It wasn’t a dominant performance, but Michigan got the job done against Colorado. What are the 5 Things That Matter?
Michigan 45, Colorado 28: 5 Things That Matter
The magnificent Mr. Peppers
Two carries for 24 yards, four punt returns for 99 yards, two kickoff returns for 55 yards, nine tackles, a sack, and 3.5 tackles for loss.
And a 54-yard punt return for a score didn’t hurt, either.
This was the Jabrill Peppers game when he showed off all the skills that make him – arguably – the best all-around player in college football. He might not have done much on offense, but whenever he had the ball in his hands as a returner, and whenever he roamed free with chances to make plays on defense, he changed the game.
When you can play like that and still win …
You’re pretty good. Michigan was awful to start things out giving up 21 points in the first quarter and only getting on the board after a blocked punt, but slowly the Wolverines get back in it with the running game taking over and with Wilton Speight settling down after a rough start.
It helped that the run defense held its own – allowing just 64 yards – and the D only allowed seven points after the first quarter, but this wasn’t Michigan’s sharpest overall performance.
It still won by 17.
Sefo Liufau was a gamer
He wasn’t quite right after hurting his foot, but Liufau did what he could to keep the Colorado offense going, taking hit after hit and hanging tough throwing for 246 yards and three scores.
The offense might have bogged down in the second half, but Liufau still came up with the 70-yard touchdown pass to Shay Fields to put the Buffs ahead for a little while. The Wolverines scored 21 unanswered points, but Liufau wasn’t helped by the running game while having to deal with the Michigan defensive pressure. If he can stay in one piece, he’ll help Colorado stick around in game after game.
Can Wilton Speight be better?
He got rocked early on with a big hit and a fumble, and he came up with a few big plays here and there, but Speight only completed 16-of-30 passes for 229 yards and a 45-yard scoring play to Amara Darboh. John O’Korn got a carry but didn’t throw a pass, and the ground game didn’t help the cause with just a few runs, but again, Michigan managed to win the game without playing its best – and with Speight not being razor sharp.
What Does This All REALLY Mean?
Colorado has to regroup in a hurry with a trip to Oregon up next, and a date at USC coming up after hosting Oregon State. The offense showed it can hang around and put up points, but it’ll have to start converting third downs after only hitting one of them.
Michigan never has a road game, getting Penn State and Wisconsin up next. It’ll finally have to face a real defense over the next few weeks, but if it gets by those two, it’s Rutgers and Illinois to follow. That means Michigan will be 7-0 going into Michigan State if it can beat the Nittany Lions and Badgers.