Let The Joe Milton Era Begin

BrandonBrown

As we reported a little over a week ago, redshirt sophomore Joe Milton has won the starting quarterback job for Michigan. That might result in redshirt junior Dylan McCaffrey heading elsewhere, but that tends to happen in todays' world of college football.

The Michigan fanbase has been a bit divided when it comes to Milton and McCaffrey, but that's reportedly not been the case for offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. The second-year play caller for the Wolverines has hitched himself to Milton and has all the confidence in the world in the 6-5, 245-pounder.

We now know that Michigan will play a nine-game schedule, but we don't know who the opponents will be just yet. Regardless, we can take a look at what Milton should do with nine starts in his future. 

I've always been on the Milton train. I wrote this about him back in April and still think he gives the offense the best chance to be special.

With Milton, I think he makes for a higher offensive ceiling. He could be a lot of fun to watch.

At his size, and with reported 4.67 speed, he's a true threat running the ball. He also has, arguably, the strongest arm in the country. I know he hasn't played much, but that's not hyperbole. The dude can legitimately chuck the ball 80-plus yards in the air. I've watched him wing it 65 yards during pregame warm ups without a crow hop. He has a cannon.

If you put those two traits together in one quarterback, you could have something special. Of course, there's a lot more to playing quarterback than throwing the ball far and hard and running fast. It's about decision making, reading a defense, staying calm, bonding with skill players and linemen and leading a team in crunch time. Can Milton do those things? We just don't know.

As for what we actually know, there's not much. Milton has only thrown the ball 11 times during his two years at Michigan with six completions for 117 yards and a touchdown against two interceptions. He also has two rushing touchdowns. 

He's got limited experience but if he enters camp as the guy, he's going to be extremely confident and working towards a goal that simply hasn't been there for him before. With nine games to play, Milton could still put up pretty solid numbers. I think a baseline for Milton should be 250 yards per game with a 2:1 touchdown to interception ration. That would result in 2,250 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine picks. Sprinkle in some nice runs and three or four more scores on the ground and you'd have to be happy with that production. 

Does Milton have the talent to exceed those numbers? Without question. It's going to be about preparation, execution and taking care of the ball. If he can do those things, he could be special under Gattis in 2020. Many around Schembechler Hall thought Milton could be a program changer when he signed and we're finally going to find out if they were right.

THANKS FOR READING WOLVERINE DIGEST
Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.
Comments (11)
No. 1-6
CGARNER
CGARNER

We are looking more like OSU everyday. It's understandable. When you get your ass handed to you every year you tend to mimic the perpetrator.

UMfb
UMfb

I'm really surprised by this QB decision. I think any cannon arm is overrated. Just look at Tom Brady. Every ball he put in the air was catchable. He doesn't have a cannon and there was hardly any heat on his passes. Throwing bullets isn't that useful unless it is a slant pattern to the middle. Now with Nico gone, throwing a ball 50 or 60 yds. isn't a resource for us now. I saw a true competitor in Dylan. His facial expressions showed me that he truly worked hard to get scores. As they say, "the hardest worker on the team must be the QB".

Mr.vokits
Mr.vokits

I simply hope that Milton shows better accuracy and touch. It's a shame that our best down field threat has decided to sit out. I'm a big fan of Cade's game. I feel like he might be a better fit for the system that they are running. I hope Milton lights it up.

vtadave
vtadave

Watched Cade throw many many deep balls at Damonte Ranch HS here in Reno. Rooting for him.

Wolverine.66
Wolverine.66

Report also came out today that D.Mac is transferring. Some said Cade McNamarra has outplayed him in some days; he also has huge upside. My concern with D.Mac was durability and passing ability; the dude can run but he seems a bit fragile and not a great passer. With Milton, the deep passing game exists and it is a real threat. We haven't had a QB in a long time who could truly throw a deep ball and make people play deep to stop it.

I am excited for the Joe Milton era. Trusting Josh Gattis here and he should be the one to make the call as his job rides on the success.

dieseldub
dieseldub

Wow. A McCaffrey brother losing out is a rare thing indeed!

The only question I think anyone has had with Milton is the accuracy of his throws. And at times he throws laser beams with no loft to them, tricky for receivers to catch with the amount of heat he puts on it. But for sure have heard that the coaches have been working on these points with him the entire time he's been here.

They're both similarly athletic, but I do think Milton has a stronger frame to take abuse when he runs. McCaffrey has gotten a surprising amount of injuries for what has been very little playing time, and maybe that's what tipped the scale in Milton's favor. He's more durable.

We know Michigan coaches prefer experience and maybe they better trust that Milton will be able to stay on the field and not be taken out by injury easily to be able to get that experience.

That and Gattis is doing the decision making. He likely saw something in Joe that he felt fit what he wanted to do with this offense better.

Here's to hoping the offense comes out guns blazing and surprises us all.

I'm excited to find out what the Milton era brings. If nothing else, it will be interesting.


Football

FEATURED
COMMUNITY