What You Need To Know About The Michigan Offense
– The offense needs a boost. The passing game was 110th in the nation, was one of the least efficient in college football, and the O as a whole averaged a mere 349 yards and 25 points per game. But now there’s hope to boost things up thanks to one big move.
Shea Patterson throws a lot of interceptions.
The former Ole Miss Rebel was given the go-ahead by the NCAA to play for the Wolverines this year because his old program was naughty, and now – if he takes the starting gig – he’s the passer who can crank up the ineffective air show. He threw nine picks last season before getting hurt seven games in, but he’ll wing it around the yard.
Brandon Peters wasn’t miserable when he got his shot last season as a true freshman, but his struggles in the bowl loss to South Carolina should make this easy for Patterson. If the new guy is great …
– The young receiving corps of last season should blow up. The talent was there from a great recruiting class, and now the top seven receivers are back – not including two of the top running backs.
Tarik Black returns after missing most of last year with a broken foot, with Donovan Peoples-Jones and Grant Perry dangerous options who just need the ball more. Throw in the fantastic tight end tandem of Zach Gentry and Sean McKeon, and at least statistically, this should be the team’s biggest areas of improvement.
– The rushing offense was more functional than sensational, averaging a good-enough 178 yards per game. If the passing game helps out a bit, and defenses stop cheating up to stop the backs, the talent is there to do a whole lot more.
Karan Higdon was six yards away from being a 1,000-yard speed back, and Chris Evans and Kareem Walker bring more pop. Now the blocking has to be better.
The front five was a disaster in pass protection and allowed way too many plays behind the line. Ed Warinner is stepping in to get more out of a good group getting back three starters.
Cesar Ruiz will likely move from guard to center and be terrific, but the tackles have to be better. It’s on Jon Runyan and Juwann Bushell-Beatty to be great – they have to keep Patterson in one piece.
Biggest Key To The Michigan Offense
Fixing the pass protection is Job One, leading to more third down conversions. The Wolverines were able to dominate the time of possession battle because of the defense, but all the offense had to do was move the ball a little better and all would’ve been fine.
The Michigan O converted just 33% of its third down tries, with the biggest meltdown coming in the bowl loss to South Carolina. All the Wolverines needed to do was grind out a few decent drives late, and instead, they converted 2-of-17 chances.
As a warning, though, with Shea Patterson healthy under center, Ole Miss was miserable on third downs last year, too.