Michigan headed into Utah with high hopes and great aspirations but fell 24-17 in a game that was very winnable by any measure.
With a coup of unknowns, Michigan fought and looked good at times but ultimately it wasn’t enough in the defeat.
We could go good news or bad news, but let’s start with the negatives.
We all knew coming into this season that Rudock was merely a game manager.
All of last season he had 5 interceptions. In week 1, he threw three.
One of them was indeed on a miscommunication between he and Grant Perry. The other two, however, were truly putrid. The key note; all three were with plays where Perry was the target.
The second came on a terrible throw where he stared down Perry. Easy pick.
The third was on a comeback route that Rudock stared down Perry in, while Ty Isaac was wide open on the other side of the field. This ultimately was the game winning touchdown on a pick six.
These mistakes simply cannot happen. Rudock also missed three deep throws (two of which were intended for Chesson; the other, Darboh) where he showed no touch with a wide open receiver. The positive? The two minute drive at the end of the game was gorgeous.
Jim has ten days to fix this and surely Rudock will be pissed when he sees this.
This will be short and sweet. Bolden was a tackling machine but for most of the game the coverage was poor.
The LBs looked worn out and must improve heading into next week. Film will show the holes that were open and ultimately the schemes must be better.
Whiffed multiple times on blocks.
It appears to be a consensus that his job could be up for grabs with Dawson seeing time. This cannot happen as a junior.
Chris had three TFL in the first half yet disappeared in the second half.
He showed the promise we all expected four years ago when he was recruited.
He showed great burst at times and offered a hard nose play making ability.
The one problem was on a key play in the fourth quarter where he completely missed an open hole on an easy cut. Much of the same
Jake Butt/Amara Darboh
These two were the stars tonight. Butt made a great grab in double coverage for a TD and showed he is a leading contender for the Mackey award. The TE spot plays a huge role in a Harbaugh offense.
Darboh was the best receiver on the field going for 102 yards and a TD. Now that he’s finally healthy, he seems to be the #1 WR. Was a little disappointed that Drake Harris saw no targets.
All in all, this season will be a learning curve and I still think Michigan can be an 8 win team.
Next Saturday, Michigan hosts Oregon State in the home opener.