Michigan Dominates the Trenches in their 1st Win!

Michigan Dominates the Trenches in their 1st Win

If there is one thing Coach Jim Harbaugh believes in, its SMASHMOUTH football. That was on full display Saturday morning as the Wolverine defensive line smothered Clay Millen, quarterback for Colorado State, with seven sacks. Meanwhile, the Michigan offensive line wore out the Colorado State defensive line. Led by Blake Corum, the Wolverines rushed for over 200 yards, relieving an anemic pass attack. Coach Harbaugh understands the need to control the line of scrimmage. So much of today’s football centers around a prolific passing attack. Even Alabama’s Nick Saban has succumbed to the need to focus on a great passing attack. Yet, Coach Harbaugh remains committed to the run. Really, Coach Harbaugh remains committed to dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. He understands that football is about physically dominating your opponent. Physical domination starts with an effective smashmouth offensive and defensive line. The Wolverines have that in spades.

It is puzzling that the Michigan passing attack seems to still suffer. Coach Harbaugh played quarterback for sixteen seasons in the NFL. One would think that the one position Michigan would be great at is quarterback. Cade McNamara struggled on Saturday. In the first quarter he narrowly avoided throwing an interception. Meanwhile, J.J. McCarthy hits all 4 of his passes…albeit only for 30 yards. McNamara hit only 9 of his 18 throws for 136 yards and a touchdown. He is missing reads and playing with happy feet. As a veteran in Michigan’s system, he should be much tighter than he is. Perhaps the Colorado State defense line should be given some credit. However, I think the quarterback room needs work.

Michigan’s defender of the week is…well…the whole defense! Seven different Michigan defenders put their hands on Clay Millen. Two defensive lineman, two linebackers and three defensive backs collected sacks. Rod Moore forced an interception and D.J. Turner ran a forced fumble back for a touchdown. Jesse Minter’s 4-2-5 defense showed off its full versatility on Saturday. Yet, the player that jumped off the screen for me was D.J. Turner. He played with sticky coverage the whole game. He blew up a screen play early in the game, blasting thru the Colorado State blocker to collect a tackle for loss. Finally, he netted the defensive highlight of the game running a fumble recovery back for a touchdown early in the 3rd quarter.

Michigan needs to figure out the quarterback position soon. Luckily, they have three weeks before Big 10 play begins. Cade McNamara is capable but inconsistent. It might be time to finally consider giving the keys to J.J. McCarthy. He has the wheels. He has the arm. Let McCarthy cook!

All in all, it was a great game 1 win for Coach Harbaugh and the Wolverines. RGIII gets the quote of the game when fourth string quarterback Alex Orji ran it in for a touchdown; “Its an Orji (pronounced orgy) in the end zone!”

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