As Michigan tries to patch itself up for two manageable non-confernce games before heading into the Big Ten schedule later this month, the injuries are beginning to pile up, especially on the defensive side of the ball. While Brady Hoke remains silent on the status of those players who are injured, it appears there is reason to be at least somewhat concerned about the status of the Wolverines’ secondary moving forward this season.
Cornerbacks Jabrill Peppers and Raymon Taylor are still day-to-day participants in practice, and Hoke is only going to confirm the basics for now, saying that both were on the field with the team. Peppers suffered an ankle injury in the opening game against Appalachian State, while Taylor sustained a leg injury in the first quarter against Notre Dame and did not return.
As a result of missing two starting corners, redshirt sophomore Terry Richardson is becoming the beneficiary with more reps this week than he was probably expecting. Richardson chose Michigan over schools like Alabama and Ohio State, but he is yet to record a tackle for the Wolverines. He played in six games as a backup corner during his freshman season of 2012, but he didn’t see any game action last season and took a redshirt.
Michigan’s secondary was exposed last week by the improved arm of Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, who finished his night with 226 yards and three touchdowns. He was especially effective up the middle of the defense. Channing Stribling and Jourdan Lewis swapped out with Blake Countess throughout the game, while Delonte Hollowell remained in the nickel position.
Just about any combination of cornerbacks should work against a Miami (OH) team that has lost 18 consecutive games, but looking down the road, Michigan is going to have to answer to some quality quarterbacks starting soon, and if the secondary looks like what it did against Notre Dame—down two starters—it could be much more of the same.