The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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NOVEMBER 2018 THE WOLVERINE 33   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Three Best Players 1. Junior quarterback SHEA PATTERSON He completed 67 percent of his passes in the team's four games from Sept. 22-Oct. 13, tossing four touchdowns and just one pick during that span. Patterson showed incredible resiliency and leader- ship in the 20-17 victory at Northwest- ern Sept. 29, rallying U-M back from a 17-point deficit. He then displayed his running ability (90 net yards and a score) in the squad's 38-13 blowout of Wisconsin Oct. 13. It's safe to say Michigan would not be 6-1 without him. 2. Fifth-year senior defensive end Chase Winovich He has been Michigan's most disruptive force all season, tal- lying four tackles for loss and two sacks in the aforementioned timeframe. He enjoyed one of the best games of his career in the come-from-behind win at Northwestern, leading the team in both tackles (nine) and stops behind the line of scrimmage (three), while also recording a sack. Opponents focused more of their attention on Winovich when junior defensive end Rashan Gary sat out the Maryland and Wisconsin contests with injury, but the fifth-year senior was still able to rack up six tackles between the two games. 3. Senior running back Karan Higdon He averaged 114.7 yards per game and racked up four touchdowns from S ept. 22-Oct. 13, including the game-winning score with just 4:06 remaining in the Northwestern show- down. The senior averaged 5.3 yards per carry against the four foes, including an 11.3 mark he posted in the 56-10 destruction of Nebraska Sept. 22. Key Play With Michigan trailing Northwestern 17-13 Sept. 29 in Evanston, Patterson and the Michigan offense faced a third-and-six at the Wildcat 37-yard line with just 6:36 remaining in the game. The junior took the snap from the shotgun and immediately scrambled to his left once the pocket began to collapse. Northwestern defensive end Samdup Miller dove at his feet at the line of scrimmage and appeared to make contact, but Patterson kept his footing and cut to his right. Wildcat defensive tackle Jordan Thompson had a clear shot at the junior, but the signal-caller was too quick for him. Patterson continued to dart to his right, before being up- ended by sophomore safety J.R. Pace three yards past the first-down marker. The drive ended with the game-winning score by Higdon, which at the time gave Michigan its first lead of the night. The Wolverines would have been forced to punt if not for Patterson's heroics, which likely saved the Wolverines' hopes of a potential Big Ten title. Best Highlight On just the second play of the game versus Maryland Oct. 6, Patterson took the snap and immediately sprinted to his right. He tossed a short pass to sophomore fullback Ben Mason at the line of scrimmage, who had senior safety Darnell Savage barrel- ing down on him. The Maryland defender lowered his shoulder to tackle Mason, but instead the 6-3, 254-pounder went airborne and jumped right over him. Savage completely whiffed, and Mason ran an extra nine yards before being brought down by junior safety Antwaine Richardson. Surprise Performer Freshman wideout Ronnie Bell gets the nod here. Granted, he only caught three passes from Sept. 22-Oct. 13, but two of them went for touchdowns. The first came in the blowout win over the Cornhuskers, when redshirt fresh- man quarterback Dylan McCaffrey found him along the sideline for a 56-yard scor- ing strike in the fourth quarter. Bell's second score was much more impactful — with Michigan leading Maryland just 10-7 and 19 seconds to go until halftime, Patterson found the freshman over the middle of the field for a 22-yard touch- down, and the Wolverines never looked back from that point on in a 42-21 victory. Bold Prediction Michigan will be 10-1 heading into Co- lumbus Nov. 24. The Wolverines will travel to Michigan State Oct. 20 riding a six-game winning streak, and will then enjoy a bye week before hosting Penn State Nov. 3. A road test at Rutgers and a home date with Indiana, respectively, shouldn't pose significant challenges prior to the showdown with the Buckeyes. If the Maize and Blue are indeed 10-1 at the regular-season finale, a trip to the Big Ten Champion- ship will almost assuredly be at stake for the winner. — Austin Fox SUPERLATIVES FOR GAMES FOUR THROUGH SEVEN

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