By: Joe Cardoso
The Michigan Wolverines came off a shaky win against Northwestern but hey, a win is a win and we will take it. Back in the Big House, the Maryland Terps came to town and this would be the last game before the meat of the season begins. The Terps came out fast with a 98-yard kick return but when the defense locked down and the Wolverines wiped the dust off the playbook it ended as an easy win. With a final score of 42-21 and a lot of positive things to build off of. The time is NOW as far as reaching the goals that were set during the preseason. This week the Badgers of Wisconsin come in and then Penn State, Michigan State and those guys from Ohio State still on deck. For the past few weeks, I have talked a ton about how coach Harbaugh needed to let Shea Patterson and company make plays and get excited fans and they are starting to listen and it is awesome. But for the few days, we have left to celebrate Saturday W, lets recap and get ready for the Badgers.
The first thing that stood out to me is we gave up ZERO sacks! And the second was penalties which have been an issue all season improved to just 6 for the game and this is a trend I hope to see continue. Stung to have a touchdown called back for an illegal block in the back by Donovan Peoples-Jones. Will I stop throwing so much praise behind Shea Patterson anytime soon? No, I will not the kid is showing that this is what Michigan has needed for a long time. Accurate, mobile, leadership and improving weekly perfect example was the toss to Peoples-Jones where he used the Tony Romo spin to stay alive and fire it for 6. Karan Higdon toted the rock 25 times for 103 yards and Ben Mason showed he may have a future in track and field with his hurdle play and he got a touchdown. In case you haven’t noticed quietly Zach Gentry has become the top pass catcher and 112 yards on 7 grabs. Sitting at 6’8 he is a fantastic target for Shea. Anytime you get 40 points and over 400 total yards you are doing it right. This output needs to be bottled up for the Badgers game.
You know the drill this is the heart and soul of this team and even with some key players being banged up the depth shows and the next man steps up. The nations top-ranked pass defense led by Lavert Hill locked the air down and the front seven hit anything moving. All the rankings won’t matter if they can’t do it against the grown men Wisconsin has at O-Line and super talented Jonathan Taylor totting the rock. We all knew the conference games would be the true measuring stick for the D and here we are.
An overall easy win against Maryland and now it’s is all hands on deck for the next few tough games. Slow starts, silly mistakes, and missed chances are going to stick out even more now. The chance to be in the title game and win the Big 10 is possible and one slip up makes it hard, two would make it almost impossible. Hopefully, we get some injured players back in the lineup just in time for the run. As always for more Michigan football talk follow me @JoeCardoso301 and GO BLUE!