Week 3 Review: #4 Michigan Wolverines 45 – Colorado Buffaloes 28
In what has been a crazy week in the Big Ten with losses given to Iowa, Illinois, close wins by Wisconsin, and Nebraska upsetting Oregon, along with Ohio State and Michigan State showing up against ranked opponents, Michigan was next on the list. They started off with a very poor first quarter, allowing Colorado to take a 21-7 lead and taking the crowd out of the game and give Michigan fans something to worry about. Michigan woke up in the second quarter and took the lead and never looked back. Let’s break this down!
Wilton Speight had his worst game of his career so far. Speight went 16/30 for 229 yards and a touchdown. He got hit hard a few times, once as he threw and it turned into a fumble recovery for a touchdown for Colorado. After that he was throwing bad passes, into single and sometimes double coverage, overthrowing players, he just seemed off. After getting a few drives in, Speight started to look better, but still was making some poor choices in throws. Colorado had lockdown coverage for most of the game on Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson, leaving him to throw to Jake Butt a lot.
The run game that Kyle Kalis, offensive lineman on Michigan, told everyone to “relax” about, improved but still didn’t do spectacular. De’Veon Smith had 11 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown, while Ty Isaac had 10 carries for 18 yards and a touchdown as well. The run game still suffered to find many holes as at times the running backs ran straight into a pile of players for a gain of one. Michigan will need more work on it again.
Jake Butt was the main guy today as Jehu Chesson was held without a catch, but he had three carries for 25 yards and a touchdown. Amara Darboh only had two catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. Butt had seven catches for 87 yards. Grant Perry had one catch for 54 yards. It was a quiet day for the receivers as Colorado had Chidobe Awuzie all over on Chesson and helped contribute in other ways.
The offensive line had a rough day, while improving the run they still struggled to get it going and keep it consistent. They also allowed four sacks, the most so far this year. Michigan can’t allow that many sacks and the run game to only show up for somewhat of the game. Blocking has to be better than that.
The defensive line improved this week, allowing Colorado to only have 64 rushing yards as Rashan Gary lead the line with four tackles as Ryan Glasgow had three and a sack, Maurice Hurst Jr. had two and a sack along with Chase Winovich. They were able to put pressure on both quarterbacks and clog up the running lanes to force Colorado to keep throwing.
Linebackers did their job well today. Jabrill Peppers had a fantastic day with nine tackles and a sack and provided pretty good coverage throughout the day. Mike McCray had five tackles and a sack while Ben Gedeon had 12 tackles and a sack as well. They helped keep the quarterbacks in the pocket and didn’t allow them to scramble for many yards.
Defensive backs for Michigan did not look good though. Jourdan Lewis was out again, but did dress this game. Dymonte Thomas got beat twice for two touchdowns, he did have six tackles though. Next week he can’t allow people to beat him that easily, especially more than once. Channing Stribling had three tackles as Jeremy Clark had six tackles and a big pass deflection. Delano Hill also had six tackles. Sefo Liufau was having a fantastic day for Colorado, but had to leave due to an injury and that did help the secondary out. Liufau had thrown for 246 yards before leaving. After he left, Colorado had just 15 yards in the air.
Special Teams helped Michigan greatly, but there were many mistakes still. Kenny Allen was 1/3 for field goals, kicking just straight on a kick that had to go left and he missed another one, his only make was from 39 yards out. Punting for Allen though was better, getting seven punts for 275 yards, one resulting inside the 20, but two were touchbacks. Special Teams defense did well on punts as Michael Jocz had a blocked punt that Grant Perry would scope up and score. Later they forced Colorado to run to the right and the punter had a low kick, hitting the offensive lineman and lost seven yards. Stopping returns wasn’t the best, Michigan allowed 159 yards on a combined seven kick/punt returns. Jabrill Peppers, as I said earlier, had a great day with two kick returns for 81 yards and four punt returns for 99 yards and finally got his first return touchdown in his career.
Week Four Preview and Notes
Overall this win for Michigan was a good one against an opponent who was underrated. Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone are somewhat still missed on the defensive line, but no Jourdan Lewis is visible in the secondary as they will need him back to help calm things down.
Next week the Wolverines take on Penn State, which kicks off Big Ten conference play and will be a good game for Michigan. Penn State is coming in 2-1 with wins over Kent State and Temple, but a loss to Pittsburgh. It will be another test for the Wolverines and this is when the games start to get tougher and mean much more. With Florida State losing and Ohio State winning, Michigan should move up in the polls at least to number 3.