The Wolverine

December 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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34 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2018 M ichigan got good news and bad news following a 42-7 win over Penn State Nov. 3. Junior defensive end Rashan Gary returned for the first time since reinjuring his shoulder in the 20-17 win at Northwestern Sept. 29, and he played well. Redshirt freshman wide re- ceiver Tarik Black, who played one snap at Michigan State after recovering from a broken foot suffered in camp, played more and caught a long touchdown pass — though it was called back for a penalty — after a great route got him open. Gary set the tone against Penn State with a big hit on Nit- tany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley on the game's first play. McSorley completed the pass, but he was under duress all day, and it was clear early he would never be comfortable in the pocket. "I think it was really good for the morale of the team and for Rashan, too, to be back out there," head coach Jim Harbaugh said. "He's a tremendous leader on our team, somebody everybody has great respect for. "He played really well, too. He's a special player." Some had criticized Gary for not playing earlier, but he insisted he was doing everything he could to get back. He said Nov. 6 it was a blessing to be back on the field with his teammates — and that the first hit felt great. "I don't know how to explain [what that first hit was like]," he said. "Any- one who has been hurt before knows how it feels. I looked to my right and saw [junior linebacker] Devin Bush and to my left and saw [junior safety] Josh Metellus — and then I see [junior defensive tackle] Carlo [Kemp] and [fifth-year senior defensive end] Chase [Winovich], and it was like, 'I missed you [and] love you guys.' "The hardest part is holding your- self back when you want to do more. It was a process, so you have to take it slow. It was about baby steps, but throughout MSU week, I wasn't at a place I thought I could come out and give my team 100 percent. Every game I sat out was tough, but that one was harder. Not being able to show my ag- gression and do what I wanted to do to them was hard." Michigan beat MSU 21-7 Oct. 20 without him. Black, meanwhile, had yet to catch a pass (officially) after hauling in 11 receptions for 149 yards and a score in three games last year, but he was back to his old ways in practice. Senior wide receiver Grant Perry said it was only a matter of time before he broke out in a game given what they'd all seen at Schembechler Hall, and Harbaugh agreed. "He's looking good. Ev- erybody's happy to have him back," the coach said. "He's been playing, and it's great for his morale and the rest of the team's to have him back out there playing and practicing." Redshirt freshman and backup quarterback Dylan Mc- Caffrey, however, is "probably" out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, Har- baugh confirmed after the Penn State game. He'd join redshirt freshman defensive end Luiji Vilain and sophomore corner- back Ben St-Juste on the "out for the year" list. McCaffrey hurt himself on a quarterback keeper late in the fourth quarter against the Nittany Lions when he came down on his right side. "He suffered a broken collarbone in the game, which is too bad," Har- baugh said in the postgame. "He was doing so well. I'm sad about that right now." Redshirt sophomore Brandon Peters and true freshman Joe Milton are bat- tling for time to back up starter Shea Patterson. "We'll see [who the backup is]," Har- baugh said, noting they still hoped to redshirt Milton. The freshman has played in two of Michigan's first 10 games and can play in up to four be- fore burning the redshirt. He carried twice for 22 yards in the Wisconsin game and added three more totes for a net of minus-6 against Rutgers. McCaffrey was 8-of-15 passing for 126 yards with two touchdowns this season. He also ran for a 44-yard touchdown against Wisconsin and car- ried twice for 14 yards against PSU. — Chris Balas   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL U-M Gets Back Rashan Gary And Tarik Black, But Loses Dylan McCaffrey Gary missed three games due to injury but returned against Penn State Nov. 3. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN 2018 MICHIGAN FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent Time (ET)/TV Sept. 1 at Notre Dame L, 24-17 Sept. 8 Western Michigan W, 49-3 Sept. 15 SMU W, 45-20 Sept. 22 Nebraska W, 56-10 Sept. 29 at Northwestern W, 20-17 Oct. 6 Maryland W, 42-21 Oct. 13 Wisconsin W, 38-13 Oct. 20 at Michigan State W, 21-7 Nov. 3 Penn State W, 42-7 Nov. 10 at Rutgers W, 42-7 Nov. 17 Indiana 4:00 p.m./FS1 Nov. 24 at Ohio State Noon/FOX

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