Our Sunday Five breaks down five things from different categories about the game.
The Wolverines got off to another slow start but put together another dominant performance in a 42-21 win over Maryland. Our Sunday Five Looks at the best of the best from the win.
Michigan’s five best players:
QB Shea Patterson
Patterson was magnificent against the Terrapins, completing 19 of his 27 attempts for 282 yards and three touchdowns. He was accurate throughout the game and consistently kept plays alive with his feet. The junior struck a balance between not trying to force things and taking shots down the field when they were there. This was easily the best Patterson has looked in a Michigan uniform.
TE Zach Gentry
The senior set new career highs with seven catches and 112 receiving yards. His performance was especially crucial with the lack of depth at receiver right now. Gentry became Shea Patterson’s go-to target and continues to give the Wolverines another option in the passing game. He has caught at least three passes each of the last four games.
DB Tyree Kinnel
Kinnel led Michigan with seven total tackles, five of which were solo. He diagnosed plays quickly and reacted accordingly. Along with the rest of the secondary, his coverage downfield helped limit Maryland to only 73 passing yards the entire game. It was another disciplined and impressive performance by the senior.
DB Khaleke Hudson
In his first full game since week three, Hudson made his presence felt. The junior tied for the team lead with five solo tackles and recorded his first sack of the season. Michigan’s defense managed just fine without him, but he brings something to Don Brown’s unit no one else can. Hudson is the most versatile player on this defense and his play backed that up.
RB Karan Higdon
Higdon’s longest rush was only 18 yards, but he still finished with 103 yards on the ground and averaged over four yards per carry. With Chris Evans unable to go for this game, the senior was responsible for 25 of the team’s 40 rushing attempts. The percentage would have been even higher if the game wasn’t so lopsided.
Michigan’s five best plays:
Nico Collins 51-yard reception
Trailing 7-3 and coming off an interception, Shea Patterson’s 51-yard strike to Nico Collins changed the tone of the game. Patterson patiently waited for things to develop downfield thanks to solid protection. Collins did a terrific job adjusting to the ball, which Patterson underthrew a little bit. Six plays, later Ben Mason’s touchdown put Michigan back on top, 10-7.
Shea Patterson 34-yard touchdown pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones
Patterson’s athletic ability was on full display during his second passing touchdown of the game. He got out of the pocket to extend the play and connected with Peoples-Jones, who did the rest. This offense is at its best when Patterson is able to combine his arm and his legs, which is exactly what happened here. His ability to improvise is something defenses need to take into account.
Ronnie Bell 22-yard touchdown
On a third-and-3 with 24 seconds left in the first half, Patterson found Ronnie Bell across the middle to give Michigan a 17-7 lead. It was a risky throw, but Bell cut in front of the Terrapin defenders to stay between them and the ball. Instead of settling for another field goal attempt, Bell gave the Wolverines seven points and more breathing room heading into halftime.
Shea Patterson 31-yard completion to Zach Gentry
With the first quarter winding to a close and the game still scoreless, Patterson found Gentry for a 31-yard gain that set the Wolverines up at Maryland’s 24-yard line. The play action worked brilliantly and allowed Gentry to slip across the field. Patterson’s line gave him plenty of time to make a comfortable throw. Thanks to this play, Michigan got on the board first through a Quinn Nordin field goal.
Fifth-year seniors make an impact
Despite getting extremely limited playing time his first four seasons, Jared Wrangler’s dedication to the program was repaid with a touchdown reception against the Terrapins. On Maryland’s next possession, Brandon Watson, also a fifth-year senior, picked off Kasim Hill’s pass and scored a touchdown of his own. These special moments were an added bonus to an excellent performance by the Wolverines.
Five most interesting stats:
- Michigan’s win over Maryland is its eighth straight victory on homecoming.
The last loss came in 2010, when the Wolverines fell to Iowa, 38-28.
- Shea Patterson’s 282 yards passing are a season-high.
He also tied a season high with three touchdown passes and his 17 completions were the most since the Notre Dame game.
- The Wolverines more than doubled Maryland’s total yardage.
Michigan outgained the Terrapins 465-220 and only conceded 42 yards of offense in the first half.
- Karan Higdon has carried the ball 55 times in the last two games.
The senior carried the ball 30 times against Northwestern, a career high, and posted another 25 rushes in the win over Maryland.
- Michigan was 9-for-13 on third down.
In large part because of their success on third down, the Wolverines only punted the ball once in this game.
Five plays Michigan would like back:
Ty Johnson kickoff return touchdown
After the Wolverines opened the scoring with a field goal, Johnson took the ensuing kickoff and raced 98 yards to the end zone. Aside from the inability of Michigan’s special teams to contain the return, it also gave Maryland a lead in a game where its offense struggled mightily. Dynamic plays like this give teams confidence and allow them to hang around when they have no business doing so.
Shea Patterson interception
When Michigan got the ball back after the Ty Johnson’s kickoff return, the drive ended on its second play. Shea Patterson’s pass to Zach Gentry was tipped into the air and eventually caught by Darnell Savage Jr. It was an unnecessary risk and an incredibly difficult throw to make. That being said, Gentry needs to do a better job of keeping the defender away from the ball.
Shea Patterson incomplete pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones
At the edge of field goal range with 1:17 left in the second quarter, the Wolverines ran a well-designed fake screen. Donovan Peoples-Jones was wide open and probably would have walked into the end zone, but Patterson’s throw went over his head. The two didn’t seem to be on the same page and an excellent play call went to waste.
Touchdowns negated by penalties
On two different occasions, Michigan had touchdowns taken off the board by penalties. Tru Wilson’s hold wiped out a 40-yard Donovan Peoples-Jones touchdown early in the third quarter. The next drive, Peoples-Jones was flagged for a block in the back when Karan Higdon scored. Heading into games against Wisconsin and Michigan State, penalties continue to be an area of concern, particularly in crucial situations.
Tyrell Pigrome 42-yard run
At 42-14, the game was well out of hand when Maryland quarterback Tyrell Pigrome gashed Michigan’s defense for a 42-yard gain to set up a touchdown. However, it should serve as a warning sign with dual-threat quarterbacks like Brian Lewerke and Trace McSorley still on the Wolverines’ schedule. Making athletic quarterbacks one-dimensional is the key to holding them in check.
Five performances of note:
QB Clayton Thorson (Northwestern):
Thorson threw the ball 47 times against Michigan State, completing 31 of them for 373 yards. He had three touchdowns, including a 77-yarder to Kyric McGowan, and two interceptions. In a game where Northwestern rushed for a total of eight yards, Thorson still did enough to get the win.
RB Reggie Corbin (Illinois):
The junior ran for a career-high 137 yards, averaging 12.5 yards per carry in the process and scoring a 73-yard touchdown. Corbin and quarterback A.J. Bush were the first pair of 100-yard rushers for Illinois since 2015. He’s had at least 85 rushing yards in each of his last three games.
QB Nathan Stanley (Iowa):
Stanley’s four passing touchdowns nearly equaled his season total of five coming into the game. He connected on 59 percent of his 39 passes and threw for 314 yards, his season high. The junior also threw an interception and fumbled once. It was only the second time this season Stanley completed more than 16 passes in a game.
QB Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State):
As if the numbers weren’t gaudy enough already, Haskins took it to another level against the Hoosiers. He threw for a career-high 455 yards and tied a school record with six touchdowns while going 33-for-44. Haskins now has 25 touchdowns and four interceptions on the season.
RB Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin):
Taylor went over 200 yards for the second time this season, ending with 221 and three touchdowns. He averaged just over 9 yards per carry and exploded for an 88-yard touchdown run. The sophomore has rushed for over 100 yards in all five games this season and carried the ball 108 times over the last four games.