Without Scoring, Resilient Shea Patterson Delivers in Comeback Win

Isaiah Hole / WolverinesWire

Without Scoring, Resilient Shea Patterson Delivers in Comeback Win

Football

Without Scoring, Resilient Shea Patterson Delivers in Comeback Win

Shea Patterson never scored a touchdown, but he made the vast throws when it mattered most.

And, he was resilient.

The Michigan junior quarterback was 15-of-24 through the air for 196 yards. He added seven carries for 31 yards in Michigan’s 20-17 win over Northwestern at Ryan Field.

With 10:05 left in the game, Patterson was facing a second and 10 at the Northwestern 28-yard line. He spiraled a pass completion to tight end Zach Gentry for 22 yards.

“Put it in his vicinity; that’s the type of guy Zach Gentry is,” Patterson said. “He made a big play by coming up with that ball.”

Two plays later, running back Karan Higdon danced into the end zone from five yards out to give Michigan a 20-17 victory.

“I saw a guy with poise, confidence and belief,” Higdon said of Patterson. “I got a lot of faith in that guy. When you’re working with somebody like that, who knows what can happen.”

Making a case to take over the No. 2 tight end role behind Zach Gentry, junior Nick Eubanks made the most impressive play on a pass from Patterson for a 24-yard gain in the third quarter.

Michigan’s tight ends – Gentry and Eubanks – made a combined five receptions for 91 yards.

“The ball was in traffic. Highly contested,” said Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. “Shea threw it on the back shoulder. Probably the only place he could have got it completed. Nick really showed great body control and caught that ball.”

Redshirt freshman receiver Nico Collins was the most efficient pass catcher, making six receptions for 73 yards. He took a redshirt in 2017 as a true freshman and watched Wilton Speight, John O’Korn and Brandon Peters share time under center.

Collins has noticed a significant difference in Patterson as a playmaker. He knew of Patterson’s potential as a transfer from Ole Miss, but Saturday’s game showed the 6-foot-4 receiver what it means to make monumental plays.

“Going out there and watching him make big-time, third-down conversions, that’s a special kid,” Collins added.

Remember four weeks prior against Notre Dame?

Patterson completed back-to-back passes to push Michigan to its own 45-yard line with 1:14 remaining – trailing 24-17.

One play later, Patterson was sacked by Jerry Tillery for a loss of eight yards. On the hit, Tillery knocked the ball out of Patterson’s hand and it was recovered by Te’von Coney.

The game was over. Patterson fumbled, and Notre Dame recovered to secure a seven-point victory.

Patterson only had one option – move on. But he still gets a sour taste in his mouth thinking about Week 1 of the college football season.

“I had the chance against Notre Dame,” Pattersons said after Michigan’s Week 5 defeat of Northwestern.

“You move on to the next week.”

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