Jim Harbaugh is not the type of coach to try to disguise a whole lot of what he’s doing.
Michigan hung a season-high 448 offensive yards in a 31-0 win over No. 22 BYU on Saturday.
Michigan has been taking away its opponents strengths ever since its season-opening loss to Utah on September 3.
The Wolverines (3-1) stayed disciplined on defense throughout the game and forced Mangum and the Cougars’ offense to fight hard for the significant gains that have propelled them in previous games this year.
After watching Michigan football beat up on a highly touted BYU team in shutout fashion, I think we all have the same question moving forward: Is this sustainable? “We have to keep the momentum going and keep making statements”.
If Michigan can blow out the Terrapins and pick up a road win next week, it’ll crawl even closer to becoming the team Harbaugh wants to build.
Michigan quarterback Jack Rudock ran for two touchdowns and he passed for another to lead the Wolverines, and running back De’Veon Smith ran for 125, including a 60 yard touchdown during Michigan’s 24-point second quarter. But it was the big plays by the Wolverines, BYU’s early-season calling card, that widened those eyes.
Michigan Wolverines players celebrates in the student section after the game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Michigan Stadium. It is the first time BYU has been shut out since a 3-0 loss to Utah in 2003, snapping a streak of 143 games of getting on the board. That was the best team we’ve played to this point at this season, both from a physical standpoint and from an execution standpoint. Our defense was lights out today not allowing any points. There also was the curious decision by punter Blake O’Neill in the third quarter when Michigan went three-and-out at fourth-down and 16. No way. Wolverines’ quarterback Jake Rudock dropped back and threw deep, almost completing a long touchdown pass to speedy wide receiver Jehu Chesson. Although, Rudock’s ability to take advantage of BYU’s aggressiveness in the box, especially in the first half, definitely helped loosen things up around the line. Wilson was 18-for-30 for 227 yards and four touchdowns in the air and added 100 yards and another TD on the ground. But the Wolverines punished them on defense with a relentless pass rush and tight coverage that resulted in only 105 yards total offense for the visitors.
Instead of forcing throws, he used his feet and played it safe.
What Michigan has manufactured here in the first four games is sustainable, and I’m not going out on any kind of limb to say that.
It means the October. 17 showdown against Michigan State becomes the go-to game on the first half of the Big Ten schedule. The achievement was celebrated by his team the previous night with hamburgers, cake, balloon and “USA!” chants that surprised Darboh.
When asked about comparing it to the Beckham catch, Darboh smiled and said, “I don’t know about that”. Brian Cole, De’Veon Smith and Joe Kerridge are questionable.
“I thought I was down for a second”, Smith said.
They wouldn’t score again in the second half, despite two 11-play drives, so there may be teaching points, but after that game against a respected opponent, it may be nitpicking. He was unimpressive, they said.