5 Takeaways From Michigan's Win Over Maryland

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5 Takeaways From Michigan's Win Over Maryland

Football

5 Takeaways From Michigan's Win Over Maryland

Like the weather delay, the Michigan football team took a little time to get going against Maryland. Once the Wolverines took the 10-7 lead, they wouldn’t look back, winning the game 42-21 as they improve to 5-1 on the year.

Michigan seemed to have woken up from the comeback that they had to pull out to defeated Northwestern, who by the way, upset Michigan state 29-19 today. We aren’t here to talk about either of those teams though as Michigan and Maryland and who we are talking about here. Here are my five takeaways from today’s win over Maryland.

1. PENALTIES weren’t as much of a problem then they have been in weeks past.

Going from 11 penalties to six is an improvement, but the Wolverines could still get better at avoiding the yellow flag from getting called on them. They only had 52 yards in penalties, but there is still room to get better. An illegal block in the back called on Donovan Peoples-Jones got a touchdown called back and those are one of the two killer penalties, the other are ones on third down that give your opponent another chance to gain a first down.

Michigan didn’t have to worry about beating themselves up this week or the refs calling horrible calls. Maryland was doing more of shooting themselves in the foot today as they had 12 penalties for 107 yards.

2. The offensive line didn’t allow a sack

Going up against the 20th ranked defense, it was going to be a dogfight between the Wolverines offense and the Terrapins defense and Michigan won that battle. Putting up 42 points wasn’t just enough, Patterson was never sacked as the pass protection today was very impressive.

The offensive line did struggle to create holes for the running backs, but they still had 171 yards and a touchdown on 40 carries, so they were still able to drive the ball down the field on the ground and through the air. Michigan will start facing tougher defenses and this is a good confidence booster for the offensive line.

3. Shea Patterson proving to be the missing piece of the Michigan offense

Since arriving in Ann Arbor, one part of the offense that head coach Jim Harbaugh hasn’t had that was at a different level is a quarterback. Jake Rudock did well at the position, and Wilton Speight started off well before injuries (and Shea Patterson transferring to Michigan) pushed him down and John O’Korn just never turned his impressive Houston tape into something at Michigan.

Patterson has been improving as the season has been going on. He did make a bad decision today with his interception, but he made a lot more correct decisions and finished the game going 19/27 for 282 yards for three touchdowns and one interception. Patterson is playing well and can lead this team to something special as long as the offensive line can keep up with their play and the run game can still be dominant.

4. Defensive line depth showing up big today

Starting defensive end Rashan Gary would not play today, so others had to step in for him. Defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour left the game with an undisclosed injury but he left on a cart, so odds are he doesn’t return this season. Carlo Kemp left the game limping and his injury was undisclosed as well.

Michigan is digging deep with their depth on the defensive line as Aubrey Solomon is still out as well and his return is unknown right now. It sounds like Gary could be back as soon as next week as Harbaugh told reporters after the game today that Gary could have played today but he held him out. Michigan needs to get healthy in that position group as it is the strongest unit on that defense.

5. Defense Proved its Number One Ranking

Coming into this game, Maryland had a three-headed monster at the running back position with multiple players that could light the field up on the ground. Today that monster was slain as the main three running backs were held to 100 yards on 25 carries, as the only rushing touchdown was by the backup quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome who had five carries for 63 yards and the touchdown.

Michigan held Maryland to 73 passing yards as well on 13 attempts, and they scored on a pick-six from cornerback Brandon Watson. The defense only allowed 14 points as well, as the kick-off team allowed that 98-yard kick return for a touchdown. The defense will have a tougher test against Wisconsin next week.

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