As a devout Michigan fan I reserve the right to give our boys some credit every now and then. After our week 1 loss to Utah the wolverines and coach Harbaugh have been getting the perfect wind underneath their sails as of late. Three straight victories and they have been getting it done in a number of facets. The team’s confidence is evident and the fans are starting to see the results most have been excited for since the hire of Jim Harbaugh. Let’s talk about some key reasons why the unranked Wolverines took a big jump to the #22 spot in the AP polls this week.
Defense, DEFENSE, and MORE DEFENSE
After giving up 337 yards and turning the ball over 3 times against a tough Utah team in week 1 the Wolverines have been able to right the ship and showcase a Harbaugh type of defense. I thought it was a tough task to send a young team on the road to a hostile environment like Utah in the first week but to their credit if it was not for a few over throws by quarterback Jake Rudock and some unforced errors Michigan would be an undefeated team. Despite their nerves getting the best of them the team has looked phenomenal the last 3 weeks.
The defense has stepped up big time in their 3 wins this season. In their 35-7 blowout of Oregon State Michigan defense only allowed 138 yards from scrimmage. They followed that performance against UNLV almost pitching a shutout. UNLV ended up scoring in the 4th quarter to end the game 28-7 but the dominance was apparent.
This past Saturday the Wolverines took on their best competition of the season. When #22 BYU came to the Big House people had expectations that the winning ways would change against a viable opponent. Once again Michigan stood supreme and the defense took over only allowing the tough BYU team 108 total yards. The defense only allowed 8 first downs in the entire game. I hope we can keep it up. The landscape of college football has their eyes on Michigan once again and many experts think they have the chance to go unblemished the rest of the way until that eventual meeting with bitter rivals and defending National Champions Ohio State.
Offense is Clicking as well
The Michigan offense has been putting it together since that week 1 loss as well. Even in the game against Utah the offense did whatever it could but shot themselves in the foot with untimely turnovers. As of late the offense has put the ball in running back De’veon Smith’s hands and he has done nothing but produce for them. Smith has accumulated 331 yards from scrimmage to go with his 4 touch downs. The quarterback has limited the turnovers which has resulted in 2 of 4 games of over 400 yards of total offense for the Wolverines. Numbers that seem so unreal coming off of the disappointing season a year ago. Wide Receivers Amara Darboh and Jake Butt have been able to find success against their opponents this year as well racking up 400+ yards, 35 catches, and 3 touch downs as a tandem. Darboh leads the way with his 242 yards so far this season.
It seems Coach Harbaugh is starting to get the hold of the locker room and the fans are seeing the results. There is still some fine tuning that needs to be done but as a wolverine fan I think we are heading in a great direction. Taking the #22 spot in the Polls this week and looking like one of the most dominant teams in the land for first time in some years, the Michigan aura is starting to slowly return. It could just be the implementation of the helmet stickers but it looks like Maze and Blue is coming back to the glory days. Knock on wood...