Ann Arbor, Michigan. – I’m making a Jim Harpo-like request for michigan football The team this weekend, and I think it makes a lot of sense: Focus on the passing attack this weekend against Connecticut State.
If you’ve watched Wolverines during the Harbaugh era, you know that this is the offense of running first. It might not lead to the flashy offensive numbers people across the country are used to, but it did just fine when Michigan walked into the College Football Playoff a year ago.
This season, Michigan’s running game is back on top again, led by Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards, and freshman CJ Stokes.
But I think Wolverines should stay away from the running game – for just one week.
For starters, it looks like Michigan might be without Edwards, who is “working through something” after leaving a Hawaii game due to injury, according to Herbo. Rather than split Edwards’ campaigns between Corum, Stokes, Tavierre Dunlap and Isaiah Gash, I think Sherrone Moore and Matt Weiss should let new quarterback JJ McCarthy throw the ball.
McCarthy has only one college start under his belt, and after this week, he will be pushed into the Big Ten play. Sure, Maryland isn’t exactly the toughest game, but Terrapins won seven games last year and got off to an undefeated start. It will not be an easy task.
Next, McCarthy faces one of the best defenses in the country in Iowa. High School Hawkeyes thrive on forcing turnovers – which is the only reason they made the Big Ten Championship a year ago. McCarthy has to take care of the ball at Kennick Stadium, so getting more reps for the last tuning game of the season should be a priority.
Most of the starting quarterbacks played several full games to get to the swing of the season, but since McCarthy was splitting time with Cady McNamara in practice and through the first two games, he could use overtime with wide receivers this weekend.
Speaking of receivers, there’s an elephant in that room, and I think many Michigan fans have concerns in the back of their minds.
The spacious reception room is very crowded, especially when the narrow ends are put into the equation. Already this season, 16 different players have had passes for the Wolverines, but only two have more than three receptions.
Anyone who follows college football these days knows that lack of use can often lead to transfers, and that should be a consideration for Michigan employees.
Take Andril Anthony, for example. One of the rising stars on last year’s team has only one catch for five yards this season. We’re talking about someone who got a 99-yard touchdown at Spartan Stadium and scored in the college football game as a freshman, and so far, he’s gotten as many tackles as receptions.
Anthony didn’t do anything to suggest he’d move, but if Michigan were planning to basically commit to Bronnie Bell, Cornelius Johnson, and Roman Wilson while playing in the conference, where would the catches for the real second-round come from?
For a heavy team like Michigan, the number of receptions available is already limited, so there’s a chance players like Anthony and AJ Henning and real freshmen to finish the season with a single-digit catch.
Obviously Michigan can still win this way, but with Bill and Johnson likely to move to the NFL this off season, losing the others on the depth chart could really dampen the attack in 2023.
The prospect of more playing time next season might be enough to keep everyone on board, but even so, it wouldn’t hurt to throw the ball in Anthony’s way four or five times during a game where Michigan should be able to get anything. Wants.
Make sure Darrius Clemons gets his first catch of his career. Cast a screen on Amorion Walker and let him use his speed. Run a few passes for Henning.
Corum and Stokes will have their campaign all year long, especially if Edwards wastes time. There does not seem to be a great need to force each individual to feed them 15 times against huskies. Get the ball for players who may not be participating for the next 10 weeks.
I know Harbaugh loves to run the ball, and he wants to reward tight ends who do such an excellent job of blocking the ball. But he needs to keep talented playmakers happy too, and Saturday is a risk-free opportunity to do so before the schedule increases.
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