Wednesday, January 31, 2024

All-Time Career Passing Touchdown Leaders


Chad Henne

I posted a list of the single-game passing touchdown leaders (LINK).

Here are the career passing touchdown leaders through 2023:

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

What's on Sherrone Moore's Checklist?


Former offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore was introduced as Michigan's head football coach on Saturday, replacing Jim Harbaugh, who left for the Los Angeles Chargers. That has elicited several changes in the program, including the loss of defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, safeties coach Jay Harbaugh, and strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert.

Here are the main staff components as they stand today, and some of these positions may be fluid:

  1. Head Coach: Sherrone Moore
  2. Offensive Coordinator (expected)/Quarterbacks Coach: Kirk Campbell
  3. Running Backs Coach: Mike Hart
  4. Wide Receivers Coach: Ron Bellamy
  5. Tight Ends Coach: ???
  6. Offensive Line Coach: Grant Newsome
  7. Defensive Coordinator: ???
  8. Defensive Line Coach: Mike Elston
  9. Linebackers Coach: ???
  10. Cornerbacks Coach: Steve Clinkscale
  11. Safeties Coach/Special Teams Coordinator: ???

So here are some of the things that should be top of mind for Moore.

Hit the jump.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Ben Herbert, Ex-Wolverine


Ben Herbert (image via Detroit Free Press)

Strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert informed the team after this morning's lift that he would be leaving Michigan to go work for the Los Angeles Chargers under Jim Harbaugh.

Herbert was hired prior to the 2019 season at Michigan after spending time at Wisconsin and then Arkansas under Bret Bielema. He rejuvenated Michigan's S&C program and put numerous guys on Bruce Feldman's "Freaks List," including Kwity Paye, Kenneth Grant, Mazi Smith, and Kris "The Mutant" Jenkins, Jr.

For better or worse - and there's no judgment here - this feels like Herbert is hitching his wagon to Jim Harbaugh's Super Bowl quest. Herbert seems like a college guy to me, because he has a certain wow factor with young men that may not carry over to guys who are professional millionaires and have their own trainers. Herbert is very intimidating to 19-year-old kids, but to a 32-year-old guy who has made $120 million in his career? I'm not so sure.

Not only am I a little surprised because of those reasons (seems like a college guy, NFL strength coaches aren't as revered, etc.), but his nephew Zach Ludwig also signed with Michigan in the 2024 recruiting class. Ludwig was not exactly a prized recruit and it's unclear whether he was coming in as a linebacker or maybe a fullback or maybe a long snapper, but it did seem pretty clear that he was not someone Michigan would target if Ben Herbert weren't around. So this would not exactly change the program, but I wonder about Ludwig's status going forward.

On a personal note, I have sat through some S&C presentations at coaching clinics over the years, both from college and NFL strength coaches. I have consistently been more impressed by the college S&C guys more so than the NFL guys. Maybe it's all optics, but the college guys seem to be much more organized and on point. I think that's likely because they work in an educational setting where they have giant facilities, multiple assistants, and 140 kids depending on them daily for guidance and life training, not to mention physical training. But it makes sense if you think about the attitudes needed for success at the two different levels:

  • College: "You have 139 of your brothers depending on you. You eat together, you live together, you bleed together. Nobody is coming to save this team except the guys in this room."
  • NFL: "Look, this is a 53-man roster. Do your job or get the f*** out and the GM find someone else. There's a young All-American who just got cut, and there's a 32-year-old veteran who's willing to sign for the minimum to keep his career alive, and either one of them can take your job at any point. So do what you need to do, or else you won't be around. Doesn't matter to me."

Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning Justin Tress will reportedly be taking over, at least for the time being. Tress is a Pennsylvania native and played college football at Kent State. He has been at Michigan since 2018 and is being paid $162,500 for the 2023-2024 school year, so to be an assistant strength coach and make that much money, he must do a pretty good job.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Sherrone Moore, Head Coach


Sherrone Moore

Former Michigan offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore was elevated to head coach on Friday. This followed shortly after it was announced that Jim Harbaugh had spurned Michigan's contract talks and accepted the Los Angeles Chargers' head coaching position.

Hit the jump for more.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Jim Harbaugh, Ex-Wolverine


Jim Harbaugh (image via Chargers)

It was reported on Wednesday evening that head coach Jim Harbaugh is departing for the Los Angeles Chargers head coaching job. Harbaugh finished his career with the Chargers in 1999-2000, completing 58.5% of his passes for 4,177 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions.

Hit the jump for more.

2025 Recruiting Update: January 23, 2024


I'll give you three guesses as to which one of the above is 5-star edge Zion Grady (image via Auburn Wire)


Enterprise (AL) Enterprise defensive end Zion Grady (5-star, #1 edge, #23 overall) decommitted from Alabama. He's one of five players to have decommitted from the Crimson Tide since Nick Saban retired.


College Park (GA) Woodward Academy wide receiver Josiah Abdullah (3-star, #54 WR, #392 overall) committed to Florida.

Brentwood (TN) Brentwood Academy quarterback George MacIntyre (5-star, #3 QB, #15 overall) committed to Tennessee. Michigan was heavily involved here, but the Wolverines landed Carter Smith (LINK) and were heavily after Bryce Underwood, who committed to LSU earlier this month.

Bradenton (FL) linebacker Parker Meese (Rivals 4-star, #17 ILB) committed to UNLV.

Cincinnati (OH) Mount Healthy cornerback Jai'mier Scott (4-star, #20 ATH, #326 overall) committed to Wisconsin.

Monday, January 22, 2024

2024 Scholarship Count


Kalel Mullings

Players are listed in order of remaining eligibility. With 93 scholarships allotted, Michigan is currently beyond its scholarship limit by 8. Meanwhile, 10 seniors are scheduled to graduate, so the 2025 class should have at least 10 players.



  • Removed TE Matt Hibner, who is transferring
  • Removed QB J.J. McCarthy, who is entering the NFL Draft
  • Removed DB Amorion Walker, who is transferring
  • Removed LB Junior Colson, who is entering the NFL Draft
  • Removed DT Kris Jenkins, Jr., who is entering the NFL Draft
  • Removed OL Zak Zinter, who is entering the NFL Draft
  • Removed EDGE Jaylen Harrell, who is entering the NFL Draft
  • Removed WR Darrius Clemons, who is transferring to Oregon State
  • Removed DE Braiden McGregor, who is entering the NFL Draft
  • Removed TE A.J. Barner, who is entering the NFL Draft
  • Removed WR Roman Wilson, who is entering the NFL Draft
  • Removed RB Blake Corum, who is entering the NFL Draft
  • Removed DB Cameron Calhoun, who is transferring to Utah
  • Removed RB C.J. Stokes, who is transferring to Charlotte
  • Added OL Josh Priebe, who is transferring in from Northwestern
  • Added LB Jaishawn Barham, who is transferring in from Maryland

Hit the jump for the breakdown by class.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Ex-Wolverine Updates: Post-season 2023


Taylor Upshaw (#11, image via Arizona Athletics)


TE Erick All (Iowa): All tore his ACL this past season but finished as Iowa's leading receiver, catching 21 passes for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns. Despite having another year of eligibility if he wanted it, he declared for the NFL Draft.

WR Andrel Anthony (Oklahoma): Anthony caught 27 passes for 429 yards and 1 touchdown before suffering a season-ending ACL injury.

QB Alan Bowman (Oklahoma State): Bowman led Oklahoma State to a 10-4 record this season. Things started off a little rocky, but he ultimately locked down the starting job and went 304/501 (60.7%) for 3,460 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. He also ran 26 times for 24 yards and 2 touchdowns. He will return to the Cowboys in 2024 for a seventh season of eligibility.

Hit the jump for more.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Top 10 Posts of 2023

Donovan Edwards

I meant to post this at the beginning of the month, but you know, Michigan's exciting activities in the Rose Bowl and then the national championship distracted me. I don't think many other people care, but it's always good for me to review the numbers to see what kind of content people like the most. Year after year, the most viewed posts primarily consist of post-game discussions.

So here are the top ten posts of 2023, including links to the posts (the Blogger versions) in case you want to go back and discuss:

  1. Michigan 45, Nebraska 7
  2. Michigan 52, Indiana 7
  3. Preview: Michigan vs. Bowling Green
  4. Michigan 30, Ohio State 24
  5. Michigan 49, Michigan State 0
  6. Michigan 41, Purdue 13
  7. Michigan 24, Penn State 15
  8. Michigan 52, Minnesota 10
  9. 2023 Season Countdown: #13 Donovan Edwards
  10. 2023 Ex-Wolverine Updates: Week 4

All-Time Leaders: Interception Return Yardage


Mike Sainristil (image via SI)

Michigan defensive back Mike Sainristil recently finished one of the greatest defensive seasons in school history, notching 6 interceptions and returning them for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns. Altogether, he finished with 7 interceptions and 240 yards for his career. Where does that rank historically?

  1. 431 yards on 25 interceptions - Tom Curtis (1967-1969)
  2. 240 yards on 7 interceptions - Mike Sainristil (2022-2023)
  3. 202 yards on 9 interceptions - David Brown (1972-1974)
  4. 182 yards on 8 interceptions - Thomas Darden (1969-1971)
  5. 169 yards on 10 interceptions - Marcus Ray (1995-1998)
  6. 169 yards on 6 interceptions - Blake Countess (2013)
  7. 145 yards on 6 interceptions - Raymon Taylor (2012-2013)
  8. 141 yards on 8 interceptions - Tony Jackson (1980-1981)
  9. 132 yards on 10 interceptions - Keith Bostic (1980-1982)
  10. 127 yards on 8 interceptions - Dwight Hicks (1975-1977)
  11. 127 yards on 3 interceptions - Brandon Watson (2018)

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Eli Owens, Wolverine


Alcoa (TN) Alcoa TE Eli Owens (image via 5 Star Preps)

Alcoa (TN) Alcoa tight end Eli Owens, a 2025 prospect, committed to Michigan on January 4, between the wins over Alabama and Washington. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Tennessee, and several others.

Owens is listed at 6'2" and 243 lbs. As a sophomore in 2022, he caught 33 passes for 385 yards and 5 touchdowns.

ESPN: Unranked
On3: 3-star, 88 grade, #24 TE
Rivals: 4-star, 5.8 grade, #6 TE, #210 overall
247 Sports: 3-star, 88 grade, #19 TE

Hit the jump for more.

Amorion Walker, Ex-Wolverine

Amorion Walker (image via MLive)

Sophomore wide receiver/cornerback Amorion Walker has entered the transfer portal. He played in thirteen games for the Wolverines over the past two seasons.

Walker came out of Ponchatoula (LA) Ponchatoula in the 2022 class and was ranked as a 3-star, the #72 wide receiver, and #522 overall. I gave him a TTB Rating of 81.

Michigan's coaching staff believed in Walker as an athlete, and he had some freaky testing times when it comes to sprints and short shuttles. But after two years on campus, he was listed at 6'3" and 180 lbs. Despite Jim Harbaugh saying he considered Walker to be a starter last winter, he looked overmatched in the spring game - getting torched by walk-on Peyton O'Leary - and then got passed up by UMass transfer Josh Wallace during the summer.

Players usually seem to end up closer to home when they transfer - see Oregon native Darrius Clemons transferring to Oregon State - so I would expect Walker to end up somewhere near SEC country. He has a crystal ball right now for Ole Miss.

As for Michigan, the Wolverines will once again be looking for help at cornerback after losing Walker and rising second-year player Cam Calhoun (Utah) to the transfer portal. Starter Will Johnson returns on one side, but Wallace and Mike Sainristil are heading to the NFL, leaving sophomore D.J. Waller, redshirt junior Ja'Den McBurrows, redshirt freshman Jyaire Hill, and a few others to battle for playing time. Michigan may look to the portal once again for a starter.

2025 Recruiting Update: January 16, 2024


Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna CB Chris Ewald, Jr. (image via 247 Sports)


Alcoa (TN) Alcoa tight end Eli Owens committed to Michigan.


Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna defensive back Chris Ewald, Jr. (4-star, #11 CB, #87 overall) decommitted from Michigan. He recently visited Georgia and also has visits set up to a couple Florida schools.

Hit the jump for more.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

What should Michigan do at QB in 2024?


Alex Orji (image via WFAA)

It was a very understandable move, but Michigan suffered a big blow on Sunday when incumbent starting quarterback J.J. McCarthy announced he would be entering the 2024 NFL Draft. McCarthy is a two-year starter who went 27-1 in that role and won a national championship. According to draft projections I've seen, he's considered to be a potential 1st round pick and is thought to be anywhere from the #3 to the #6 quarterback in the class. He could come back in 2024 and potentially be the #1 quarterback on the board for the 2025 draft, but it looks like that won't happen.

So where should Michigan turn for a quarterback in 2024?

JADYN DAVIS (6'0", 202 lb. freshman)
2023 season stats (high school): 204/288, 3370 yards, 43 touchdowns, 9 interceptions
The argument: Davis, from Charlotte (NC) Providence Day, is a 4-star recruit, the #7 quarterback, and #93 overall in the class of 2024. Michigan recruited Davis hard and put most of their eggs in his basket during the cycle, so the coaching staff really likes him. While he's ranked anywhere from #61 to #116 overall by three of the four main recruiting sites, the fourth - On3 - has him all the way down at #218. One thing that really helps true freshman quarterbacks be successful is some kind of physical advantage - speed, size, and/or a cannon for an arm - but Davis has none of the above. He's more of a game manager in the mold of Cade McNamara, and while McNamara did eventually captain his team to a very successful season, it wasn't until his third year on campus.

Hit the jump for more.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Darrius Clemons, Ex-Wolverine


Darrius Clemons

Michigan receiver Darrius Clemons has entered the transfer portal following Michigan's national championship win on Monday night.

Clemons was a member of Michigan's 2022 class out of Portland (OR) Westview. He was a 4-star, the #24 wide receiver, and #144 overall in the 247 Composite rankings. I gave him a TTB Rating of 88 based on his 6'4", 205 lb. frame (he was most recently listed at 6'3", 212 lbs. by and sub-4.4 speed.

Unfortunately, things didn't really work out at Michigan. Maybe they could have, but they didn't. He played in eleven games as a freshman and nine this past season, but he made just 3 catches for 33 yards in 2023 and 4 catches for 40 yards altogether. His biggest career highlight - aside from winning a natty - was a diving touchdown reception in the 2022 spring game.

For better or worse, Michigan's style of play is not wide receiver-friendly. They play slow and run the ball a lot, which works. I mean, who can argue with the team results? But Michigan's top receivers this season were Roman Wilson (48 catches, 789 yards, 12 touchdowns) and Cornelius Johnson (47 catches, 604 yards, 1 touchdown). There aren't a ton of targets to go around, even when Michigan has the best quarterback in school history in J.J. McCarthy.

On top of that, Clemons was passed up in playing time by classmate Tyler Morris (13 catches, 197 yards,1 touchdown) and freshman Semaj Morgan (22 catches, 204 yards, 2 touchdowns).

The bright side for Clemons may have been that both Wilson and Johnson are out of eligibility, and there's no clear-cut #1 receiver for next season. Michigan will need to look toward the transfer portal to try to find some contributors for 2024 and beyond. At the wide receiver position, the Wolverines will return just 40 catches and 4 touchdowns next season from the likes of Morris, Morgan, Fredrick Moore, Karmello English, and walk-on Peyton O'Leary.

Clemons was the fourth member of the 2022 class to enter the portal, following LB Deuce Spurlock (Florida), S Damani Dent (Charlotte), and RB C.J. Stokes (Charlotte). 

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

National Champs! Michigan 34, Washington 13


These guys are national champions! It's amazing to think of what had to come together for this team to win a national championship. From an outsider's perspective, Alabama and Georgia just seem to kind of fall into a national championship. They throw a lot of money at the football program, they're in recruiting hotbeds, and magically, they just end up in the championship. I know that sounds trite, and obviously, there's a lot of play calling, hard work, toughness, culture building, etc. that goes into winning a championship. But I don't know that any national championship team in recent memory can compare with what this team had to go through to get there, including:

  • Hiring the golden boy QB/coach to come back to Michigan from the NFL in 2015
  • Morons who thought Jim Harbaugh should have been fired sometime around 2020
  • Overcoming basically multiple decades of Ohio State dominance in the Big Ten
  • Bringing back guys who could have gone to the NFL (Zak Zinter, Blake Corum, Trevor Keegan, etc.)
  • Limitations with recruiting and transfers due to NIL shortcomings and admissions nonsense
  • A QB battle that resulted in the incumbent starter transferring to Iowa
  • Year after year of a head coach being courted by the NFL
  • Enduring the loss of All-American RG Zak Zinter in the middle of the Ohio State game
  • Having Jim Harbaugh suspended for 50% of the 2023 regular season, including the two toughest games against Penn State and Ohio State
  • The NCAA and Big Ten seemingly conspiring to try to damage Jim Harbaugh and/or force him out of college football
  • Drawing #4 Alabama, a battle-tested and proven program, in the College Football Playoff instead of 13-0 newbies Florida State

Of course, there are other struggles and roadblocks that are too numerous to mention, but it was a long and difficult road for this team to win on the biggest stage in college sports.

Donovan Edwards breaks out. I've been quick to point out his struggles this season, so I have to be quick to point out where Edwards succeeds. Edwards ran 6 times for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. That comes after a season when he had been ranked as the second-to-worst Big Ten running back in terms of yards per carry (3.48 coming into the national championship game). Edwards found a couple big holes and used his explosive speed to outrun Washington's secondary, which I mentioned in the lead-up to the game was one of the worst tackling units on the schedule. Up through fourteen games this season, Edwards's longest run of the year was 14 yards. Then in his first couple carries against Washington, he had two runs that were 40+ yards (46- and 41-yard touchdowns). Michigan had 14 points in no time thanks to Edwards's big plays.

The whole running game had a day. Every Michigan player who ran the ball averaged 7.0 yards per carry or better. Michigan ended up averaging 8.0 yards per carry (38 carries, 303 yards, 4 touchdowns). Starting running back Blake Corum's long run went for 59 yards; altogether, he ran 21 times for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. At one point the broadcast put up a statistic that said Michigan averaged 31 yards per carry in the first quarter, 4.4 in the second quarter, and 4.0 in the third quarter. They were talking as if Washington had shut down Michigan's running game, and I was thinking, "Ummm . . . that's just getting it back down to average, guys." It's like when your co-worker shows up 30 minutes late to work every day, and then when they finally get there on the dot at 8:00 a.m., it's like, "Hey, everybody! Look how awesome Larry is for showing up on time for the first day this month!"

This was not J.J. McCarthy's day. I actually think McCarthy did just fine - and he made some great throws - but Michigan had so many ways to be dominant in the run game that the passing game was almost irrelevant. Michigan probably could have gone with the second half Penn State script for this entire game and won the day. The Wolverines were having such great success in the run, and they weren't even testing the edges with jet sweeps, QB sweeps, etc. McCarthy finished 10/18 for 140 yards. He had some open receivers, but Washington's pass rush was solid. The matchups just favored Michigan's running game so much that McCarthy could be a complementary piece. I thought Michigan probably could have/should have run him more, but they only used one designed run for him.

Kudos to Washington. Washington put up a valiant fight. They hung around for 3.5 quarters, and it was 20-13 late into the game. Then Michigan broke it open late with the Blake Corum touchdowns. I thought their defensive line and linebackers showed some toughness. There were a couple standout plays by linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio (who lined up like he was going to rush the passer on 4th down, only to run out to the flat and bat down a pass intended for Roman Wilson) and safety Dominique Hampton (who punched out a ball intended for Colston Loveland). Running back Dillon Johnson put in a hard day's work on a bum knee/ankle to run 11 times for 33 yards and catch 2 passes for 24 yards. Offensively, they outcoached Michigan to scheme open receivers and even get some running lanes, but physically, they weren't a match.

Let's talk about Michael Penix. Michigan held the best passer in the country to 27/51 for 255 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. They only sacked him one time (from NT Kenneth Grant), but they harassed Penix repeatedly. They were pushing offensive guards back in Penix's face, forcing his own linemen to step on Penix's ankle. Then they hurt Penix's ribs. By the fourth quarter, I was thinking, "How long can Washington keep him in this game without risking his future?" There are apparently some NFL scouts who think wide receiver Rome Odunze is better than Marvin Harrison, Jr., and Odunze was held to 5 catches for 87 yards. Ja'Lynn Polk is considered to be a 2nd-3rd round prospect, and he had 4 catches for 37 yards. Third receiver Jalen McMillan, known for his yards after the catch, had 6 catches for just 33 yards and 1 touchdown. Penix did miss some throws he usually makes, but you have to credit Michigan's defense for making him uncomfortable enough to miss some routine throws.

Michigan's defense was mostly awesome. The best play of the day can be debated, but for me, it was when Penix threw a quick out to McMillan on 3rd-and-7. With a reputation for running after the catch and a good amount of open space, McMillan had a chance to get the first down. Instead, nickel corner Mike Sainristil wrapped him up, held on tight, spun him to the ground, and killed the drive. You could also argue that Grant knocking an offensive guard on his butt and then sacking Penix was the play of the day. Or maybe when cornerback Will Johnson tipped a pass to himself and then secured an interception just inside the sideline to stop Washington's first drive of the third quarter. There were a couple coverage busts, but overall, it was a dominant day against a very good offensive unit.

What does this mean to me? Michigan winning the national championship means a lot of things. I, of course, know I had nothing to do with the win, but this is why we watch sports. We all latch onto one team - or maybe a few - and root for them. I've been a Michigan fan since birth. I remember going to Michigan Stadium in the freezing cold and eating a hot dog as a kid sitting in the stands, watching Ricky Powers and Desmond Howard and Tony Boles and Elvis Grbac and Tyrone Wheatley. I remember where I was when Charles Woodson made that interception in the Rose Bowl following the 1997 season. So many Michigan memories have that "I was with (insert friend/family member) at (insert place) when (insert magical moment)."

And a lot of those hopes about winning national championships faded over the years, not because I thought Michigan was falling off, but because so much talent was getting concentrated in the SEC. I don't care what sport you're a fan of, but eventually, you get sick of watching the same team(s) win championships year after year. If I weren't a fan of Tom Brady, I would have been sick of the Patriots. I'm not a fan of the Yankees, so I got sick of them really quickly back in the 1990s and early 2000s. When people asked me what I thought about Monday's national championship game beforehand, I said, "Whoever wins, I'm just glad they won't be from the SEC." And yes, this means that people will be sick of Michigan soon, and that's only if they're not already annoyed by Jim Harbaugh dominating the headlines.

But this confirms that schools from other parts of the country, not just the southeast, can still win championships in football. This confirms that high academic standards aren't going to preclude a team from winning. It also shows that teams can still win by running the ball and playing good defense.

Who's got it better than us?


Sunday, January 7, 2024

National Championship Preview: Michigan Defense vs. Washington Offense


Michael Penix (#9, image via Washington Athletics)

Michigan ranks #9 in rushing defense (93.1 yards allowed/game) and #7 in yards allowed per carry (3.03). Last week they allowed a season-high 172 yards on the ground, but 63 of those yards came on 21 attempts by Alabama QB Jalen Milroe. Michigan backup DT Rayshaun Benny was lost for this game after a lower body injury last week, but the Wolverines still dominated the line of scrimmage against the Crimson Tide, and fellow DT Mason Graham was named MVP of the Rose Bowl. Middle linebacker Junior Colson leads the team with 89 tackles, and fellow LB Michael Barrett is second with 61. The third guy is LB Ernest Hausmann (44 tackles), whose playing time seems to have diminished in Michigan's postseason. Michigan is #55 in tackles for loss (5.86 per game), led by OLB Jaylen Harrell and DE Braiden McGregor with 9 each. Washington's rush offense ranks #102 nationally (123.6 yards/game), and they're tied for #55 in yards per carry (4.42). The leading rusher is Mississippi State transfer Dillon Johnson (6'0", 218 lbs.), a senior who has 222 carries for 1,162 yards and 16 touchdowns this season; Johnson suffered an ankle injury last week and may be limited or slowed by the injury. Freshman Tybo Rogers (5'11", 185) seems to be the primary backup at this point in the season, as he had 5 carries for 19 yards last week when Johnson was hurt; altogether, he has 43 attempts for 182 yards and 0 touchdowns this year. The offensive line for the Huskies won the 2023 Joe Moore Award for being the top offensive line - Michigan won it in 2021 and 2022 - so they play very well together. Redshirt junior LT Troy Fautanu (6'4", 317) will probably get drafted in the first couple rounds, and redshirt sophomore RT Roger Rosengarten (6'6", 300) is also a solid player who could get drafted in the middle rounds. Center Parker Brailsford (6'2", 275) is a redshirt freshman thrust into a starting position due to injury.

Advantage: Michigan. Washington has decent success in the run game, but they don't really commit to it, since their strength is in the passing game. They also rely heavily on Johnson and haven't got much from the backup running backs, so if Johnson is slowed by his ankle injury, that could spell trouble for the run altogether.

Michigan ranks #2 in passing defense (150 yards allowed/game), #5 in yards allowed per attempt (5.8), and #3 in defensive passing efficiency. They have allowed 7 passing touchdowns while nabbing 16 interceptions on the season. Last week Milroe completed almost 70% of his throws, but they were short gains (5.0 yards/attempt). The Wolverines are tied for #17 in interceptions per game (1.14), led by Mike Sainristil's 5, and 4 of their 16 picks have been returned for scores. Michigan sacked Milroe 6 times in the Rose Bowl, bringing them up to #21 in sacks per game (2.71). Harrell has 6.5 sacks, OLB Josaiah Stewart has 5.5, and McGregor has 4.5. It's going to be much tougher to get to the QB in this one, though, because while Milroe has a reputation for holding onto the ball too long, Washington QB Michael Penix (6'3", 213) has one of the quickest releases in the country. Penix transferred from Indiana following the 2021 season and is in his sixth year of college, having had his best season for the Hoosiers when Washington head coach Kalen Deboer was Indiana's offensive coordinator in 2019. Penix finished second in the 2023 Heisman voting and has the Huskies ranked #1 in passing (350 yards/game), #6 in yards per attempt (9.4), and #11 in passing efficiency. Penix is 336/504 (66.7%) for 4,648 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. He's ridiculously accurate and, in my opinion, is the most impressive pure passer in the country. He's throwing to junior WR Rome Odunze (6'3", 215), who has 87 catches for 1,553 yards and 13 touchdowns; junior WR Ja'Lynn Polk (6'2", 204), who has 65 catches for 1,122 yards and 9 scores; and junior WR Jalen McMillan (6'1", 192), who has 39 catches for 526 yards and 4 touchdowns. They also have threats at tight end with fifth year senior Jack Westover (6'3", 248) with 41 catches, 394 yards, and 4 touchdowns, and fifth year senior Devin Culp (6'4", 237) with 15 catches for 194 yards and 2 scores. Washington is #4 in sacks allowed per game (0.79), due to both a solid offensive line and Penix's quick decision making.

Advantage: Washington. Penix is the best passing QB in the country, and he has some good receivers. I think the offensive line looks better than it is because of Penix. Michigan's pass rush is going to be negated somewhat by the play calling and Penix, so even though I think Michigan's defensive line is better than Washington's offensive line, the ball's going to get out. It's going to be very important for Michigan's defensive backs to tackle well and get Odunze, Polk, McMillan, etc. on the ground quickly after they catch the ball.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

National Championship Preview: Michigan Offense vs. Washington Defense


Bralen Trice (#8, image via 247 Sports)

Michigan is #62 in rushing offense (159.5 yards/game) and #72 in yards per carry (4.25). They're tied for #4 in rushing touchdowns (36) with Air Force, a team that only attempted 105 passes for the entire season. Blake Corum has rushed 237 times for 1,111 yards and 25 touchdowns, and he is now the leading touchdown scorer in Michigan history with 59 total scores. Donovan Edwards (113 carries, 393 yards, 3 TD) is second on the team in rushing but has struggled mightily, while RB Kalel Mullings (33 carries, 201 yards, 1 TD) and QB J.J. McCarthy (60 carries, 171 yards, 3 TD) are also threats on the ground. The offensive line performed well last week against Alabama despite having to RG Zak Zinter with Karsen Barnhart and inserting RT Trente Jones. Washington's defense is #43 in yards allowed per game (137.1) and #86 in yards allowed per carry (4.4). Against top-10 ranked teams, the Huskies have allowed 88 carries for 508 yards (5.77 yards/carry) and 6 touchdowns. The leading tackler is fifth year senior SS Dominique Hampton (6'3", 220 lbs.) with 99 stops, followed by fifth year senior MLB Edefan Ulofoshio (6'1", 236) with 90 tackles and backup WLB Carson Bruener (6'2", 226), the son of former Washington and NFL tight end Mark Bruener, with 80 stops. They're #119 in tackles for loss per game (4.43), led by redshirt junior EDGE Bralen Trice (6'4", 274) with 11.5 and Ulofoshio with 8.0. They also have a mammoth nose tackle in 6'6", 327 lb. fifth year senior Ulumoo Ale, who has 16 tackles and 2.0 tackles for loss this year as a space-eater.

Advantage: Michigan. Good teams have had solid success against Oregon, and even though Texas and Oregon have statistically better rushing attacks than Michigan, the Wolverines should present issues for the Huskies up front.

Michigan's pass offense ranks #73 nationally (218.9 yards/game), #14 in yards per attempt (9.0), and #5 in passing efficiency. McCarthy started off last week's Rose Bowl with an ugly interception on the first play - that was luckily overturned due to the Alabama player having his foot out of bounds - but otherwise, he played a solid game after a few lackluster performances. Overall, he has completed 73.2% of his passes for 9.1 yards/attempt, 22 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. There's a cluster of receivers at the top of the receiving list, all with 42-45 receptions: WR Roman Wilson (45 catches, 735 yards, 12 TD), TE Colston Loveland (42, 585, 4), and WR Cornelius Johnson (44, 579, 1). The Wolverines are #29 in sacks allowed per game (1.36) and gave up just 1 to a very good Crimson Tide pass rush last week. Meanwhile, Washington is #123 in passing defense (267.1 yards allowed/game), #32 in passing efficiency defense, and tied for #22 in yards allowed per attempt (6.6). They have allowed six 300+ yards passing games this season, including to 3-9 Stanford and 5-7 Washington State. (By comparison, the most passing yards Michigan has allowed was 271 against Ohio State.) Washington is #116 in sacks per game (1.5), but Trice has 6 in his last seven games after having just 1 in his first seven contests. Second on the team is fifth year senior Zion Tupuola-Fetui (6'4", 254) with 3.5. The Huskes are tied for #17 in interceptions per game (1.14), led by redshirt junior Husky (that's their nickel hybrid) Mishael Powell (3 INT, 99 yards, 1 TD at 6'1", 210) and CB Jabbar Muhammad (5'10", 183) with 3 INT for 53 yards.

Advantage: Michigan. Having watched a lot of Oregon and Texas against Washington, the Huskies' defensive backs had a difficult time tackling - which also should help in Michigan's run game - and they were also bailed out by some ugly, untimely drops by the Longhorns. As long as Michigan can avoid self-inflicted issues with drops, they should be able to find some success and get some yards after the catch.

Friday, January 5, 2024

National Championship Preview: Washington Roster Notes


Giles Jackson

Michigan has an 8-5 all-time record against the Washington Huskies. The first time they played was in 1916. The last time they played was a 31-10 win by Michigan in 2021.

  • Washington tight ends coach Nick Sheridan was a walk-on quarterback at Michigan and started a handful of games in 2008 under Rich Rodriguez
  • Washington "general manager" Courtney Morgan played offensive line at Michigan and spent 2021 as the Wolverines' director of player personnel
  • Washington players recruited by Michigan include: RB Sam Adams II, OL Geirean Hatchett, OL Landen Hatchett, WR Giles Jackson, RB Daniyel Ngata, CB Caleb Presley
  • Washington WR Giles Jackson spent 2019-2020 at Michigan, rushing 12 times for 74 yards and 1 touchdown; making 24 catches for 309 yards and 1 touchdown; returning 37 kickoffs for 976 yards and 2 touchdowns; and returning 2 punts for 5 yards
  • Washington RB Sam Adams II is the son of former NFL defensive tackle Sam Adams
  • Washington OL Jalen Klemm is the son of former NFL offensive tackle Adrian Klemm
  • Washington TE Ryan Otton is the younger brother of current NFL tight end Cade Otton
  • Michigan has zero players on the roster from the state of Washington
  • Washington has two players from the state of Michigan: twin brothers Armon and Jayvon Parker from Dearborn (MI) Fordson. Armon is a 6'3", 307 lb. defensive tackle, and Jayvon is a 6'3", 297 lb. defensive tackle. Jayvon has 4 tackles and 1 quarterback hurry this season.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Michigan's 10 Longest Plays vs. Washington


Tyrone Wheatley (image via MGoBlog)

Michigan is 9-5 against the Washington Huskies. They first met on November 4, 1916, which was a 66-7 win for the Wolverines. The last time they met was on September 11, 2021, another victory for Michigan, this one by a score of 31-10.

  1. Tyrone Wheatley 88-yard TD run (1992)
  2. Rick Leach 76-yard TD pass to Curt Stephenson (1977)
  3. Blake Corum 67-yard TD run (2021)
  4. Chris Perry 57-yard TD run (2002)
  5. Tyrone Wheatley 56-yard TD pass (1992)
  6. Tyrone Wheatley 53-yard TD run (1991)
  7. Elvis Grbac 49-yard TD pass to Tony McGee (1992)
  8. John Navarre 45-yard TD pass to Braylon Edwards (2002)
  9. Cade McNamara 33-yard pass to Cornelius Johnson (2021)
  10. Rick Leach 32-yard TD pass to Stan Edwards (1977)

NOTE: I'm having a tough time finding stats pre-1977, so if you have any resources/updates for me to mix into the post, let me know.

Hit the jump for highlights of Wheatley's 88-yarder and Leach-to-Stephenson.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Michigan 27, Alabama 20


J.J. McCarthy, Jim Harbaugh, and Blake Corum (image via Mark Terrill/AP)

Michigan was the better team. I predicted a 27-24 loss to the Crimson Tide, so I wasn't too far off on how the game would feel - I thought it would be a close game that came down to the end. But from the get-go, it seemed like Michigan had the superior team on a down-to-down basis. They sacked Jalen Milroe on four out of his first six dropbacks, and the offensive line was holding up fairly well. Alabama's offense averaged 4.36 yards per play, while Michigan's averaged 5.95.

Hit the jump for more.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy New Year!


I know this is a day late, but it's 2024 now and we all have a chance to make some changes. I've never been a big proponent of New Year's resolutions, but I did want to share some of the things I've been doing for personal and physical health. Some of these are not new - in fact, most of them aren't - but I have started to refocus on some of these items.

I'm also wondering what some of you are doing. Perhaps we can learn from each other.


For the past few years, I have mostly switched to a low-carb diet. Chips, cookies, bread, even potatoes have largely gone away. I did have some Doritos at a holiday party and had my fair share of Christmas cookies over the past couple weeks. But aside from special occasions like holidays and maybe family birthdays, I stay away from sweets and junk food.

I had already been leaning in this direction, but for the month of January, I signed up for Dr. Paul Saladino's "Animal Based 30" challenge, which is an attempt to eat an animal-based diet for 30 days. I tend to tolerate animal protein better than plant proteins - which make me bloated and flatulent - so I'm buying into eating whole foods that are either animal proteins, fruit, or limited dairy products.

What I ate today:

  • LUNCH: Two grass-fed burgers with cheddar cheese and one piece of dark chocolate (a Christmas gift)
  • DINNER: 12 oz. flank steak cooked in a tablespoon of butter, 1 avocado, 2 teaspoons of honey, 1 oz. goat cheese

Supplements I take on a daily basis:

  • 360-480 mg of magnesium glycinate for sleep and preventing cramps (LINK)
  • 3-6 pills of grass fed bovine colostrum (LINK)
  • 6 pills of desiccated liver (LINK)
  • 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D3, plus K2 (LINK)


Again, I've always been a frequent visitor to the gym - except during COVID when the gym was closed, which sucks - so the 1st of the year sucks, because the gym suddenly gets packed for about a month. But over the past week or so, I've changed up my workout routine. I was somewhat stuck in a rut, so I've changed to the concept of doing a single set to failure of various exercises. Yes, just one set of the following exercises. Occasionally, I'll throw in some other exercises, but these are my staples:

  • Biceps curls
  • Hammer curls
  • Skull crushers
  • Incline bench press
  • Lateral raises
  • Bent over rows
  • Leg extensions
  • Goblet squats
  • Calf raises

My warmup includes 5-8 minutes of walking on a treadmill at 3 mph at a 15-degree incline. And I try to finish each lifting session with 60 seconds hanging from a bar, pushing a sled, and/or a farmer's carry with 75- or 80-pound dumbbells for 60 seconds. After that I do a sauna session for 15-20 minutes, during which I read a book and sometimes stretch.

I try to do this routine 3-4 times a week. If I have time to go to the gym more, I usually make it an easier day with more walking at an incline and/or more time in the sauna.


This has been the biggest change for me in the past couple years. I've mentioned this once or twice before, but the last 1.5 years have been pretty hellish on a personal level. They say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so I guess I'm a stronger person now. But lots of crazy things have happened, to the point that I could probably write a book. Very few of them have had to do with me, but mostly with people close to me - which means I've spent way too much time talking to doctors, lawyers, police officers, detectives, and others. It's been a lifetime's worth of drama in the span of about 18 months.

How have I dealt with it?

  • Exercise (see above). Walking helps a lot, but I also feel a lot better and more relaxed after I lift and/or sit in the sauna.
  • Journal. I had to learn to be careful not to just rehash events, but to try to tap into writing down my thoughts about what was happening. I also try to include things I'm grateful for, which is important when it seems like a lot is going wrong.
  • Therapy. Every couple weeks for the last several months, I spend an hour with a therapist. Just like with the journal, though, I want to encourage you to go to therapy with a plan. It's very easy to go in and just vent or run through events - and sometimes you need that - but I find it's a lot more helpful to look inward and figure out why I feel certain things rather than focusing on what's happening around me. I'm probably past the point now where I think therapy is absolutely necessary, but there was a time where the therapy sessions probably stopped me from flipping out on someone.

Anyway, these are all some ways I've learned to take care of myself. I'm physically stronger now on many lifts than I ever have been, and I've fixed some minor health issues I had with my bloodwork (low vitamin D, high triglycerides, etc.). After diving into the nutrition and health space pretty heavily over the past few years, it's been truly life changing to figure out how much my health can be altered by specifically targeting issues with diet, exercise, sleep, etc.

What are you doing to take care of yourself?

(I swear I won't judge anyone who is doing a New Year's Resolution. They've just never worked for me as an individual, but we're all different.)

Michigan's 10 Longest Plays vs. Alabama


Jamie Morris (image via MLive)

Michigan is 2-3 against the Alabama Crimson Tide. They first met in the Hall of Fame Bowl following the 1987 season, followed by the Outback Bowl in 1996, the Orange Bowl following the 1999 season, a regular season meeting in 2012, and then the Outback Bowl again following the 2019 season.

  1. Jamie Morris 77-yard TD run (1987)
  2. Denard Robinson 71-yard pass to Jeremy Gallon (2012)
  3. Tom Brady 57-yard TD pass to David Terrell (1999)
  4. Giles Jackson 50-yard kickoff return (2019)
  5. Denard Robinson 44-yard TD pass to Devin Gardner (2012)
  6. Shea Patterson 40-yard pass to Giles Jackson (2019)
  7. Shea Patterson 34-yard pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones (2019)
  8. Dennis Norfleet 33-yard kickoff return (2012)
  9. Jamie Morris 31-yard run (1987)
  10. Tom Brady 28-yard pass to Marquise Walker (1999)

Hit the jump for a video of Morris going 77 yards for the TD in the Hall of Fame Bowl and for the long TD pass from Brady to Terrell.

Rose Bowl Preview: Michigan Defense vs. Alabama Offense, Prediction


Jalen Milroe (image via Alabama Athletics)

Michigan is #6 in rush defense (87.1 yards allowed/game) and yards allowed per carry (2.93). They have only allowed 7 rushing touchdowns all year (tied for #4), and 3 of those were "tush push" plays against Maryland. The team that had the most success against Michigan was Penn State, and that was with a quarterback who ran 10 times for 49 yards and 1 touchdown in Drew Allar. Allar isn't that mobile of a quarterback, so he caught Michigan by surprise a little bit with some of his runs. Linebacker Junior Colson leads the team with 79 tackles, despite playing a chunk of the season with casts on his hands. In fact, three of his top four tackle totals have come in the past four weeks while injured. Michigan is #72 in tackles for loss (5.54 per game), led by OLB Jaylen Harrell with 8.0 and DE Braiden McGregor with 7.0. Alabama has a massive offensive line, with three starters listed at 352 pounds . . . or more. That includes standout junior right tackle J.C. Latham (6'5", 360), who is expected by some to be the first tackle taken in the 2024 NFL Draft. But it also includes freshman left tackle Kadyn Proctor (6'7", 360), who has struggled at times, though he has improved in the latter half of the season. That line has powered a team that ranks #46 nationally in rushing (172.69 yards/game) and #64 in yards per carry (4.33). Senior RB Jase McClellan (5'11", 212) has 166 carries for 803 yards and 6 touchdowns to lead the way for the Crimson Tide, but he may not be available due to injury. His backup is senior Roydell Williams (5'10", 214), who has 110 carries for 561 yards and 5 touchdowns. But the X factor is QB Jalen Milroe (6'2", 220), who leads the team with 12 touchdowns and has run for 468 yards this year.
Advantage: Michigan, with the caveat that Milroe could be a huge X factor. He has two 100-yard rushing games, including 20 carries for 155 yards and 4 touchdowns against LSU. Michigan has yet to see a true dual-threat QB.

Michigan is #2 in pass defense (152.6 yards allowed/game), #4 in passing efficiency defense, and #5 with 5.8 yards allowed per attempt. They have allowed 7 touchdowns and nabbed 16 interceptions, led by nickel corner Mike Sainristil with 5 picks. Michigan is #38 in sacks per game (2.46), led by Harrell with 6.5 and fellow OLB Josaiah Stewart with 4.5. Star CB Will Johnson missed the Iowa game and half of the Ohio State game, but he's supposedly healthy and ready to go for the Rose Bowl. He has 3 interceptions and 4 pass breakups this year. Alabama is #61 in passing (228.5 yards/game) but #5 in yards per attempt (9.8) and #8 in passing efficiency. Milroe is completing 65.5% of his throws for 2,718 yards, 10.4 yards per attempt, 23 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. He has 10 touchdowns and 1 interception in his past four games, which contrasts with Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy's 1 touchdown and 1 interception during the final stretch. The Crimson Tide have allowed 3.31 sacks per game, which is #118 in the nation. Senior WR Jermaine Burton (6'0", 194) is a home run threat averaging 22.2 yards/catch (35 catches, 777 yards) and leading the team with 8 receiving touchdowns. Sophomore WR Isaiah Bond (5'11", 182) is the #2 guy with 44 catches, 621 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Sophomore Amari Niblack (6'4", 233) is a tight end by name, but his 19 catches for 321 yards (16.9 yards/catch) and 4 touchdowns show he's a big play threat, and he moves more like a receiver.
Advantage: Michigan. Burton is the most dangerous threat, but if Will Johnson is healthy, he can hopefully help limit Burton's number of touches. Again, the big factor here is what happens if Michigan's pass rush can't get to Milroe.


  • Alabama 27, Michigan 24. Maybe it's just PTSD from the last couple times Michigan has played Alabama and then the Georgia game in 2021, but overall, I don't see Michigan matching up with the speed Alabama has all around. That's especially true at edge rusher, where I think Alabama is going to cause a lot of problems for McCarthy and the passing game. A lot of people are saying McCarthy is going to have to play his best game, and I don't see how that happens with the pass protection problems Michigan has had.