Michigan 28 – Penn State 16
Who would have thought that this Michigan team would be in a position to potentially play in the Big Ten title game this year? We all knew Jim Harbaugh was a brilliant football mind, but the attitude and confidence he has instilled in this team is remarkable.
Here are five takeaways from the Penn State game as the team moves on to “The Game”:
1. Jabrill Peppers is Michigan’s best running back
When Peppers is in the backfield, teams know there is a good chance he’s getting the ball. Even though they know it’s coming, Peppers still gets positive yardage on a majority of his carries. Finishing with five carries for 19 yards on Saturday, he continuously proves to be the most explosive back when he gets his hands on the ball. He has an extra gear that we just don’t see from the other running backs on this team. De’Veon Smith led all rushers with 39 yards on 13 carries.
2. The defensive line is back
The d-line has redeemed themselves after last week’s showing. Chris Wormley and company sacked Christian Hackenberg four times and had 10 tackles for loss. Taco Charlton was a nice surprise coming away with two of those sacks.
3. Can’t have these penalties
Michigan was flagged 13 times for 117 yards on Saturday. Against a better team, that’s not going to cut it. This is something that will be addressed in Schembechler Hall this week. You better believe Harbaugh will make it known that if they were playing a team like Ohio State and were penalized 13 times, more than likely they would have come away with a loss.
4. Rudock throws for 250 yards… again
This is the third straight game that Jake Rudock has thrown for over 250 yards. He also passed for two touchdowns and threw an interception. Amara Darboh was his favorite receiver, finding the redshirt junior seven times for 68 yards and a touchdown. Rudock is finding his stride at the right time and will face a great group of defensive backs next weekend against Ohio State.
5. The offense is unpredictable
Earlier in the season, it was clear the running game would be the key to success for this team. At the end of the year, not so much. The Wolverines finished with 87 yards rushing on Saturday, but look to be relying on the passing game to move the ball at this point in the season. Obviously the team must continue to run the ball to keep defenses honest, but it has become more and more ineffective as the season comes to an end.
Make sure to follow Emmitt on Twitter for more Wolverines coverage and news: @EJenkIII.
- Week One Preview: Michigan vs. Florida at JerryWorld - Sep 2, 2017
- Crossroads: The State of Michigan Basketball - Feb 13, 2017
- Team 137’s Bowl Game Preview: Orange Bowl vs Florida State - Dec 30, 2016