The Michigan Wolverines were torched from the start in their first true home test of the 2014 season against the Utah Utes. Despite such a bad outing yesterday, however, there are still a few players who are deserving of a game ball, and one of them even finds himself on the offensive side of the ball.
Game Ball: Jourdan Lewis, Cornerback
Jourdan Lewis probably had the game of his life yesterday against Utah. In a contest that didn’t seem to produce much of a spirited effort from the Wolverines, it was Lewis he never quit, playing great in coverage and even tracking down a Utes sprinter to save a potential 97-yard touchdown. That play was especially big because Utah, instead of tacking on seven points, had to settle for three, and it was all thanks to the hustle of Lewis, who tracked down the ball from the other side of the field, outrunning two blocking receivers.
Brady Hoke praised Lewis after the game, saying the sophomore “played his tail off” with five total tackles (ties career record set last season) and two pass break-ups.
Game Ball: Jake Ryan, Linebacker
Defense wasn’t necessarily a problem for Michigan yesterday, and much of that could seen through the aggressive play of Jake Ryan, who finished his night with a team-high 13 tackles, three of which stopped the Utes behind the line of scrimmage and included a sack. Ryan did an especially fine job of defending Utah’s read-option plays. With no help, Ryan defended both quarterback and running back and stopped the play before it ever had a chance to start.
Game Ball: Derrick Green, Running Back
Derrick Green quietly had another good game for Michigan’s offense. Though he was only able to account for 59 yards on the ground, he did that on 14 carries, which is eight less than he received the previous week against Miami (OH). A 4.2-yard average per pop is exactly where he needs to be for this team. Green also pulled down the first reception of his career yesterday, and it was a nice snag. Devin Gardner floated the ball just a bit over him in the flat, but Green made a nice adjustment and used one hand to bring it down before bursting forward for 14 yards. Green would finish the night with two receptions going for 26 yards.