- not stated, but implied -- is not true.

    7. @ Lank 1:18 p.m.

      The implication that Edwards is just fine running between the tackles is just a little funny to me, especially coming off a game where basically the one thing they didn't do with Edwards him between the tackles. Without Corum available (he was dressed but didn't play), Michigan abandoned the inside run whenever Haskins wasn't in the game.

      The natural conclusion to that isn't "Yeah, Edwards is just fine between the tackles."

      When the coaches put Edwards in the game, they knew they had to throw the ball. They also seemed to realize that he's not a good pass blocker, so they put him out in a route rather than expecting him to pick up a blitzer or chip on a defensive end. These are the things that Michigan should have done with Ty Isaac (who had all of 7 career receptions at Michigan), using him as a receiving target rather than pretending he was a blocker.

      They tried Edwards between the tackles for a couple games. It didn't work. The coaches learned their lesson and adjusted for Maryland. I will eat my words if suddenly Edwards becomes an inside runner against Ohio State, but for this year, Edwards is just what he's shown to be: a receiver and an outside run threat.

    8. @Unknown

      If I can't convince you I can't convince you but Deveon Smith went on the make the NFL. I think Haskins is a bit better but I think we're splitting hairs when we talk about him Higdon, Smith, Haskins and other backs of this caliber (fringe NFL guys, solid, not electric).

      If Haskins goes on to NFL success for multiple years I'll be pleasantly surprised.

    9. @Anon. It is true. We see it all the time. A back goes down and his replacement steps in. No problemo.

      Corum matters. And then he goes down and it doesn't matter. The other guy matters. We'd be screwed if he wasn't playing because the next guy falls down all the time. The next week, that guy gets 170 yards.

    10. @Thunder

      You're just going to stick to your guns on Ty Isaac being misused, even after multiple coaches disagreed with you and he failed to gain playing time in multiple pro leagues.

      Now that's what I find funny.

    11. @Thunder

      "They tried Edwards between the tackles for a couple games. It didn't work"
      Which games were those? The 5 carries with a big lead against Northwestern and the 2 carries against PSU? There have been plenty of times when Haskins or Corum have averaged 3 point something yards per carry over a sample of 7 carries.

      We agree that Haskins is better than Edwards, overall and especially at running between the tackles and pass blocking (the one area that I think improves tremendously with most RBs as they gain experience). Perhaps we also agree that Edwards is a better at catching the ball.

      Where we disagree is in your assertion that the coaches HAD to throw the ball with Edwards in. I think they chose to do it to better take advantage of the player's strength. Not a bad thing to play those.

      Where you see a necessity borne out of a perceived limitation, I see recognizing a strength and playing to it.

    12. "A back goes down and his replacement steps in. No problemo."

      With the same level of production and effectiveness. Yeah, sure.

      If that were true, then why waste scholarships on running backs? Just take whatever generic walk-on happens to come along and stick 'em in there. It's the same-old / same-old, right?

      You play the contrarian here for sport, I get that. But it's tiresome.

    13. @ Lank 6:49 p.m.

      Was Ty Isaac a good blocker? No.

      Was Ty Isaac a good pass catcher? Yes.

      Did Michigan use him more as a pass blocker than a receiver? Yes.

      So yeah, they misused him.

    14. You constantly defend the coaches as if they can't do anything wrong. There are guys who are not used correctly, who perform better (or worse) with a change of scheme. There are guys who perform better after they leave. There are guys who don't perform well at all.

      Michigan used to be a QB school, from the 1980's up through Chad Henne. You don't think the coaching has somehow screwed up from 2008 onward?

      Michigan got a bunch of elite wide receiver recruits (Collins, Peoples-Jones, Black, etc.) and couldn't turn them into productive college receivers, 1st round picks, etc. I guess the coaching was fine in that case, too.

      Michigan hasn't had a running back picked above the 6th round in almost 20 years. The coaches made all the right developmental moves and playing time decisions in that span?

      It's amazing that Michigan is "playing all the right people" while they're being outperformed statistically by a bunch of teams, in the draft by Ohio State, etc.

      Hot take: With all the 5-star and 4-star players Michigan has recruited at the skill positions in the last 15 years, the Wolverines should have had a 1st round pick somewhere in there. Unfortunately, the last 1st round skill player for Michigan was Braylon Edwards in 2005.

      Sixteen years of futility with offensive skill players is just fine, I guess.

    15. @Anon

      Walk-ons at RB? I can't imagine what that would look like. Oh wait, Tru Wilson happened and that went just fine.

      There's a base level of athleticism for RB - often one of the best athletes on the team, but there's plenty of them around. So even I would continue to give scholarships to RBs as I would Long Snappers and Punters. But do we need to devote 4, 5, 6 scholarships to this one position? No.

    16. @Thunder

      Was Ty Isaac a good pass catcher? Not especially. Not nearly as good as Chris Evans or Vincent Smith or Donovan Edwards.

      Isaac was a fine RB. Nothing special. JAG. Too big. Would have fit better in the 70s or 80s perhaps, like Ben Mason.

    17. @Thunder

      I guess it's fake argument time?

      I defend coaches on personnel decisions because the criticism there is constantly proven wrong. Always? No. Almost always? Yes.

      I'm critical of coaches on other stuff. Like Harbaugh's approach to injuries for example which I hope has been addressed with departures of guys like Durkin.

      You think you can wave a magic wand and play different guys and suddenly Al Borges and Darrell Funk are going to have a top 10 offense. Nope. That's a garbage take - but you devote space every week to the idea that playing time decisions from some guy on the sideline can change things.

      Even when Michigan was getting RBs drafted none of them did much at the NFL level. It's weird to me that you see the draft position as the goal. NFL GMs do dumb stuff too. Like drafting Chris Perry in Round 1. Or Michael Cox in Round 6. Wasted picks.

      How about instead we focus on what guys actually did at the college and NFL level to prove our points?

    18. If how a RB is used matters, than coaches should face reasonable criticism for misusing players, no?

    19. @ Lank 11:16 a.m.

      I guess everyone is wrong except you.

      I noted he was a good pass receiver.

      Illinois scouts said he was a good pass receiver.

      Allen Trieu: "Is an excellent route runner and receiver out of the backfield who occasionally can split out or play in the slot."

      Josh Helmholdt: "There was some talk that maybe Ty would flash out to the wide receiver position in college because of his size. I definitely think his upside is at running back, but that attests to his abilities as a receiver. He is a natural pass catcher with soft hands and obviously the ability to make defenders miss in the open field. He could flash out into the slot at times and create mismatches with linebackers and safeties."

      He had 4 catches for 57 yards as a true freshman fifth-stringer at USC.

      But Lank says he wasn't a good receiver, so I guess we'll trust Lank.

    20. @Thunder

      A top 50 recruit, widely hyped and praised by the recruiting industry, who couldn't hold a starting job in college would be universally considered to be a disappointment. But let's talk about the things people had to say as if they should be believed anyway? LOL. These guys were very wrong about Ty Isaac - we know this.

      I mean, do I really need to cite any evidence to point out how most things people said about Isaac didn't hold up? Do this need links or is it too obvious?

      Lot's of people got stuck on the recruiting profile, even after he didn't show anything special as a player. It didn't hold up, but many stuck with it anyway because of stubbornness. Many kept saying he needed more chances, over and over and over again. He got them, over and over and over again.

      He didn't capitalize. Not at USC. Not with Drevno. Not with Pep. Not as a pro.

      But in some world none of that matters and what matters is the recruiting profile that you paid to consume. Mentally entrenched. Reality be damned.

    21. @ Lank 1:01 p.m.

      Those quotes were taken from MGoBlog's "Hello" post. Just because they were wrong about his overall impact in college football doesn't mean they were wrong about his ability to catch passes. It's not like the things they said regarding his receiving ability are said about every back.

    22. If he was a difference-maker as a pass catcher he would have made a difference as a pass catcher. He had every chance.

      The fact you're still talking about recruiting profiles just reinforces the theory that you're stuck on those.

      Please read this and let me know if you'd take anyone seriously who argued that this guy had great character and speed, if only one of the biggest busts in NFL history was used right...

  6. @JE - How a RB gets used ABSOLUTELY matters.

    1. See, we agree!

      Edwards in space v Maryland is lethal. Edwards between the Tackles - even against Maryland - is ... not

      I would imagine the priorities of work assigned to Edwards this often will include balance, footwork, and leg strength. This will help him contribute, while keeping with the identity of the offense

    2. We don't agree on Edwards between the tackles.

      I also don't think we need to stick to the identity of the offense when that seems pretty in flux in the run game particularly. Our identity is Cade McNamara-driven. Avoid mistakes has been the constant. We started the year by avoiding passing as much as possible to achieve but as Cade has improved we've become more balanced. Maybe some day he'll make actual RPO reads, which sounds like is still not really part of the offense in any meaningful sense, but I digress.

    3. You don't really think Edwards has been fine between the Tackles, or even good. In fact, you refered to him as "unexceptionable" when he was limited to running up the middle

    4. Yes. Fine, unexceptional, whatever word you want to use. He's a RB at Michigan so he's a really good athlete who will do fine running between the tackles behind a good OL. He's probably better than Tru Wilson already.

      He's already stood out at the position in a specific way. That's great. I look forward to seeing more of him, even though I think Haskins and Corum are better backs, we'll be fine if/when Edwards plays more or starts too. Yes, between the tackles, outside of them, etc.

      You know why.

      My biggest worry, if it came to be that Edwards had to be the primary every down back, would be pass protection, not running between the tackles.

    5. Unexceptionable wasn't my word though; you picked it

      I think we're close on this. While I absolutely disagree on "RBs don't matter," I do see how using a guy to their existing abilities does. RIGHT NOW, Edwards is not good as a Jim Harbaugh grinder. His stats back this up, in that his success has been limited to wide open space, while his struggles have been at things Hassan excels at, and Corum improved on greatly since last year

    6. You can add immaterial to the adjective list. I don't think there's too much disagreement on this micropoint but dammit we can find it if we try.

      Edwards is not as good as the others, per his 3rd string status, but he can be effective. We disagree on the shape of how that might look but that's fine.

      Edwards' struggles, to the extent they exist - which I don't think they do but let's pretend - can be chalked up to limited opportunity and small sample size. I'm a big believer in not reading into tiny sample sizes (Ty Isaac had 2 carries for 21 yards, he needs the ball! I just flipped a coin and got heads 3 times in a row this thing is weighted isn't it?!).

      On the season, Edwards has a solid YPC, better than Haskins. Pretty meaningless but 27 carries tell you more than 5. Those 27 say he's fine. Craft narratives around these data points or don't.

      Again, there has been ONE game where Edwards was healthy and a top 2 back wasn't, and in that one game he looked very very good. That's a data point to build a narrative around, as was beating PSU.

      Would I play Edwarsds over Corum or Haskins? No. Would I try to throw to him 10 times against OSU? No... well maybe if we're down big. If he's needed against OSU would I stress about it? No.

      In a fake world where Michigan HAD to run the ball 30 times between the tackles against OSU Hassan Haskins would probably be appreciably better than Donovan Edwards. We're talking probably 100 yards vs 80 yards or whatever but that could be meaningful. But it doesn't matter because we don't live in a fake world. We live in a real world where it is legal to throw to your RB or call outside run plays or even pull your RB for another receiver or TE.

      As much as I hope to see Hassan Haskins run the ball 50 times for 300 yards on Saturday and grind OSU into pulp, I think there are a number of ways to win. If the above happens I'll credit the OL first and foremost but admit that on this day Hassan Haskins truly mattered.

    7. He's a 5star Freshman who they threw to 10x last week. They trust him in that capacity. As a runner, again, look at his stats. Whether you look at carries, YPC, or whatever, he's not the RB for Harbaugh's offense ... right now. He needs to hit the off-season weight training program. But, right now, he is not trusted as a grinder

      Two games. Against PennSt, Edwards proved ineffective

      Fake world? Real world? If you don't trust the stats, watch the tape. Edwards is not getting yards after contact; he lacks balance & leg drive. He simply not a Jim Harbaugh RB in 2021. Kudos to Josh Gattis for recognizing this, but finding a role

    8. He has a higher YPC than Haskins. He was a RB for the offense last week. This isn't a fantasy or a hypothetical. It happened. Donovan Edwards played at RB. For Jim Harbaugh. He did well.

      Now you are allowed to speculate on what would have happened or wouldn't have happened in some other alternative universe. But that's all it is.

      LOL - 2 carries proves you are ineffective. Okee doke.

    9. You're a spreadsheet guy. Look into the stats. Is the YPC sustained over the course of the season? Or, did one big run in in one game against NIllinois skew the data? The rest of the season, HH has a higher YPC in ea game. And 1st Downs. And TDs. And Yards. He does this the way Harbaugh wants to play the game; the way Bo wanted it played

      HH is our short yardage back, because he can get us the tough 1-3yds, even if he has to twist & reach after moving a pile. Edwards has never done that; at this stage of his career, he cannot. Considering his HS highlight tape, it's not even his game

      *two carries showed the coaches knew he didn't have it in him. As does his production between the Tackles in other contests ... Maybe he will someday, but not this season

    10. And you're a feeling guy. Thanks for reading all these years and restating my arguments back to me. All my arguments for Deveon Smith 4 or 5 years ago apply to HH to a tee. But this OL is better and this OC is better.

      You said look at YPC so I did and now you're changing your argument. Oh and you're trying to flip this into me saying Edwards is better than HH? LOLOL. Same ol JE.

      Haskins is really good. Corum is even better. Edwards is not as good but he is STILL GOOD TOO. So whoever we use, we're in great shape at RB. IE it doesn't really matter who we play because all the options are good and that position is usually not very important.

      BTW we suck in short yardage. That's mostly on the OL and OC but you brought it up for some reason. Edwards cannot do as well in short yardage? That's a cool opinion my man. Henning can is my opinion (not really but maybe the second time you'll get the point).

    11. Feelings? Edwards has been provided opportunity to play Harball, but hasn't. When given the lead role against Maryland, the coaches played to his strength, after averaging 2.7ypc on the ground

      Feelings is really hoping this were not true, and pretending receiving yards make him a Bo Schembechler grinder. You do try though!

    12. I think it's funny that Michigan gave Edwards a couple carries against PSU, he didn't see the field again, and then Lank says that wasn't a big enough sample size to determine anything.

      Even though the coaching staff clearly deemed it a big enough sample size to not put him on the field again.

    13. He also tried saying Edwards has been back for one game, ignoring the trip to Happy Valley (you know, the game that started this exchange)

      Between that, misrepresenting Edwards running ability, and history of questionable posts suggest either a disingenuous use of data, or a spreadsheet guy who is not very good at reading spreadsheets

    14. It was too small of a sample size to judge Ty Isaac, but in 3 years of eligibility, he had more career carries than Michael Shaw, Gil Chapman, Allen Jefferson, Zach Charbonnet, Thomas Wilcher, Blake Corum, Kerry Smith, Chris Floyd, Dave Underwood, Walter Cross, Sam McGuffie, Drake Johnson, Justin Fargas, and Thomas Rawls, along with many others.

    15. You guys completely lost your minds. I hope The Game showed you the error of your ways.

      Edwards missed MSU and Indiana. He had a limited role vs PSU. Maybe inury had something to do with that? Corum was third string yesterday. Maybe injury had something to do with that?

      Edwards got a full role vs Maryland and looked great. Edwards was the 2nd back in vs OSU and looked great. He's been good as a 3rd RB. The worries about him were 100% incorrect. You can just admit it. It's worse for you to dig in deeper every week.

      I was pretty skeptical of Edwards as a player early in the year but that was based on limited chances. He got his shot against Maryland and delivered. Did it mean anything for OSU? Probably not, but he delivered there too.

      Michigan has 3 good RBs. It's preposterous to argue otherwise. Especially when they are putting up production like they are behind an excellent OL. This is typically when everyone overrates their RBs. But you guys have some kind of narrative you want to keep and argue just to argue.

    16. Completely losing your mind is going back to an old thread - the day after the biggest win of the Harbaugh era - to bicker with other fans

      Relax, and Go Blue

    17. It's funny how immune to self-awareness you are JE. Does it get any more hypocritical?

    18. It's fun reading your spastic posts. Even more fun picking them apart

    19. Delusions of grandeur. The next time will be the first.

  7. I'll take 180 yards any way it comes. Moving the goalposts is saying a guy has to do it a specific way that is different than the way he did it.

    Guess what - Corum wasn't a Bo-grinder either. Deveon Smith was. Who cares.

    For someone who argues that Corum matters and Haskins matters to now argue that Edwards only matters in a very specific way and not the other way that the other guys matter is just wankery. Have fun with that.

    1. Of course; who wouldn't take the 180yds? But moving the goalposts is pretending that's how the exchange started (it didn't). I pointed out that Edwards is not ready for between the Tackles grinding, and needs room. To my great satisfaction, the coaches schemed around this weakness against Maryland

      Corum can run between the Tackles, and has. Your feelings on that are incorrect

    2. The exchange started when you said Edwards wasn't ready. Period. That he fell over with a blade of grass. HERE, in this thread, after being proven wrong on the overarching point, you tried to CYA with a more limiting perspective.

      Predictably, you were wrong there too. Edwards ran between the tackles successfully against OSU in the 1st quarter of The Game.

      Corum can run between the tackles.
      Edwards can run between the tackles.
      Haskins is better at that than both of them.

      Anybody Michigan is going to put back there will be effective.

      Your RB arguments are bunk that have been thoroughly debunked.

    3. The exchange started in the PennSt post game, after Edwards was given a couple chances, and then ... tucked away. 5star RB on a runHEAVY offense - and the backup injured - finishes the season with 2 carries per game. Harbaugh & Gattis know what they want to do now, and Edwards doesn't fit there just yet. Smartly, they find ways to maximize his skills through the pass game. Both deserve loads of credit for not wasting him, and using the young man to exploit defenses

      It's easy to see when the debate is won. You ignore context, create strawman, introduce irrelevant data while ignoring everything else on your spreadsheet, and then ... then come the insults

      Too easy

    4. Where were the insults? Not from me. But here:

      je93November 14, 2021 at 4:40 PM
      We should all be grateful Haskins is healthy. Edwards trips over grass, and Franklin/Dunlap aren't close to ready


      LankNovember 14, 2021 at 9:50 PM
      I wouldn't give up on Edwards.

      je93November 14, 2021 at 10:38 PM
      No one is giving up on him. But at this point in his career, there's work to do, and a lot of it


      You've been back peddling ever since. Like a DB with no memory of getting burned again and again.

      After PSU, I told you Edwards was fine. He produced 180 yards the next game.

      After Maryland, you say "yeah well that just shows you he can't run between the tackles. doesn't count" He did just that in the 1st series, against OSU.

      After OSU, you claim victory. LOLOL

      I already agreed with you that HOW a RB was used matters but you're so thirsty for another L you have to continue criticizing a high end RB recruited by every elite program that UM plays at RB all year and against OSU, even with Haskins and Corum both available. That he is a limited player and you were right all along that he needs work. AND you tell me to look at the stats - which include 5.6 ypc - as if they somehow tell you some secret that counters what is obvious to the rest of the world

      -- Donovan Edwards is a good RB RIGHT NOW.

    5. You just questioned a poster's reading comprehension yesterday ... insults are your go-to, after taking out of context, misrepresenting information, and double speak

      For example, you copy & paste posts above, but leave out the context: the OP was about Haskins Herculean performance at PennSt, and the two attempts for two yards by Edwards. I also made clear how well he does in space, and the following week Josh Gattis demonstrated both are true. His carries continue to be limited, and pass catching has been Edwards primary use. Consider, 40 carries for our offense on Saturday, and our #2RB gets ... one

      RBs matter. How they are used matter. You agreed when Edwards was getting 5+ carries per game in OOC, but switched when he dropped to 2 carries in B1G play ... not based on evidence, but feelings

      Some people just like to argue. What do you think Harbaugh, Gattis, Moore or Hart would say about "RBs don't matter?" They're reliance and use of the position should be a clue, but I'm sure you'll ignore, deny and then insult

      Take the L, and Go Blue

    6. So I didn't insult you then. Got it. You made that part up. Like everything else.

      The only part you got right are Edwards carries being limited. The part you ignored (LOL context) is that Edwards was hurt and HE PLAYS BEHIND HASSAN HASKINS! The guy you claim matters. But at the same time you say Edwards is deficient if he doesn't take those carries away from H2.

      Edwards was the first guy in to relieve Haskins to run the ball between the tackles against OSU. What kind of BS excuses do you have to counter that? Time to deflect again, JE, and then claim victory.

      You shit-talked Edwards with growing specificity and got proven wrong 2 weeks in a row. Face it.

      You are bad at this JE. Your own arguments don't even make sense. Call that an insult if you want. I call it a fact.

      "Relax" and stop digging a hole responding to every Lank post. You protest too much. You post too much. Go take a nap under the bridge. You'll feel better.

    7. Too easy:

      - you've insulted me repeatedly with "dummy," creating new accounts mocking my name, questioning my reading comprehension (as you did with another poster two days ago ... There's more, but you know this. Too easy

      - when Corum was backing up Haskins he had close to, as much as, or even more carries. Edwards? 1 carry to Haskins 30 ... Because who is running the ball matters. RBs matter. Too easy

      - he got one carry Lank. It's in line with his weekly load. Relax ... by the way, 3d string Corum got six times as many, and QB JJ got twice as many. Too easy

      - I did not sh:ttalk Edwards, and even complimented him. You can't comprehend, because you've never played, coached or done anything competitive. That's a fact; yours is an opinion. Too easy

      This was fun. Easy W

    8. Nobody called you a dummy but if the shoe fits.

      Catching the ball matters too. There's one ball. Who gets it matters.

      Coaches trust Edwards to play, catch, AND RUN. Fact.

      You have no answer for why coaches ran Edwards between the tackles against OSU.

      Shit-talk posted below. You linked to it yourself. I linked to it to. You're doing it now.

      You know zilch and you show that in every post. The biggest hypocrite crying about insults. LOLOL

    9. @JE

      You've successfully gotten under my skin this time. Congrats. Count this as a rare win for yourself.

      It's entirely irrelevant to anything here so I have no clue why I'm doing this but some background about me is that I played football, basketball, and baseball. Nothing past high school except College IM (Greek League basketball Runners Up Baby!). Least good at football (TE probably wasn't optimal for various reasons but I figured good hands but not much speed might fly there), best at baseball (I can rip fastballs all day but suck vs breaking balls so my ceiling was limited once scouting was a thing), most successful at basketball (glue guy, defense, passing, reliant on my scorers). I played against some college level athletes and held my own (broke up a no-hitter against a future minor league starter whose curveball was unhittable and threw 80+ at 16). Probably got lucky, but I did it twice. The most humbling experience was playing Albert White who was blur and showed me the difference between some guy going to Albion and a blue chip recruit that's just on another level physically. No chance. Other than that it's just rec center pickup stuff, nothing worth talking about. Especially now that I'm getting old.

      I love team sports and push my kids in them because I believe the values (competition, stepping up when called on, getting better, supporting teammates) are critical in life. I coach various youth sports - my kids are young still. I have zero intent of taking it past that because it gets too serious IMO with all the pay-for-play stuff starting in middle school these days. Moreover, my kids are mostly doing sports I never competed in which is fine by me. My wife was the one with an athletic scholarship. My mediocre athleticism probably holds them back.

      Some of the most competitive people I know are not athletes but I find that the best team players tend to be. So yeah just because I'm "a spreadsheet guy" aka I understand statistics doesn't mean I can't outrun, outhit, or outplay you on the field like I whoop you on this message board. It doesn't mean I can either. It's neither here nor there.

      Mostly saying this to tell your are instincts are shit. You have no clue what you are talking about and that's clear even when you aren't just making things up to troll.

      Have a nice day.

    10. Internet guy says he played sports ... I don't believe it, because I've read his bad takes for years

    11. Believe what you want. Just another example of you being wrong and making connections where they don't exist. I'm here to talk about Michigan football. You're here to troll. It is what it is.

    12. Lol, the guy posting from THREE accounts on this thread, is name-calling ... and "troll" is name used

      Can't make this sh:t up Lank. Too easy!

    13. Pointing out that you are here to troll is not name calling.

      Troll is a verb here. You can look up what verb means on the internet.

      Some might say: LIES!

  8. "I also made clear how well he does in space"

    Oh yeah? Where? I remember you saying he needed to hit the weight room and fell over grass.

    "The following week Josh Gattis demonstrated both are true"

    Gattis demonstrated that Edwards is a good receiver but it was far from the first time. That's been all year.

    But where you are most wrong is that this receiving ability, and using it, is some kind of indictment of his running ability. They leveraged that AND his running ability to beat OSU.

    Edwards has nearly as many rushing yards as passing yards on the year. He has a good YPC. He ran between the tackles repeatedly including on the first drive against OSU. He's a good RB. You were wrong.

    1. Too easy:

      Gattis was on Jansen's podcast today, and Edwards came up. He bragged on him as a receiver, and went back to how Bellamy's use of Edwards as a pass catcher at West Bloomfield ... guess what he did not mention? You probably won't guess, but he never mentions Edwards leg drive, power, breaking tackles, or even carrying a miniscule load out of the backfield. Why? Because - as a TrFR - it's not his thing. That's okay, we have time. But to pretend it's an insult or sh:ttalking is further demonstration of your poor understanding of the game

      Too easy Lank

    2. You're still making the same mistake -- Edwards ability as a receiver doesn't take away from his running ability. That's a big assertion and it's straightforward to disprove.

      Edwards is not as good between the tackles as Haskins. Haskins is not as good as a receiver. Who cares. Edwards is still good enough to be handed the ball for exactly that job against OSU and in a backup capacity when healthy. Haskins is still good enough to catch 5 for 45 against PSU when Corum was unavailable and Edwards was limited.

      I bet Gattis wasn't talking about Haskins pass catching after OSU either. Anybody who IS is misguided. Ditto for continued criticism of Edwards after his excellent performances against Maryland and OSU.

      Don't like the RB comparisons? Look at another position. JJ McCarthy is a good QB. Michigan uses him as a runner, not because he can't pass but because he's better at that than the starter. He's a backup filling a role. We've seen him drop dimes so we know he can pass too, but he's not as good as Cade yet. Edwards is in the same spot at RB.

      He's a backup because there's a better starter. He's playing because he's good. He's better than the starter at some things. He's capable at doing other things. Not being asked to do them often is a testament to the starter, not an indictment of the backup.

      Edwards. McCarthy. Freshman who are good.

      Edwards. Haskins. RBs who are good.

    3. I never said Edwards ability to catch made him a bad RB. That's your strawman approach

      Edwards has shown to be valuable in as a receiver. Gattis & Harbaugh did a phenomenal job of putting that skill on display

      But that has no relation to his ability & weaknesses as a runner. Instead, we look at the tape: does he break tackles? Does he put his pads in a defender's chest? Does he move his feet through contact? No. No to all three

      Edwards got one carry during The Game. The others got multiple carries. Go back a few years, and you see the same: multiple runners get numerous attempts. Edwards got one. Not sure how that supports your point. Maybe it doesn't? But you'll continue to say so, because you're stubborn and want desparately to be right

      Screaming victory does not make it so

    4. "I never said Edwards ability to catch made him a bad RB. That's your strawman approach"

      It's not a strawman. You argued that Gattis praise, and how he is used, tells you Edwards is limited as a RB. No - playing to strengths is not acknowledgement of weakness.

      "Edwards got one carry during The Game." In this case one carry is enough to tell you all you need to know. Edwards is good enough to carry the ball between the tackles. The coaches showed that. The CHOSE to hand him the ball on the first series of the game even with Corum available.

      Haskins and Corum being better at this part is something we both agree on. Where we disagree is that you insist this is a deficiency on Edwards part.

      That's not backed up by stats. That's not backed up by the playing time decisions.

      I'm insisting I'm right because I am. For you to continue to argue, in the face of his success, in the face of the playing time's on you.

    5. The same argument can be made at QB. It's Harbaugh. He wants his QB to be a certain way. But he's showing you it's not so. He WANTS a QB who can run and so he uses a freshman to fill in where his starter is less effective.

      McCarthy is a good throwing QB.

      Edwards is a good rushing RB.

      Using them in other ways is entirely a good thing. There is no bad thing about it. You assume that Harbaugh wants to run Edwards up the gut 20 times a game but he can't. It's a bad assumption. Harbaugh doesn't need that from him. Ditto McCarthy.

      It's a team game.

    6. Yes Lank. I've said Edwards lack of production, Gattis use/limited use of his skills, and praise/lack of praise demonstrates current limitations as a runner. I did not however, say or even suggest that doing well catching, meant weakness as runner ... that's your strawman

      Yes, Edwards got ONE carry against ohio. Why only one? How many did the others get? How about in previous years?

      Critical thinking will push you past your bias

    7. LOL. Are you hearing yourself?

      One sentence after you say Gattis praise demonstrates limitations as a runner you say the exact opposite. Gattis praised his receiving skills because that's what he's done best. YOU are reading into that. Incorrectly. Again.

      Do you even know what strawman means? Or is this like "compare"?

      Why only one carry? Because Haskins and Corum are there.
      The last time Michigan played competitive games against OSU was 2017 when the 3rd string RB got 0 carries and 2016 when they got 3. You don't lean on your 3rd string RB in a critical game unless he brings something meaningful to the table.

      Edwards does. Because he's a good RB.

    8. That's not what I said. You're making stuff up, because you have no point. You argue points not made, in order to avoid your inability to backup your point of view

      Gattis uses Edwards strength, by passing to him in space, several times. Gattis limits carries (one) to guard against Edwards weaknesses as a runner (breaking tackles, getting extra yardage, etc)

      Gattis praises Edwards ability to catch, because we've seen it; Gattis never mentions Edwards as a runner, because there's little to back it up

      I'm not saying Edwards lacks as a runner solely because he can catch. I'm saying it because he's not a good runner because we see him go down on initial contact, we see his limited role as a runner, and his own coach talks about anything but Edwards skill as a runner

      He's a good RB, but he gets 1 of the 40 carries on the day ... when was the last time a Harbaugh RB got such a small portion of the carries?

      WAIT ... you're saying Edwards only gets one carry "because Haskins and Corum are there"

      Also, "RBs don't matter" "you an put the next guy in and see no difference"

      You obviously see that the coaches don't buy your nonsense

      Too easy Lank 😂

    9. "when was the last time a Harbaugh RB got such a small portion of the carries?" Literally EVERY GAME!

      "Gattis limits carries (one) to guard against Edwards weaknesses as a runner (breaking tackles, getting extra yardage, etc)"

      Wrong. Gattis doesn't limit carries to Edwards. He gives the ball to his 1st and 2nd string backs. When Edwards was elevated to 2nd string against Maryland, he got 13 touches. In your world that he didn't carry the ball 10 times and instead caught 10 balls is an indictment. In my world it's a credit to Edwards and recognition of what he's best at.

      Thunder preaches that some guys are better at some things (Ty Isaac should run outside for example) and this is Gattis recognizing a strength. Not a weakness.

      How do I know Edwards is a good ball carrier? That part is obvious. He's got the stats to prove it for one. Secondly, even as the 3rd string back, he was given the ball in the first drive against OSU.

      The coaches decisions tell you more than your galaxy brain insights into Gattis' comments on the radio.

      Edwards is good. Sorry you are wrong.

    10. Carries are limited to the bench guys. You know, the guys not yet ready for Harball? Edwards single carry against ohio, combined FIVE carries while Corum was injured against PennSt & Maryland. Go look back at previous years, and how many carries Wilson, mason, and others got. Then, look at how many young RBs got ... because they are not yet ready for that level of grind. This is the credit to Gattis: he found a way to use Edwards as a threat, and it wasn't as a runner

      This is backed up by stats, not your silly assertion, based off one carry (tackled upon first contact). My point is also backed up by coaching decisions: trust a hobbled Corum (who even you referred to as 3d string for The Game), more than the healthy 2d RB. It's because how you use a RB matters; last Saturday was designed for Harball


    11. Tru Wilson had 44 carries and 2 catches in 2019 as a 3rd stringer behind Haskins and Charbonnet.

      Edwards has 28 carries and 14 catches in 2021 as a 3rd stringer behind Haskins and Corum. 4 touches less and the season isn't even over.

      Somehow, to you, this demonstrates a deficiency in Edwards rushing ability.

      Corum and Haskins strengths - which you acknowledge - are not an indictment of Edwards running ability.

      Edwards strength - which you acknowledge - is not an indictment of Edwards running ability either.

    12. Here's what's going to happen - Edwards is going to be a very good RB next year. His weight won't change much if at all. You will claim he worked hard in the weight room and poof now he can run the ball even though his YPC will go down.

      My crystal ball is so crystal clear.

    13. I mean, if he doesn't look like he's stumbling over his own feet as soon as he gets the ball, that would be an improvement.

      I'm not talking about needing to get the in the weight room. He needs to work on balance, ball security, footwork, timing, etc. He could stay the same weight, improve in those areas, and become a good running back. You act as if there's no training/coaching that can take place between seasons.

    14. WAIT, is Lank saying Edwards will not hit the gym, focus on balance/footwork, and try to emulate what made Haskins & Corum successful? That Edwards will not work hard??? If he's right, expect Dunlap (or someone else) to pass him in carries

      *who the F said his weight would change?

  9. "Edwards will be good down the road, but he's not right now." - Thunder


    "agree on Edwards: he is an amazing talent outrunning HS nobodies, and can do well with room, but he is not ready to create on his own"


    Digging your own grave.

    1. LOL. I hate to break it to you, but Edwards still isn't a good running back. He's good at catching the ball. Hooray! I'm happy for it.

      There's a good reason he hasn't run the ball much once the MAC season was over. Blake Corum missed a couple games and he still didn't run the ball more than about 5 times (off the top of my head). The writing is on the wall. It's not my fault you don't want to read it.

    2. Thunder - you are wrong now just as you were wrong when you said Denard Robinson wasn't a good quarterback and Vincent Smith wasn't a good running back. Catching the ball matters for RBs. Running the ball matters for QBs. It is 2021 not 1988.

      Why did the coaches had the ball to Edwards to run against OSU? Corum and Haskins available but they gave him the ball and he got 8 yards. Because they know he can be successful.

      Edwards has 28 carries on the year and has done well. You claimed Michael Cox was good after 19 carries over three years. The writing is on the wall indeed and it says "YOU ARE DUG IN TOO DEEP".

    3. Denard Robinson was a good quarterback, but he played running back in the NFL.

      Vincent Smith was a good running back, except he never played a down after college.

      Jehu Chesson wasn't a good running back, but he got handoffs, too.

      Then again, you're the person who insists after three years that Giles Jackson was a perfectly fine running back despite never receiving a handoff out of the backfield.

    4. Ty Isaac also never played in NFL. Was he a bad RB? Were his theoretical receiving skills valuable?

      Your logic is totally inconsistent. Just playing favorites.

      We're talking about modern college football. Not NFL. Not 1980s. Smith out-produced Isaac in college. Cox too.

      Giles Jackson is not a good WR. He has as many catches as rushes at Washington. Michigan had a loaded backfield in 2020 so there wasn't room for him at RB. In 2019 he finished the season as the 3rd RB, behind Haskins and Charbonnet.

      It's 2021. RB receiving ability matters.

    5. Only in your world is a guy with 10 carries the #3 running back, when guys with 149, 121, 44, and 44 also exist.

      Literally, only in your world.

    6. Why is that wrong? Edwards stats running the ball back up everything I've said. For those who know the game, the film does this x10

  10. Incorrect:

    "While we're talking about Evans we should mention that Michigan has two underclassmen who are also WR/RB hybrids and may see some running back snaps. GILES JACKSON had several runs from the backfield last year and looks to get up to a couple dozen as his role expands in year two. AJ HENNING will fill the spread H slot in garbage time. Both are addressed in-depth as slots."

    It is not only in my world where catching passes is relevant and important to RB duties.

    1. It's a strawman because nobody is saying pass catching is irrelevant. You're making that up

      Too easy Lank

    2. So is your argument that Christian Turner and True Wilson finished the year as 3rd string RB because they had 44 carries on the year?

      Here is a statistical comparison across the final 4 games of the year (MSU, Indiana, OSU, Alabama) for these future transfers:

      Jackson: 9 carries for 67 yards, 5 catches for 107 yards. 4 games played
      Wilson: 13 carries for 31 yards, 1 reception for 3 yards vs MSU and Indiana.
      No stats vs OSU and Alabama. Played RB against Alabama but did not touch ball.
      Turner: 0 carries, 0 receptions. Special teams appearance vs MSU. Did not play RB over final 4 games.

      Just baffling that people who are actually good at receiving like Smith and Jackson and Edwards are bad RBs. Yet Ty Issac is a good RB actually, based on (theoretically) underutilized pass catching ability (based on clearly erroneous recruiting profiles).

      Also baffling that a guy who played RB and got carries at RB could have finished the year behind the depth chart of guys who didn't.

    3. Why are you so insistent about being wrong? I challenge you to show me more than 1 run out of the backfield. I think he had 1. And he caught a couple passes on wheel routes out of the backfield.

      Jehu Chesson lined up in the backfield. He wasn't a running back. Joel Honigford lines up in the backfield. He's not a running back.

      Nebraska lined up a couple receivers in the backfield this year. Nobody's calling Zavier Betts a running back.

      I *think* Giles Jackson had 1 run out of the backfield in 2019 on a power read type of play against OSU. The rest of his runs were the type of reverses/end arounds that A.J. Henning scored on against OSU (in fact, Jackson scored on almost the exact same play against OSU, sans the swing motion from the running back like Edwards showed).

      A.J. Henning ain't a running back, either. Getting a handoff on an end around doesn't make you a running back.

    4. I sent you video before. Now I linked to Mgoblog.

      You asked. I delivered.

      Jackson lined up at RB, caught passes at RB, carried the ball at RB. You can call that a WR if you want. Mgoblog and I would call that a hybrid WR/RB.

    5. Funny you mention MGoBlog. With less optimism this year, content was harder to come by. This led me to read more from Seth. His UFR on The Game mentions Edwards over 20 times. As a receiver, nothing it gloating praise. As a runner? Only a mention that he got a carry, that in the spreadsheet which tracks every play

      I also started listening to Sam Webb again. He likes to go on & on about Edwards as a threat & as a decoy - as a Receiver. No mention of his ball carrying skills. Devin Gardner too

      Take a look at the gifs Seth provides every week. Harball is about Haskins pushing a pile an extra yard or two; Corum carrying a tackler on his back. There hasn't been a single mention or video of Edwards breaking a tackle, trucking a guy, or carrying/dragging a defender ... that's not his game. He'll need a lot of time in the weight room, and a great deal of effort on foot work & balance

      Anyone who has played, coached or knows the game can see this. Those who have none of that, argue otherwise

    6. Yep Edwards standout trait is his receiving. People said this same kind of stuff about Vincent Smith and Chris Evans. None of that is the point.

      Mgoblog link was to a 2020 preview written a year and a half ago. Your comment on that is beside the point too.

      Here is what you fail to recognize -- Edwards skill as a receiver are supporting evidence that he is good as a runner too. You're looking at it backwards.

      If Edwards wasn't as a receiver at all - he'd still be a solid RB option. 28 carries on the year -- that's more than Mike Cox had in THREE years - and that was enough for Thunder to talk the guy up for the next decade. He already has 50 yard run against weak competition. He already has a nice ypc. He already is getting meaningful carries against legit competition. He is backing up 2 RBs ranked among the best in the country by PFF.

      He's a good RB. Because of his receiving. But if he didn't have that, he'd be a good RB anyway. We've seen it. In games. AT RB. For Harbaugh.

    7. LOL.

      MGoBlog said Giles Jackson was a WR/RB hybrid; therefore, he will always and forever be viewed by Lank as a running back.

      Meanwhile, Lank is also the person who was grumpy that I labeled Denard Robinson as a running back, despite the fact that he STARTED at running back.

      Giles Jackson was listed as a WR at Michigan in 2019. He was listed as a WR at Michigan in 2020. He's listed as a WR at Washington in 2021. Naturally...he's a running back!

    8. He's a WR/RB hybrid. Because he played RB. He is a pure WR to you, even though he isn't producing anything at RB, even at Washington, who is light on WRs.

  11. @JE

    Thunder wrote above "Edwards still isn't a good running back."

    His pass catching production is beyond dispute. And yet...

    1. Donovan Edwards vs. Big Ten opponents (8 games): 13 carries, 40 yards, 3.07 yards/carry, 0 TD.

      Lank's conclusion: He's a good running back!

      Ty Isaac vs. Big Ten opponents in 2017 (6 games): 41 carries, 212 yards, 5.17 yards/carry, 2 TD.

      Lank's conclusion: He sucks!

      Speaking of playing favorites...

    2. The irony is, when Edwards ran 8x for 80+ yards, Lank was against him

      In B1G, he gets less than 2 per game, 5yds a day, and Lank is mad he can't convince anyone Edwards is ready to be a Jim Harbaugh RB ...

      Some people just like to argue

    3. If there's one thing I've said time and time again for 10 years is that a ypc based on anything like 13 carries tells you nothing. True with Cox. True with Issac. True with Corum. True with Edwards. On and on forever.

      That's your analysis Thunder. Not mine. And it's proven wrong again and again and again.

      I never said Isaac sucks anyway. I said he wasn't as good as Smith. Which is objectively true and proven in the pros as well as in college. The analysis here was wrong there too.

      If you were arguing Edwards should start over Haskins I'd tell you the same thing. His YPC is better. Guess what - it's irrelevant. Haskins is the better back. That's why they play him.

      I don't need to convince anyone Edwards is ready to be a Jim Harbaugh RB because he is. That's a fact. If he's "good" or not is subjective. But you're on record with saying it and you've already been proven wrong. With Corum out, Edwards stepped in and looked great. Maryland and OSU games speak for themselves.

      But so did Denards 10,000 ards and 90+ touchdowns and you'll say he isn't a good QB so it is what it is.

    4. Michael Cox had 2 carries for 2 yards after the non-conference schedule.

      Maybe we can just agree that Donovan Edwards is better than Mike Cox? What do you think Thunder?

    5. "If there's one thing I've said time and time again for 10 years is that a ypc based on anything like 13 carries tells you nothing" You believe this, today. Yet, you are arguing a single carry by Edwards makes him a Harball RB?

      This is one of many reasons you have little credibility. You're all over the place, and fail to make a consistent point

    6. Your failure to grasp basic arguments is something you try to put on me but fail.

      Yeah - a playing time decision - putting a guy in the spot - is more relevant. It's more meaningful than the outcome. So Edwards could have run for 2 yards on the play or he could have rushed for 20. That's subject to a lot of stuff out of his control (play call, OL, tackling, etc) but what it tells you that he got the chance to do it is that his coach - the guy that watches him practice every day - KNOWS he can do the job. They CHOSE to put him in the game, with Haskins and Corum available.

      Why'd they do that? You keep dodging it. "only once" is all you have to say. What about all the other snaps he played at RB against OSU.

      The coaches CHOSE to play Edwards at RB against OSU. Yet he's not a good RB. And yet we won the game. Maybe you think RBs don't matter?

    7. @ Lank 4:39 p.m.

      Your argument is definitely all over the place, just like je93 said. According to this post, players are proven to be good because they...get in the game.

      Jake McCurry got in the game against Ohio State. I guess he was awesome. Joe Milton played ahead of Cade McNamara, so I guess Joe Milton is good at college football, despite losing the starting job at two different schools.

      In other words, we can never discuss/argue playing time because a coach chose to put a guy in the game. Coaches are 100% right every time all the time until the end of time.

    8. Yeah. Playing time decisions tell you more than stats. If a coach is putting you in, against Ohio State/Wisconsin/Michigan STate, in the first quarter...that means something. That means they believe in your abilities, based on what they saw in practice, and they believe in you more than the other guys they could be playing instead.

      Joe Milton is still better than McCaffrey and Peters. You can't lose a job without winning it first.

      McCurry was a good blocker and played on a young/thin WR corps. His time dwindled from sophomore to senior year. So yeah, that tells you something too.

      Those are not my words about "never" or "100%". Do you think that about YPC? Of course not, it's a dumb strawman. Youre dodging the main issue that Gattis/Harbaugh chose to play Edwards at RB when Hasskins and Corum were both available.

      Either they are idiots or you are wrong about Edwards. You don't need to play 3 RBs and we know that because they haven't at times when there was a competitive game and 2 healthy RBs were available. They CHOSE to play Edwards. At RB. Because he is good. They are not wrong.

    9. It means the coaches believe in some of the player's abilities. The believe Edwards can catch the ball & get some extra yards. They believe JJ can add to the run game, and make some throws

      They do not believe Edwards can handle 10+ carries a game, or that JJ can lead a game, half, quarter, or even more than a drive at a time

      Why? Neither is ready (yet). And , that's OK

  12. They are ready. The coaches wouldn't put them out there if they weren't. They don't have to. They chose to.

    The reason McCarthy doesn't play more is that McNamara is better.

    The reason Edwards doesn't play more is that Haskins and Corum are better.

    But they're all good, because they all play, by coaches choice.

    Playing time matters. Michigan has multiple good options. Being especially good at one thing doesn't mean you're bad at another.

  13. An incomplete list of things you guys are arguing against in this post that I don’t think and didn’t say:

    Edwards won’t work hard.
    No training/coaching takes place between seasons.
    Giles Jackson is a RB and not a WR.
    Ty Isaac sucks.
    We can never discuss playing time.
    Coaches are 100% right.

    Strawman alert. Strawmen. Army of them.

    Here is a thing I DO think:
    Donovan Edwards is a good RB.

    He'll do the same stuff he did this year and be more productive, while his YPC goes down. His role will change not necessarily because he got better but because Haskins will be gone. I will tell you I was right when I said Edwards WAS a good RB. You will argue he BECAME a good RB.

    1. Ready for 1-3 carries a game? Yes. Ready for a play or two of Zone-reads, and maybe a couple pass attempts? Yes

      Ready for a role as the guy? No. Not even close. Need an off-season of development. To deny the work required in the off-season is to concede any knowledge of the sport

      Too easy