Michigan football made a statement on Saturday with a 49-24 win over Minnesota on the road, and U-M jumped five spots in the rankings to No. 13 as a result. Falling in line with an overall stout performance, numerous Wolverines shined during the prime time setting, and College Gameday's Kirk Herbstreit actually ranked Michigan linebacker Michael Barrett's effort as the second best in all of college football.
So, Wolverine Digest set out to sort through who had the best Week 1 showing.
1. Joe Milton - 15-for-22, 225 yards, 1 TD, 52 rushing yards, 1 TD
While his stat line may creep on pedestrian territory moreso than that of an electric performance, Milton takes the stop spot for the pure importance of his position alone. Through the Shea Patterson and Wilton Speight years, Michigan had to suffer through multiple meager outings from the QB position, and Milton provided a degree of stability to the offense that has not been promised for U-M.
Milton's numbers dipped due to a couple dropped passes, so he realistically could have approached 300 passing yards with two or three touchdowns to compliment his rushing pursuits. Overall, Milton was effective, composed and delivered an impressive performance in his first start.
2. Michael Barrett - 7 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 66 kickoff return yards
Playing at the Viper position in his first start, Barrett logged a versatile performance, one that was reminiscent of former Michigan Viper Jabrill Peppers. On Saturday, Barrett created one of the standout plays when the Wolverine came screaming off the edge and drilled Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan to force a fumble. As it turned out, the ball popped directly into Donovan Jeter's arms, and he was able to rumble into the end zone for an emphatic touchdown.
However, Barrett was not finished in the playmaking department as he took advantage of a kickoff headed in his direction. With the ball in his hands, Barrett, a former high school quarterback, raced 66 yards down the field and nearly found himself in the end zone, putting Michigan in terrific field position as a result. All told, Barrett was on his A game last week.
3. Kwity Paye - 4 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks
While Kwity Paye may only have four tackles, he made the absolute most of his opportunities to rush the passer. Paye was second in all of college football over the weekend with eight quarterback pressures, and he was nearly impossible for the Gophers' offensive line to handle. Now, Minnesota was missing two starting blockers, but Paye had his way at the line of scrimmage time and time again.
4. Gemon Green - 3 tackles, 3 pass breakups
For a cornerback, sometimes it is better not to be noticed and to do work in silence, but Green made his impact felt against Minnesota. After Dax Hill went down with an eye injury, Green moved over to cover Rashod Bateman, and he was more than effective in doing so. Green broke up three passes, including one on a fade route to Bateman at the goal line and acquitted himself very well in his first career start as well.
5. Hassan Haskins - 6 rushes, 82 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 tackle
Making due off only six handoffs, Hassan Haskins put his stamp on Michigan's Week 1 win. At one point, Haskins ripped off a 66-yard run, and he found the end zone for a pair of scores in what was a dominant rushing effort for the Wolverines overall. But to make his performance even more impactful, Haskins was near the line of scrimmage to help block for a punt return when Minnesota opted to fake the special teams play and pick up the first down on the ground. Haskins was in the perfect place and executed a timely form tackle to force a turnover on downs.
Which Wolverines stood out the most in your eyes? Who made the biggest play on Saturday? Let us know!