5 Takeaways From Michigan's Win Over Western Michigan

5 Takeaways From Michigan's Win Over Western Michigan

Football

5 Takeaways From Michigan's Win Over Western Michigan

Michigan got the win it needed and suddenly there is a different tone in Ann Arbor. The panic of what the season would turn into suddenly turned into the hope of what is still left in the 10 games remaining.

Michigan came out of the gates running as once they had the lead they never looked back. The offensive line improved, Patterson made some big plays, and the running game lead by Karan Higdon was a huge factor in the result of the 49-3 victory over the Broncos. Here are my five takeaways from today’s game.

1. Patterson Is the Real Deal

During last week’s performance against Notre Dame, people started to wonder if Patterson could be the guy for Michigan. Could he be the quarterback they have needed, and he is. Patterson did only throw for 125 yards on 12 completions, but these throws were impressive.

Patterson would make a tight throw to Donovan Peoples-Jones in the third quarter, and throw a deep ball to Nico Collins. He even made a tough through to Peoples-Jones before the touchdown pass, while on the run.

Patterson showed today that he’s the guy and Harbaugh will keep running with him.

2. The Offensive Line Has Improved, but it isn’t perfect yet

While the offensive line helped the running backs run for 300 yards, and get three touchdowns, there is still room for improvement. Patterson was sacked once, but he was scrambling out of the pocket, so the blame can’t really be placed on the line.

Patterson completed most of his throws on quick plays, as he was throwing the ball within two or three seconds of hiking the football. Rarely did Patterson have to stay in the pocket for a long time and when he did, he stayed upright. Patterson can’t always rely on these quick passes, as there will be times he needs time for his receivers to get open, and that is where the improvement needs to come.

3. The Defense is Back to their true form

After the first half of the Notre Dame game, it seemed like defensive coordinator Don Brown might have some issues on his end of the ball. Alas, it was just a poor start and Michigan would be back to normal in the second half.

Today, they didn’t have a bad half, quarter, possibly a series. While Western Michigan did put up three points late in the fourth quarter, it was against the Michigan backups, so it wasn’t that impressive.

The Wolverines held the Broncos to 123 rushing yards and 85 passing yards. Linebacker Noah Furbush was able to get an interception, and cornerback Brandon Watson almost had one as well. This defense was not allowing yards easily and when they allowed a big play or two, they made up for it the rest of the drive.

4. Donovan Peoples-Jones Still questionable in Punt Returns

While he is a great wide receiver, Peoples-Jones still has issues when it comes to punt returns. Peoples-Jones fumbled the ball on a return and luckily was able to fall on it and recover the football.

Against Western Michigan, those mistakes, while still bad and need to be improved upon, give you somewhat of slack, but do that against a Big Ten school or a top 25 team and you are in danger. Peoples-Jones needs to keep working on the returns as it seems to be his only weakness.

5. Nico Collins is Tarik Black 2.0

While he has only played two games, Collins is starting to look a lot like injured wide receiver Tarik Black. He is Patterson’s deep threat option and while he only had that one catch for a 44-yard touchdown, he and Patterson seem to have that deep ball chemistry that you need on a team.

Once Black returns this season, seeing him on the field with Collins and Peoples-Jones should give opposing defenses headaches as Patterson will have three solid options, along with his two huge tight ends and handful of running backs.

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