Top 10 Players: Michigan vs. SMU


QB Shea Patterson The sample size is small, but Patterson is offer to the best start in his career, with his highest completion percentage (68.1), his best touchdown-to-interception ratio (3:1) and best QBR (63.1), and yet there is room to grow, as the junior signal-caller has been limited to 47 pass attempts in the first two games that ranks 88th nationally. With SMU ranking 113th nationally in pass defense, this could be a week where Patterson goes off.

DE Rashan Gary After two games, Gary ranks third among Wolverines with four total quarterback pressures. He is first on the team with 12 tackles against the run, and in SMU faces a Mustangs team that ranks among the worst teams in the country in sacks allowed (121st, with eight).

RB Karan Higdon The senior ball carriers 228 yards rushing this season represent the best two-game start of his career and the fifth-best back-to-back tally in his four seasons - his 358 yards against Rutgers/Minnesota in 2017 is the benchmark. Hes seeking his seventh career 100-yard rushing effort and just the third time in his career with consecutive 100-yard performances against a rush defense ranking 76th nationally.

DE Chase Winovich Returning for his fifth year has proven to be a good idea so far as Winovich leads the team in QB pressures (10) and tackles for loss (3.5). He has had the opportunity to line up outside, inside and in a two-point stance as an outside linebacker (a position hell play in the NFL), showcasing his versatility to scouts.

RB Chris Evans It was an utter failure by the Michigan coaching staff to give Evans the ball just four times in the Notre Dame game as evidence by an 86-yard, two-touchdown effort against Western Michigan. In 11 games in which Evans has had double-digit offensive touches, he has averaged 77.0 yards per game and 5.5 yards per touch.

WR Donovan Peoples-Jones Michigans top target after two games with 10 receptions, Peoples-Jones didnt even make his first catch as a true freshman in 2017 until week 3, and it took him seven games to accumulate 10 catches. He has been Pattersons No. 1 option thus far this season, and will look to continue in that role this weekend.

LB Devin Bush Bush sits second behind Winovich with five QB pressures and has the best sack percentage on the team, recording a takedown of the quarterback on 30 percent of his pressures and 9.4 percent of his team-leading 16 total tackles. Bushs aggressiveness can still be used against him, but then he makes plays like this ...

CB Brandon Watson Perhaps the biggest surprise on this list, Watson has been Michigans best cornerback so far. He is 3 for 3 in denying pass completions on attempts of 20 yards or more this year, and has the lone interception by a defensive back, with his pick against Notre Dame. It wouldnt be a surprise to see the fifth-year senior take over the starting role from junior Lavert Hill this weekend.

RB Braeden West The senior running back for SMU ranks third nationally this year with two scrimmage plays of 50 yards or more a 51-yard run and a 71-yard reception. He is one of only two big-play threats for the Mustangs (receiver James Proche is the other), and leads the team with 204 combined rushing/receiving yards. With 104 yards rushing on the year, he has eclipsed 2,000 in his career (2,034).

QB Ben Hicks In his third year a starter, the junior signal-caller is closing in on 7,000 career passing yards (6,862) and has connected on 56.5 percent of his 956 total attempts, but hes been brutal against three Power 5 Conference teams over the past three seasons, completing just 43.7 percent of his 119 passes.