After a late night of digesting the game last night, I came away pretty pleased.
Personally, I’m not upset by the loss. Not at all. The team seemed well coached, under control, and ready to take on a better Utah team.
What we learned:
Michigan’s defense will win them games:
Michigan was able to endure the damage caused by running back Devontae Booker and quarterback Travis Wilson. The “bend, don’t break” mentality worked well for Michigan, proving their defense was up for the challenge. The defense wasn’t the reason this team lost.
Jabrill Peppers can play with the big boys:
Jabrill Peppers had a rough game for the most part covering Britain Covey, but was able to come up big with open field tackles. Late in the fourth quarter, Peppers’ key open field tackle helped hold Utah to a field goal attempt, which was eventually missed.
The redshirt freshman was also a bright spot in the return game. His return helped set up a Michigan touchdown with 0:54 seconds left in the game, returning it close to midfield. If he sees a seam, he’s gone, and I believe he’ll return one before the season is over.
Chris Wormley is thriving in this defense:
Chris Wormley was dominant versus Utah. He constantly distrusted plays and was incredibly quick off the ball. He held Booker in check, which helped the Michigan defense throughout the course of the game. We could potentially be seeing the breakout star for this defense. Look for Wormely to fill the void left by Frank Clark.
Jake Rudock should continue to start:
Whether Michigan fans want to believe it or not, Jake Rudock is the guy for the Wolverines. Yes, he threw 3 interceptions. Yes, he stared down Grant Perry every single time he threw an interception. But the fact of the matter is that Rudock gives Michigan the best chance to win this season. The fifth-year senior looked calm and comfortable during the two-minute drill last night, driving down the field for a score to pull Michigan within seven. Ultimately, his pick-six was the difference in this game, but he became the first Michigan quarterback to pass for 250 yards or more since Devin Gardner in 2013. Jim Harbaugh can build on this guy going forward.
Gus Johnson is still the man:
“The slipper still fits!” We’ve known it for a while, but Gus is still the man.