It has been getting a bit of redundant writing about Michigan through the first three weeks of the season and the Wolverines’ pummeling of their nonconference opponents.
There’s been quite a lot of, yeah, the No. 4 Wolverines lead the nation in scoring, averaging 55.3 factors a sport however look who they’ve performed? And that is honest and correct. After all, Colorado State, Hawaii and Connecticut haven’t supplied a lot opposition. It’s additionally honest to notice the Wolverines dominated groups they have been imagined to dominate whereas emptying the bench and giving enjoying expertise to gamers who do not see the sphere a lot or in any respect.
The Big Ten season begins for them Saturday in opposition to Maryland at Michigan Stadium, and issues ought to begin to get a bit more attention-grabbing. Until then, let’s undergo some mail.
► Question: When will we see Donovan Edwards again within the subject? — @jfeahenyRealtor
► Answer: Edwards has been out since he was seen limping simply earlier than halftime of the Hawaii sport and didn’t play final Saturday, though he was on the sideline and intensely engaged cheering on his teammates. In the meantime, Blake Corum has been dominant, averaging about seven yards a carry and has scored seven touchdowns. Jim Harbaugh gave a convoluted response when requested about Edwards throughout his radio present Monday evening, and hasn’t supplied a lot when requested in information conferences. It’s all the time enjoyable to learn the Harbaugh tea leaves as a result of the interpretations are diversified. My hunch is Edwards is wholesome sufficient to play in opposition to the Terps, however this can be a sport plan that needs to be heavy on the go sport, so why have him endure the wear and tear and tear when one other week of relaxation is a greater choice?
► Q: What will we make of the intermittent OL lapses in opposition to inferior opponents. The OL was touted as maybe higher than final yr. Is it simply rising pains? — @RajLakra
► Q: What form of responses have been given to questions associated to shoring up the regarding go safety? — @jthomasmartin
► A: Raj and Jeff, determined to mix your questions since they’re associated. It’s been robust to actually consider this group due to a few issues — accidents on the left aspect have required shuffling gamers, they usually have not performed a full sport.
Still, you are proper concerning the lapses, and people have been most noticeable on the precise aspect. Trente Jones is a brand new starter at proper sort out this season and has given up two sacks. This nonconference has been supreme for him to get expertise as a starter, however he needs to be higher and has the athleticism to boost the extent of his sport. Veteran proper guard Zak Zinter additionally has allowed a sack, however perhaps that is to be filed underneath the, you’ll be able to’t all the time be good class.
The factor is, the offensive line has allowed 5 sacks in three video games and is 59th nationally and ranked seventh within the Big Ten in sacks allowed. This is just not nice if the group desires to efficiently defend the Joe Moore Award because the nation’s high line.
Center Olu Oluwatimi, the switch from Virginia, has been nearly as good as marketed, and you have to imagine issues will choose the left aspect. Left sort out Ryan Hayes missed his begin within the season opener for precautionary causes and Karsen Barnhart, who had competed with Jones for the precise sort out beginning job, crammed in, suffered an ankle harm and has been out since. Left guard Trevor Keegan, who initially bumped out to left sort out in that first sport, has had some obvious nagging arm concern and hasn’t been totally out there the final two video games. Harbaugh is optimistic Keegan shall be prepared for the Maryland sport. He additionally identified the road has missed on some one-on-one matchups and the gamers are engaged on that. But to your level, everybody totally anticipated this line to be higher than final yr, and maybe the Big Ten season and enjoying full video games, will shed more gentle evaluating this group.
► Q: Who among the many first teamers nonetheless has room to shock us within the B1G schedule? (My intestine says Andrel Anthony is simply lurking there, ready for a second, however I’m curious what you assume.) — @hooverstreet
► A: Anthony completely was my first thought, however since there are a few questions beneath about him, let me go in a distinct course right here. Before the season, Erick All was my decide for the participant who may have a standout season, and I nonetheless assume that. There was all that speak earlier than the season about All and Luke Schoonmaker being the highest tight ends within the nation, and each needs to be more and more impactful because the season continues. On protection, I hold pondering Jaylen Harrell would be the title that stands out. He’s already registered eight tackles, assisted on a sack and has a go breakup. There’s more to return for these gamers (and for Anthony).
► Q: Who is the official backup to JJ? — @dveteran97
► A: That was my quick query final Saturday after Cade McNamara suffered a leg harm, and for no matter purpose, Harbaugh does not really feel like he wants to supply a definitive reply. No backup quarterback controversy right here, he stated, and naturally there is not. He likes the pool of choices with Davis Warren, Alan Bowman and freshman Alex Orji, however in case you’re seeking to hold it a seamless transition from JJ McCarthy, it appears Warren can be the primary choice. The unhealthy information is Michigan is on this scenario to find out a backup apart from McNamara, who is just not out for good however will miss a while. Having McNamara’s wealth of expertise shouldn’t be missed or undervalued. The excellent news is that the opposite three quarterbacks all earned enjoying expertise on this lopsided nonconference schedule.
► Q: Why is not Andrel Anthony getting any targets? — @Maizeblue4life
► Q: This was going to be my query too — @bfenwick1970
► A: It’s been my query, too. Since the primary sport my pondering was, how about some alternatives for Anthony? He actually has had sport reps, roughly 70 snaps by means of three video games, however you are proper, the small pattern measurement of occasions he is been focused has been puzzling — that goes for All and Roman Wilson, as properly.
Perhaps it is the truth that the Wolverines have performed so many gamers through the first three video games. Perhaps it is as a result of they’ve barely opened the playbook. Still, Anthony has proven up when it comes to blocking, and Harbaugh talked about him Monday as one in every of 4, together with Ronnie Bell, Cornelius Johnson, and Wilson, who’ve stood out as the very best blocking receivers. Receivers, although, desire to be identified for catching the ball. Gio El-Hadi, the redshirt freshman offensive lineman who has seen enjoying time at left guard due to accidents, did say one thing attention-grabbing when requested Monday what to anticipate from this staff within the Big Ten. “We have quite a lot of threats on this staff,” he stated. “Andrel hasn’t seen as a lot motion as final yr. Just look forward to him, particularly now that we’re seeing greater groups. They’ll be focusing on Ronnie, Roman (Wilson), everyone, so simply hold watching.”
We’ll hold watching, and thanks for the questions.