The Wolverine

December 2021*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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DECEMBER 2021 THE WOLVERINE 33   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL The winners are selected by a panel of media members. "This is the 18th year that the Walter Camp Football Foundation will honor one offensive and one defensive player as its national Football Bowl Subdivision player of the week during the regular season," the release read. "Recipients are selected by a panel of national media members and administered by the Foundation." The two Wolverines are the eighth and ninth players in program history to win weekly honors from the Walter Camp panel since 2004. The last to do it was defensive end Chase Winovich in 2017. This is only the second time one team swept both offensive and defensive hon- ors in a single week, with Syracuse wide receiver/defensive back Diamond Ferri doing so himself in 2004. — Anthony Broome Five Best Players 1. Junior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson The Heisman Trophy contender has been one of the top play- ers in college football all season long and has even elevated his game down the stretch. The projected first-round NFL Draft pick (and potential No. 1 overall selection) has notched seven of his 13 sacks over the last five games, including a trio of quarterback takedowns in pivotal tilts at Penn State and against Ohio State. In a victory over the Buckeyes, he registered 15 quarterback pressures, the most by any player in a single game since Pro Football Focus began tracking the stat in 2014. 2. Redshirt sophomore running back Hassan Haskins Another Wolverine in contention for the Heisman Trophy, Haskins has increased his play in the final five contests. With second- year freshman running back Blake Corum missing two-plus games due to injury, Haskins has stepped up and recorded over 150 rushing yards in three of the last four games, including a 169-yard, five-touchdown performance against the Buckeyes. His 1,232 rushing yards this season are ranked 20th in the Wolverines' record book for a single campaign, and stood 17th nationally at the end of the regular season. His 18 rushing scores tied for fifth nationally and match the second-highest total in a Michigan season. 3. Redshirt freshman quarterback Cade McNamara He hasn't been flashy, but he hasn't needed to be. The third-year signal-caller has engi- neered the Wolverines' offense to big wins to conclude the regular season. After throwing for a career-high 383 yards and two touch- downs in a loss at Michigan State Oct. 30, he put together three more games with multiple touchdowns and completed over 65 percent of his passes in the last three contests. 4. Redshirt freshman outside linebacker David Ojabo Six of his 11 sacks came in the last five games, including one versus Ohio State to go along with a pivotal drawn holding call. Now a top NFL Draft prospect, Ojabo also forced three fumbles and totaled 16 tackles in that stretch. 5. Redshirt freshman cornerback DJ Turner One of the team's top breakout players, Turner hadn't started until Oct. 23 against Northwestern, and continued to shine from the Michigan State game on. In the final five outings of the year, he yielded just 15 receptions for 188 yards on 33 targets, with nine of those catches and 141 of those yards coming against a prolific Ohio State offense. He made his first career pick-six against Maryland Nov. 20. His emergence has been key, espe- cially with redshirt sophomore Gemon Green missing time due to an injury. Key Moment After redshirt freshman quarterback Cade McNamara was stripped deep in his own territory, Penn State knocked in a field goal to go ahead, 17-14, with 5:55 left to play in Happy Valley. On second-and-nine from the Penn State 47-yard line with just over three and a half minutes left, the Wolverines made a play to save the season. From the shot- gun with redshirt sophomore running back Hassan Haskins to his left, McNamara hit sophomore tight end Erick All in stride. At 80 percent health and battling through a high-ankle sprain, All had room to run after McNamara found him with a perfect pass. He turned the corner and hauled it to the end zone for the winning score, with the defense stopping the Nittany Lions on the ensuing possession. The win kept the Maize and Blue's Big Ten title hopes alive. Best Highlight After scoring a touchdown to cut Michi- gan's lead to 31-10 late in the third quar- ter of a 59-18 U-M win Nov. 20, Maryland went with a pooch kick, which was fielded at the 21-yard line by Wolverine redshirt sophomore linebacker Michael Barrett. The former high school quarterback threw a backwards lateral across the field to sec- ond-year freshman receiver and return man A.J. Henning, who took it the distance, 79 yards down the right sideline to the end zone. Bold Prediction We'll predict that Michigan will win the Big Ten title, come out on top in its College Football Playoff semifinal matchup and play in the national title game. There are a lot of scenarios that can play out, but the Maize and Blue are a greedy team that regards the Ohio State win as "just the beginning." If it gets past Iowa, Michigan will most likely play Cincinnati, Oklahoma State or Notre Dame in the 2 vs. 3 semifinal, and would be favored against any of those teams. The Maize and Blue have proven to themselves and the outside world that they can beat any team in the nation, and we expect them to play on the season's final Monday night. — Clayton Sayfie Superlatives For Michigan's Five Games From Oct. 30-Nov. 27 According to Pro Football Focus, junior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson recorded 15 quarterback pressures against Ohio State, the highest number in a single game since they began tracking the stat in college games in 2014. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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