UA-59049186-1 Michigan 59, Maryland 3 - Good if it Goes

Michigan 59, Maryland 3

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First thing’s first: a big thanks to @DGDestroys, who makes the every snap videos that make these a lot easier to do.

Box Score

Grading Primer

Two years ago, Michigan lost this game. It was the game where Mike Weber decommitted at halftime. You know how the story goes from there: Brady Hoke got canned, Harbaugh got hired, there was much rejoicing, Weber committed to Ohio State, then appeared to be wavering, then signed with OSU, after which then-RB coach Stan Drayton left to take the same job with the Chicago Bears. Then Harbaugh tweeted this:

Michigan would end up yoinking Karan Higdon from Iowa. Anyway, that feels like a lifetime ago. Last year, in the rain, rolled to a 28-0 win over the Terrapins. This year, they just whomped them. They moved down the field time and time again encountering little resistance from the unit led by their former defensive coordinator, D.J. Durkin.

Player Grades

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How’d they do?

Ratings are out of 100 and should be read similar to Madden ratings. Overall ratings for the season are in parentheses.

QB: 96 (Season: 83, Change: +3)

Wilton Speight was on-target all day and had a couple nice deep completions. He would have had another if not for a Drake Harris push-off getting it called back. Speight also had a leaping TD run that had people on Twitter comparing him to the Jumpman logo. John O’Korn came in in mop-up duty and made a couple nice throws.

RB: 98 (Season: 95, Change: 0)

De’Veon Smith was excellent, rushing for 114 yards on 19 carries. He didn’t bust anything big, but rather just had a lot of solid runs. Chris Evans had some nice plays, including one where he bobbled a pass out of the backfield, then ran it all the way down to the one. It looked like a TD at first to a lot of people, one of them Jim Harbaugh, who threw his hat into the air after the ruling came down that it was, in fact, not a TD. (It wasn’t a TD, but that hat got some hangtime. The dude’s still got it.) Jabrill Peppers made an impact on a couple snaps.

FB/H-B: 96 (Season: 91, Change: +1)

Khalid Hill, a.k.a. Hammering Panda had another fine game. A very nice surprise in this one was Henry Poggi. After a couple rough outings, he turned in a very nice performance in this one. He still isn’t the offensive threat Hammering Panda is, but he was making his blocks. Bobby Henderson got some snaps in garbage time.

WR: 97 (Season: 94, Change: +1)

Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh each had great games. Kekoa Crawford was a factor in the ground game and got himself wide open for a TD pass from O’Korn. Eddie McDoom (Doooooom) had a nice run.

TE: 97 (Season: 95, Change: +1)

Jake Butt had another excellent game. His blocking is still not elite or anything for a TE, but he’s definitely improved over last year and continues improving from week to week. Devin Asiasi was excellent as a blocker. He deserves a “Hammering” nickname as well. This is the point where I must remind you that he’s only a freshman. Another freshman (albeit one of the redshirt variety) Tyrone Wheatley, Jr., had a nice day blocking as well.

OL: 95 (Season: 87, Change: +1)

Maryland’s run defense is bad. Like, really bad. Like, they were second-to-last in FBS in rush defense S&P+ heading into this game. They stayed in that spot after this game. The O-line took advantage of that in a big way. The only starter that wasn’t well into the positives was Erik Magnuson and he was still pretty good. Pass pro was good all day. Patrick Kugler got a couple snaps after a boneheaded Kyle Kalis personal foul and more snaps in garbage time and did well with them. Michael Onwenu stood out in garbage time as well. Whenever he’s seen the field this year, he’s been pretty good. It’s all been in garbage time, so take it with a grain of salt obviously, but it’s still nice to see from a true freshman.

DE: 95 (Season: 95, Change: 0)

Taco Charlton wreaked havoc again. Chase Winovich had his best game in a while. Chris Wormley played well. Rashan Gary had a nice outing. Lawrence Marshall looked pretty good in garbage time.

DT: 92 (Season: 94, Change: -1)

Maurice Hurst and Ryan Glasgow both had great games; they should be the starters against everyone but teams that run tempo – then, separating them makes sense (think hockey lines). Matt Godin was slightly positive, but expectations for him have dropped a good bit by now. In that same vein, it looks like it will be next season before Bryan Mone is 100% back and able to get near his ceiling as a player. He had another so-so game.

LB: 77 (Season: 85, Change: -4)

Peppers was fine. Ben Gedeon‘s number got inflated a bit with the game already well in hand. After the season, I’m going to look at everything to figure out how to make the charts tell the story of the game better. One thing that will definitely be added is a measure of how many points came in garbage time. Mike McCray was just not very good. Devin Bush got a handful of snaps outside of garbage time and did okay. More on the struggles later.

CB: 92 (Season: 93, Change: 0)

Jourdan Lewis was excellent. Channing Stribling was less-than-ideal in run support. Lavert Hill had a bit of a rough day when he came in.

S: 85 (Season: 85, Change: o)

Dymonte Thomas rebounded after a tough game against MSU. Delano Hill had another solid outing. Tyree Kinnel had a nice day. He’s been very encouraging this year.

Takeaways

Expectations for the linebackers definitely need to be lowered a bit. They’ve struggled with teams that can get to the edge and with tackling. Both things can definitely improve – the question, though, is how much. As far as teams running outside goes – I will be very surprised if the adjustments aren’t made from a coaching perspective. Don Brown knows how to handle those kinds of offenses. I really don’t think this will be a situation like last year where Indiana tempo’d Michigan and Durkin didn’t learn his lesson for Ohio State.

On a much more positive note: holy cow, Wilton Speight. The leap he’s made just from the start of the year to now is incredibly impressive. From last year to now – even more so. He’s shown great pocket presence all year (credit the line for some of that; pass pro’s been good-to-great all year) and as of late has been on the money with a lot of his throws. He did a great job pulling it together during the bye week and has gotten better since. How much better can he get this year? Dunno. How about next year? Also dunno. But I’m not betting against Jim Harbaugh. He is the bext QB coach in the world. Period. Yes, Jimbo Fisher has had some dudes. He’s a solid #2, but what makes Harbaugh so great is to take not much and turn it into something. He helped get Josh Johnson drafted at San Diego. He revived Alex Smith‘s career and then turned Colin Kaepernick into a legit starter in San Francisco. He took Jake Rudock from “guy whom Iowa and Iowa fans deemed utterly expendable” to “NFL draft pick” in a year. And now Speight appears to be the next guy to undergo the Harbaugh Transformation Process (patent pending). And when Harbaugh had a guy who was already good when he got him, he turned that guy into the #1 overall draft pick. So the sky’s the limit for Brandon Peters and Dylan McCaffrey. All hail Harbaugh.

Helmet Stickers

Up to 3 may be awarded per player. Not necessarily the highest-graded players since different grades mean different things to different players (refer to the primer).

Offense

3: Wilton Speight, De’Veon Smith, Ben Bredeson, Ben Braden, Kyle Kalis, Mason Cole, Henry Poggi, Jake Butt, Devin Asiasi, Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson, Kekoa Crawford

2: Khalid Hill, Chris Evans

1: Tyrone Wheatley, Jr., Jabrill Peppers

Defense

3: Taco Charlton, Jourdan Lewis, Ryan Glasgow, Maurice Hurst, Jr.

2: Chase Winovich, Chris Wormley, Delano Hill, Tyree Kinnel

1: Rashan Gary, Jabrill Peppers

Helmet Sticker Count

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Go Blue!

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

E-mail: schroeder.giig@gmail.com

 

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