Michigan Football Preview 2019

Digital Edition

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link: https://comanpub.uberflip.com/i/1133482

Contents of this Issue


Page 141 of 179

BY AUSTIN FOX A fter Michigan stumbled to a disap- pointing 8-5 finish in 2017, most expected the Wolverines to be significantly better in 2018 — but the question was how much better? Ole Miss junior transfer quarter- back Shea Patterson proved to be just what the U-M offense needed, helping elevate an attack that scored 25.2 points per game (91st nationally) in 2017 to 35.2 (21st) last season. The arrival of offensive line coach Ed Warinner also saw the front five improve their collective play immensely (36 sacks al- lowed in 2017, 23 in 2018), giving Michigan — which possessed yet another dominant defense under coordinator Don Brown — all the ingredients of an elite club. A season-opening 24-17 loss at Notre Dame pumped the breaks on those expectations, but the aspirations were quickly restored when the Wolverines ripped off a 10-game winning streak following the setback to the Irish. From Sept. 8 through Nov. 17, U-M out- scored its opposition 386-125, and held six of the 10 foes to 13 points or fewer. The Maize and Blue then headed to Co- lumbus Nov. 24 with a 10-1 record and hopes of a Big Ten championship game spot and College Football Playoff berth very much alive, only to see those dreams dashed by a 62-39 Buckeyes victory. The disappointment carried over into the postseason, where the Wolverines once again found themselves on the wrong side of a blowout loss, this time at the hands of Florida, 41-15. While U-M showed incredible progression and was viewed as one of college football's best teams for the majority of the 2018 cam- paign, the lasting memory for most will likely be the back-to-back brutal losses that ended the year, capping off the third 10-3 season for head coach Jim Harbaugh in four years. Quarterback Shea Patterson's arrival helped elevate Michigan's offense, with the Wolver- ines going from 25.2 points per game (91st nationally) in 2017 to 35.2 (21st) in 2018. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN 2018 THE YEAR IN REVIEW U-M Shows Substantial Progress In Jim Harbaugh's Fourth Season, But Still Falls Short Of Its Goals 140 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2019 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Articles in this issue

view archives of Michigan Football Preview 2019 - Digital Edition