Michigan 52 Minnesota 10 – Game 6 Recap


Final Score: 52-10, Michigan by 42 over Minnesota
SP+ Projection: Michigan by 18.5 (+23.5)
CD Projection: Michigan by 27 (+15)


GAME 6 RECAP @ Minnesota

The Wolverines have settled on their starting five offensive linemen, and it paid off. Michigan put up a 67% success rate against Minnesota, who came into the contest as the 28th ranked defense, per SP+. That is the 2nd highest mark of the season for Michigan (68% vs. Bowling Green). JJ McCarthy was also solid in the passing game with a 70% completion rate, 219 yards, and a touchdown to Colston Loveland. The most impactful part of McCarthy’s game was adding 2 touchdown runs. The QB run game must officially be accounted for by the rest of the defensive coordinators on Michigan’s schedule.

We’ve seen the Michigan defense give up an explosive score early (vs. Rutgers), and a few times late (most recently Nebraska). This time, the cringe-worthy play happened just before halftime when Minnesota’s WR Daniel Jackson beat Mike Sainristil on a fade route late in the 2nd quarter. After the Wolverines were staying blocked on some outside zone runs, this looked like there could be significant question marks. Then the 2nd half arrived, and Mason Graham and his partners smothered the Golden Gophers, allowing only 46 total yards after half time.

On special teams, James Turner has settled in as the place kicker. He has shown a strong leg, and looked solid on all 7 (!) extra points while also converting a chip shot field goal. Jake Thaw and Tyler Morris continue to compete for the punt return duties. Seems like Thaw is the “safe” option, while Morris probably has more upside for an explosive return.

While the B1G Ten season’s opening three games have come against similar opponent profiles (Rutgers, Nebraska, & Minnesota), we are seeing the Wolverines continually improve week after week. The offensive line is settling in, but there is still room to grow as the running backs continue to look to add more big runs. The interior defensive line appears unblock-able for long stretches in every game, but there are still cracks visible in the secondary. This team is playing extraordinarily well, but the scariest thing is that they might not be at their peak. Yet.

About Clint Derringer

@clint_derringer on Twitter U-M B.A. Sport Management & Communications ‘05 U-M M.S. Program & Project Management ‘18