Well, that's not exactly how Michigan fans thought it would look. But, at the end of the day, the Wolverines are 4-0 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play after beating Maryland 34-27.
Michigan's junior running back was absolutely phenomenal. Corum set career highs in carries (30) and yards (243) and scored two more touchdowns. Through four games, he's been about as good as you can hope for, despite eclipsing 100 yards for the first time today. Maryland hung around, made it a game and tried to pull the upset, but clutch long runs by Corum allowed Michigan to emerge victorious. Hopefully Donovan Edwards will be back next week but if he's not, Corum proved today that he can absolutely be a bell cow running back.
Gemon Green/secondary in general
Maryland tested Gemon Green early and the Texan was up to the task. It'll be interesting to revisit tomorrow, but Green was picked on quite a bit and won just about every one-on-one matchup. To go along with Green's sticky coverage, fellow cornerback DJ Turner made an incredible diving interception and safety RJ Moten tipped a pass to himself for another outstanding pick. The Wolverines gave up 269 yards through the air, but picked off two passes and kept Tagovailoa in check for the most part. The late drive and touchdown by the Terps will skew the numbers a bit, but U-M's secondary was pretty effective throughout the day.
Luke Schoonmaker shines in Erick All's absence
Man, what a day for Schoony. The senior tight end reeled in seven catches for 72 yards and a touchdown as the lead dog at the position. With Erick All out today, and potentially for the entire season, Schoonmaker is going to have to step up and he showed that he can do exactly that. At 6-6, 250 pounds, Schoonmaker looks like a true tight end these days but still maintains the speed and athleticism that he utilized as a dual-threat quarterback and wide receiver in high school. Moving forward he should be a big part of the offense with All sidelined.
Maryland has been billed as a pretty good offense and that's how it looked today against Michigan. On the day, Maryland piled up 397 yards of offense including 269 through the air. They actually picked up more first downs than Michigan 23-22 and also converted on all three fourth-down attempts. The Terps were also perfect in the red zone today.
Obviously those numbers aren't great, but it's the 27 points on the scoreboard that will likely keep defensive coordinator Jesse Minter up at night. Maryland was a recovered onside kick away from making the game really interesting, but in Minter's mind, it was already interesting enough.
Play calling at times
Obviously Michigan won the game, and Blake Corum had a banner day, but there were some calls made by new offensive coordinators Sherrone Moore and Matt Weiss that could be classified as puzzling.
With about 11 minutes left in the second quarter, Michigan attempted a wide receiver reverse pass with Ronnie Bell on 2nd and 5 after Blake Corum had been gobbling up some yards during the drive. The play failed, Bell was tackled for a 3-yard loss and Michigan faced a 3rd and 8 on the plus side of the 50. The Wolverines opted for a deep shot, which fell incomplete. It felt like a really strange play call at a time when U-M actually had a little bit of rhythm running the ball.
Later in the second quarter, Michigan was on about the 35-yard line facing a 3rd and 25. Instead of taking a shot in an attempt to draw a pass interference call, or giving a wide receiver a chance at a 50/50 ball, Michigan opted to run a draw play to make the field goal a little easier. Jake Moody ended up missing the long attempt, making the entire series of plays feel really mismanaged.
There was also a late 3rd and 4 play that went to walk-on running back Isaiah Gash. I'm not trying to disparage Gash as a player or a worker, but I can name a lot of players I'd rather see touch it in that instance.
Four-man pass rush
Once again, Michigan's four-man pass rush was virtually nonexistent. Yes, the Wolverines did finish with three sacks, but none of them came against starting quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. The Wolverines didn't put the quarterback on the ground until late in the fourth quarter, and one of them was by Mike Sainristil on an exotic blitz. If Michigan is going to compete with the best teams in the Big Ten, that front four is going to have to get home sometimes. Over the last three games, but has just four sacks, three of which came today in the late part of the game against Maryland's backup QB.