Michigan’s 63-3 victory over Hawaii on Saturday was the program’s largest margin of victory since beating Northwestern 69-0 in 1975. The game presented several story lines and talking points, so many that it was impossible to cover all of them on Saturday.
Every Monday, I will provide my inner thoughts on Michigan Football on their current state, starting with the big win over the Rainbow Warriors:
- As expected, true freshmen played and played often. A total of 18 played- Chris Evans, Ben Bredeson, Eddie McDoom, Devin Bush Jr., Rashan Gary, Devin Asiasi, Sean McKeon, Kekoa Crawford, Michael Onwenu, Michael Dwumfour, Joshua Uche, Khaleke Hudson, Josh Metellus, David Long, Carl Myers, LaVert Hill, Kingston Davis and Nate Schoenle.
- Although 18 true freshmen played, Jim Harbaugh still has the opportunity to redshirt some of them. The NCAA rule eliminates a redshirt after playing a snap in three games so there’s still time for him to make that decision.
- Offensively, Michigan was really as good as the statistics say. The word I choose is “efficient.” After Wilton Speight’s interception on the first drive, he responded by leading five consecutive touchdown drives before leaving the game.
- Chris Evans was good, really good. But, there is no way he can rack up the statistics, like he did against Hawaii, every game: fans must temper their expectations. Personally, he reminds me of Reggie Bush. However, he can still be an offensive weapon that Michigan has lacked in recent years.
- Another offensive weapon that I think will flourish this season is Eddie McDoom. I expect McDoom’s role to increase as the season goes on. My vision is about five runs and 5+ targets in the passing game. With Evans, I expect his role to be similar to McDoom, but more balanced than just running the ball. He will probably not get as many carries if Drake Johnson comes back. If Johnson is not back or not 100 percent, Evans will be as good if not better in replacing him.
- The offensive line looked solid, but not world-beaters that they will need to be to drive the defensive lines of Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State back. Simply speaking, the Michigan running backs were able to find holes and break tackles and Speight benefited from a smaller, less-athletic Hawaii d-line. Speight had as much time as he needed to find an open receiver.
- One surprise to me was the front seven. I knew they would be good, but not that good. It seemed like early on when the game was close early on, every time Hawaii passed, there was multiple defenders in Ikaika Woolsey’s face.
- The secondary overall was good, but not great. Jourdan Lewis will add an extra gear once he returns. Jeremy Clark and Channing Stribling played well in his place, but got beat several times on a variety of routes by the Hawaii receivers.
- Harbaugh met with the media Monday afternoon and updated the statuses on several injured players.
- Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone both left the game and did not return. Harbaugh noted that he does not expect either to play in this week’s game against UCF.
- De’Veon Smith left against Hawaii as well. Harbaugh said he will be “back in the lineup” against UCF.
- Ben Braden: Did not play due to a minor injury, Harbaugh’s decision. He should be back this Saturday.
- Jourdan Lewis: Was not suspended as ESPN’s Ed Cunningham speculated on the broadcast. Harbaugh stated that he was “working through something” but did not mention when he would return. It could be this week.
- Drake Johnson: There is no official or unofficial word on Johnson’s status other than he did not dress on Saturday. My personal belief is that he might not be in the same shape as he was in before the forklift injury in April. He might not be able to run fluidly or be as athletic. Much of the same as an athlete recovering from an Achilles injury; never being able to be the athlete they were before the injury.
- Linebacker Noah Furbush was also out for the game and could be out a little while longer. “Noah may be working through something a little longer than Drake (Johnson),” Harbaugh said.
What were your thoughts on Michigan’s blowout win over Hawaii? Let us know in the comment section below!
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