Michigan served notice to Illinois on the opening drive that there would be no rust or dawdling on Saturday. The offense marched the field in 10 plays for an opening touchdown and never looked back. The drive included three different quarterbacks, and oh yes, a formation that featured no less than five tight ends to serve as the perfect finale to an authoritative opening possession.
Have you ever seen a five Tight End formation? No, you haven’t. At least you hadn’t until Saturday. The play started off with the second appearance of Michigan’s new “train” formation this year:
Let’s go ahead and circle the tight ends:
Yep, that’s five: Asiasi, Butt, Hill, Jocz, and Wheatley Jr. All of the action of this play headed towards the bottom of the screen, save for Jake Butt. Tyrone Wheatley Jr ran a perfect rub route that left Jake Butt uncovered coming across the field.
Unlike Michigan State’s receivers against Maryland, Wheatley Jr did not engage in a block on the defensive player and avoided an offensive pass interference flag for a pick play.