The Wolverine

November 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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34 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2020 BY AUSTIN FOX THREE BEST OFFENSES 1. Ohio State (Dec. 12) The Buckeyes are an easy choice for the top spot on this list, thanks to the return of several key offensive weapons from a 2019 attack that fin- ished fourth nationally in yards per game (529.9): junior quarterback Justin Fields, junior receiver Chris Olave and sophomore wideout Garrett Wilson. Running back J.K. Dobbins departed early for the NFL, but OSU will still be in stellar shape at the position with redshirt sophomore Master Teague (789 yards last season) and Oklahoma senior transfer Trey Sermon (2,076 yards during his time in Norman). OSU brought in the best crop of freshman receivers in the entire coun- try, headlined by five-stars Julian Flem- ing and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Both are expected to see playing time this sea- son. To cap it all off, Ohio State returns three of its five offensive line starters. 2. Penn State (Nov. 28) Like Ohio State, Penn State also brings back the majority of its weapons from 2019, and the unit will be led by redshirt junior quarterback Sean Clif- ford, who threw for 2,654 yards and 23 touchdowns against seven picks while he ran for 402 yards and five more scores last year. The Nittany Lions' stable of running backs is the strength of their offense, with a pair of sophomores in Devyn Ford and Noah Cain (both top-50 pros- pects out of high school) expected to emerge alongside redshirt junior Jour- ney Brown (890 yards and 12 touch- downs rushing last year). PSU's receiving unit will face a bit of an overhaul in the wake of K.J. Ham- ler's early departure for the NFL, but still features junior wideout Jahan Dotson (488 yards in 2019) and one of the game's best tight ends in junior Pat Freiermuth. The 6-5, 260-pounder reeled in 507 yards and seven scores last year. 3. Minnesota (Oct. 24) The emergence of Minnesota's of- fense was one of the biggest surprises in the conference last season, and it was due in large part to the play of quarterback Tanner Morgan. He com- pleted 66 percent of his passes, threw 30 touchdown passes against only seven picks, and is back as a redshirt junior to lead the Gophers again. Morgan has plenty of weapons around him, with redshirt junior run- ning back Mohamed Ibrahim ready to spearhead the ground game after running for 604 yards last year. The biggest luxury Morgan will have, how- ever, is junior wideout Rashod Bate- man, whose 1,219 receiving yards were the second most in the Big Ten last season. OPPONENT OVERVIEW A Quick Look At Michigan's Foes This Fall Junior Chris Olave led Ohio State with 849 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns through the air last season, and is back to help lead another potent attack. PHOTO COURTESY OHIO STATE ATHLETICS

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