Michigan Rolls Penn State

Michigan defeats Penn State in a statement victory.  This is Michigan’s first top 10 match up of the year.  Michigan’s formula for victory is simple.  They run the ball.  They play excellent defense.  In fact, when they get up on an opponent, they rush four and drop seven and start stacking sacks.  Ultimately Michigan plays old school Big 10 football.  Bo Schembechler is smiling from heaven above.


Smash Mouth Football Leading the Way!

Coming into the game many wondered how the Michigan offense would fair against the number five rush defense in the nation.  Penn State felt confident they could slow this offense down.  They were wrong.  Michigan rushed for 418 yards and four touchdowns.

Donovan Edwards led the charge in a career day with 173 yards and two touchdowns.  Blake Corum put his up is fourth 100-yard rushing yard game this year.  Even freshman CJ Stokes racked up 22 yards at the end of the game on four carries.  The story isn’t just the yards but how the yards were gathered.  Donovan Edwards had a 67-yard breakaway run and Blake Corum had a 61-yard breakaway touchdown run.  Take away the 60-yard burners from both running backs and they each still ran for over 100 yards on 42 carries.  Michigan didn’t need explosives to win but they sure are nice!


NFL Factory.

If you want to play offensive lineman, running back, tight end or anywhere on defense go to Michigan.  You will learn how to play the pro-game because Michigan runs a pro-style offense and defense.  Running backs will get a lot of carries.  Linemen will learn a variety of blocking styles and tight ends will round out their game.  Defensive players will be exposed to a complex 3-4 system that is employed by the Baltimore Ravens.  Coach Harbaugh hired Jesse Minter who spent time with the Ravens coaching staff under Mike MacDonald who brought the Raven’s defensive system to Michigan last year.  Though Minter was at Vanderbilt last year, he has stepped into his new role at Michigan and the Wolverines haven’t missed a beat.


Keys to Winning Consistently.

Coaches at the highest level understand that you must do certain things to win football games on a consistent basis.  You must control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.  Offense and defense need to win 3rd down.  Your team must play well in the red zone.  Finally, you must adjust.  In the first half, Michigan scored every possession except for the pick six JJ McCarthy threw.  In the second half Michigan scored every possession except the last one where the Wolverines played the clock out to win the game.  Penn State did force four field goals, but Michigan converted all four to 12 points.

Michigan failed to convert on five 3rd down’s however they scored on four 4th down plays and converted a first down on the last fourth and one.  Michigan’s run game puts their offense in many favorable positions.  Lastly you could see the adjustments made in the game, particularly on defense.  Of note, Jesse Minter started putting a linebacker or safety spy on the quarterback in the second half in 3rd down situations.  This adjustment worked well against the scrambling Penn State quarterback.


Needs Improvement.

JJ McCarthy is a work in progress.  At least he is efficient.  He connected on 17 of 24 of his passes for 145 yards.  The run game protects him well as he continues to learn Harbaugh’s complex offensive passing system.  The offensive line rarely makes mistakes in the run game however they found themselves making several preventable mistakes in pass protection.  Linemen should never align incorrectly, yet the Wolverines did it on several occasions.  This mistake negated a 19-yard first down pass play that would have put the Wolverines in the red-zone.  These mistakes must be cleaned up in order for the Wolverines to have success against the Buckeyes as well as any SEC team they might encounter in the playoffs.

Michigan is off to a great start this year.  They are 7 and 0; 4 -0 in Big 10 play.  They just thumped their first top 10 team in very convincing fashion.  Thought they have a few things to clean up, they are playing at a very high level.  Consistency will carry them to the Big 10 Championship and beyond!  Next week they have Michigan State.


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