The Wolverine

January 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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18 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2020 BY JOHN BORTON N o quarterback in Michigan football history ever threw for 300 or more yards in three consecutive games — until Shea Patterson. It's no shocker, then, that the se- nior came away with the Bo Schem- bechler Most Valuable Player Award at the University of Michigan Foot- ball Awards Show, presented Dec. 15 by the U-M Club of Greater Detroit. Hundreds gathered in Crisler Center, witnessing U-M seniors an- nounced and receiving their 'M' rings on a grand stage. A host of award winners came away with 11- inch "Schemmy" statues, bronze like- nesses of U-M's iconic former coach. Patterson drew the one that stands above all those honors, and sounded humble in accepting it. "There were a lot of guys that were capable of getting that award," Pat- terson said afterward, naming junior wideout Nico Collins, sophomore wideout Ronnie Bell, senior offensive lineman Ben Bredeson and others on Michigan's offensive line. "There are so many guys that make plays. I'm just happy to be a part of it." Patterson proved a big part of Michigan's 19 wins over the past two seasons, with Alabama still to play in the Citrus Bowl Jan. 1 in Or- lando, Fla. The senior saved his most prolific passing performances for the three-game streak at the end of the season. He passed for 384 yards and four scores in the blowout win over in- state rival Michigan State, 366 yards and five touchdowns in Michigan's victory at Indiana, and 305 yards with a score in the home loss to Ohio State. Those efforts boosted him to the top of the Big Ten in total offense (261.3 yards per game) and passing (257.6) in conference contests. He heads into the bowl with 2,828 passing yards on a 197-for-344 effort (57.3 percent), producing 22 throwing touchdowns and five more rushing scores. The final three-game stretch of the regular season delivered the highest consecutive-contests trio of passing yardage (1,055) in Michigan football history, edging out Jake Ru- dock's 1,035 yards in 2015. Head coach Jim Harbaugh re- minded everyone that the season isn't over yet. "It's not over!" Harbaugh noted. "We want that 10th win. We want it against 'Bama. Let's bring 'em on." Harbaugh then revealed the MVP, one of many awards voted on by Michigan players. "It's connected to one of the great- est coaches in the history of Michi- gan football," Harbaugh noted. "My coach, Bo Schembechler." Patterson thanked his coaches for believing in him and giving him the opportunity, as well as his team- mates. He also gave a nod to his fam- ily, which helped see him through the transfer from Ole Miss to Michi- gan two years ago. "I've been through a lot, and it's always good to have great people around you, helping you all the way," he said. Interviewed like all the award win- ners were by the evening's emcee, former U-M All-American Jon Jan- sen, Patterson tried to capture what his Michigan sojourn meant to him. "We went through a lot of ups and downs," Patterson said. "We had a lot of goals — win a Big Ten cham- pionship, win a national champion- ship. We fell short, but I went to this university with all these guys, and I'll cherish every single moment. I wouldn't change anything. Some of my best friends are on this team." Collins earned the Offensive Player of the Year distinction, after leading the Wolverines with seven touch- down receptions and an average of 20.6 yards per catch — the latter ranked 10th in the nation and best in the Big Ten. He secured 33 catches for 681 yards, highlighted by a 165-yard, six-catch showing at Indiana. "It means a lot," Collins said. "There's a lot of players nominated that could have won this award. We started off this season a little rough, not how we wanted to. "But we all came together as an offensive unit and found what we needed to do." Offensive coordinator Josh Gat- tis introduced the award, thanking Harbaugh for the chance to direct Michigan's offense this season. Gattis noted Michigan wound up 19th na- tionally in SP+ rankings — a measure of offensive efficiency taking into ac- count pace of play and strength of opponent. He also noted Michigan's offensive line allowed the fewest sacks per pass play in Big Ten games. "I think the thing that helped us get to where we were by the end of the year is the battle that we had, each and every day in practice, with our defense," Gattis said. "Defensive guys, I thank you guys for helping prepare us." Senior linebacker Josh Uche gar- nered the Schemmy for Defensive Player of the Year. He secured a ca- SURPASSING PERFORMANCE Senior Quarterback Shea Patterson Is Michigan's MVP Patterson finished the regular season with 2,828 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air to become the first-ever Michigan quarterback to throw for at least 2,600 yards and 22 touchdowns in two different seasons. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL Patterson on being named team MVP "There were a lot of guys that were capable of getting that award. There are so many guys that make plays. I'm just happy to be a part of it."

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