Grading Quarterback Shea Patterson Against Western Michigan

Patterson did what Michigan asked of him in the blowout victory against WMU while sprinkling in some brilliance.

There is hope in Ann Arbor after all.

After a disappointing opening week against Notre Dame in South Bend, Michigan bounced back and hammered Western Michigan 49-3.

Of course, this is exactly what Michigan has been doing for Jim Harbaugh’s entire tenure with the Wolverines. With the exception of Utah and Notre Dame -- 24-17 losses in 2015 and 2018, respectively -- Michigan has blown out every non-conference opponent it has faced in the Harbaugh era; the Maize and Blue have won by an average of 29.7 points in 10 non-conference wins, the narrowest margin of victory just 16 points.

In nine previous wins, quarterbacks Jake Rudock and Wilton Speight completed 60.4 percent of their 230 attempts, good for 183.8 yards per game with 13 TDs and just five interceptions for a pass efficiency rating of 135.15.

Against WMU, Patterson was 12 of 17 (70.6 percent) for 125 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions with a player efficiency rating of 190.6.

After reviewing the film, Patterson had three great plays, three bad plays and 13 good or neutral plays.

Some of the throws Patterson made on Saturday were downright ridiculous. Such as the throw on the second drive of the game when he was running left away from the pass rush and made a throw across his body for the completion to Oliver Martin. ProFootballFocus.com's Josh Liskiewitz described it “as good of a throw as we saw in the country.”

In general, his throws on the run to the sidelines were very strong. It looks like using bootlegs, play action, and throw-on-the-run are going to be a cornerstone of this Michigan offense.

​Another very encouraging play was when Michigan was in the red zone leading 35-0 in the 3rd quarter. Patterson was patient, stayed in the pocket and threw an absolute dart over the shoulder of People-Jones in the corner of the end zone. It was the type of play that Michigan was just not scoring on last year AND it went to a wide receiver, a much talked about subject as of late.

Patterson also made a few mistakes. The biggest one came in the third quarter when Michigan ran a bootleg to the right and the Western Michigan defender quickly got in the backfield. Patterson decided to run further backwards, similarly to the play that knocked Michigan out of field goal range against Notre Dame.

The Broncos ended up taking Paterson down 16 yards behind the line of scrimmage and as he was being brought down, he inexplicably attempted an underhand throw to no one. He got lucky to be ruled down or it would have been a fumble or best-case scenario an intentional grounding.

For his performance this week, Patterson grades out as a 85/100. He wasn’t perfect, he made a few mistakes, but he also made some dazzling throws.

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