UofM Beats MSU

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UofM Beats MSU

Logan Detweiler, Staff Writer

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The University of Michigan’s recent win against its in-state rival, Michigan State University, has again made UofM a real contender for the College Football Playoff. This didn’t come easy, though. Michigan has struggled in recent years, going 8-5 and losing to Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State, and Ohio State in the Big Ten. Many people agree this year is different as a result of Michigan’s commanding wins against Wisconsin and Michigan State.

In past years under Jim Harbaugh, Michigan’s offense struggled immensely, sporting only 348.9 yards a game and 25 points per game in 2017. Such an average is in great contrast to Michigan’s current 420.4 YPG and 36 PPG. This change is a result of our revitalized passing game, headed by receivers like Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins, as well as the junior quarterback, Shea Patterson. Shea Patterson has been the real catalyst of the Michigan offense, playing as a traditional dual-threat quarterback, rushing for 145 yards and a touchdown on the year. Speaking of rushing, running back Karan Higdon has been a great asset for the Wolverines. He has rushed for 5.4 yards on average and has produced an impressive 6 rushing touchdowns. The Wolverine’s offense has turned around in 2018 as a result of a newly awakened passing game.

Don Brown’s defense is as good as ever, and one could argue that it is better. The defense is letting in an average of 14.4 PPG and only allowing 220 YPG. These are some of the best defensive numbers in the nation, with the wins to back it up. The defense only let up 94 yards of total offense against Michigan State! It seems every aspect of defense is solid in this blitz-heavy scheme. Lavert Hill and David Long in the secondary have been phenomenal, as well as Chase Winovich on the defensive line. A surprising standout has been Josh Uche, who is filling in for the injured Rashan Gary, who left in a game vs. Northwestern University. Uche has racked up an impressive 5 sacks while he has played. It seems that everything is clicking on defense for Don Brown.

Michigan has had a very hard schedule, and so far, they are 7-1. This year is even being called a revenge tour because they have beat 2 of the 4 teams that beat them in the Big Ten last year. They seem like the finished version of a Jim Harbaugh team right now, the one fans were promised from the start. If Michigan runs the table and beats their remaining competition, including Ohio State and Penn State, they will go to the CFB. The question is, though, can they beat these teams?

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