The second-ranked Wolverines kept rolling on Saturday afternoon as expected when DJ Durkin’s Maryland Terrapins came to town for a week 10 clash in the Big House. While Maryland did break off some long runs and some decent drives, they were completely over-matched against their Big-Ten east foes. Wilton Speight looked great once again, and may be showing signs of the Rudockian trajectory that Michigan fans had been hoping for. Meanwhile, while the defense did bend at times, it did not break. The Terrapins have a couple of solid little backs that gave the UM defense some issues throughout the game, more on that later. Ultimately, Maryland doesn’t have nearly enough weapons to pose any real threat to this Michigan defense, and the game was never in doubt.
Here’s what I liked and what I didn’t like about Saturday’s game against Maryland:
Ok, allow me to preface this by saying that I am fully aware that it’s hard to really criticize a defense that only allowed three points to a decent offence, but I will cautiously do so. Side note: ohhhh how things have changed.
D.J Moore and Lorenzo Harrison are damn good football players, and will give Big Ten defenses problems for a while. They’re quick and super shifty, and are excellent receiving threats too. They may not be the biggest players out there and may not be NFL players, but as a duo of offensive weapons, you could do much, much worse.
You can also, unfortunately, do much better. How? You can have Curtis Samuel and Mike Weber. And that’s exactly who Michigan will be seeing in Columbus just a few weeks from now.
Now, I’m not saying that you should panic about this, but stopping those two should definitely be on your “well, if Michigan can do this:” checklist. And, don’t you think for one second that that hasn’t been on Don Brown’s to-do list for months now.
Michigan’s defense, at times, had a bit of a tough time stopping Maryland’s dynamic duo of backs. They also missed an uncharacteristically high amount of tackles, which didn’t help their cause either. Michigan has three weeks to watch the Maryland tape, and figure out what has to change in order to stop the sort of offence and the sort of running back they’ll see against Ohio State.
MVP: Speight (and De’Veon, too)
There isn’t much to be said about Speight performance – it was excellent and so beautifully Rudockian, which is a pretty good sign, I guess.
De’Veon Smith was also magnificent. He was decisive, powerful and as pinball-ish as ever. His 19 carries were the team-high. Next closest? Karan Higdon, 5 carries. That would be an odd thing to see on any day with the amount of rotation Harbaugh usually likes with his running backs, but it was especially bizarre to see in a rout. The good sign was that De’veon carried the load beautifully, and has looked dialed in since his fumble on his third carry against Rutgers. It’ll be interesting to see whether that will continue or if there will be more rotation amongst the backs for the remainder of the season.
Either way, Speight and De’Veon were great, and Michigan’s offense looks more explosive than I thought they’d look this year.
What were your MVP and not-MVP moments from Michigan’s big win over Maryland? Let us know in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog
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