The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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36 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2017   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL They then dropped excruciating shootouts at fellow co-champions Purdue (32-31) and Northwestern (54-51). They did wind up the last Michigan team to beat Ohio State in Columbus (38-26) and knocked off Auburn 31-28 in the Citrus Bowl, fin- ishing No. 10 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. COORDINATORS REWARDED WITH RAISES AND CONTRACT EXTENSIONS Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh had bad news for those who hoped he or his staff might be planning on leaving Michigan any time soon, re- warding defensive coordinator Don Brown and offensive coordinator Tim Drevno with new, five-year contracts following the season. FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman was the first to report that Brown will re- ceive a five-year deal that will aver- age close to $1.4 million per season. Brown's defense ranked No. 1 in 2016 for total defense nationally, surrender- ing 261.77 yards per game. Michigan was No. 1 in passing defense at 142.5 yards allowed per contest, No. 15 in rushing defense (119.2) and No. 2 in scoring defense at 14.1 points surren- dered per game. The Wolverines rebounded from a tough start in the Orange Bowl to play relatively well minus redshirt sopho- more linebacker Jabrill Peppers, out with a hamstring injury, including a game-changing pick-six by redshirt junior linebacker Mike McCray. Brown, now 61 years old, was a fi- nalist for this year's Broyles Award given to the nation's top assistant coach. He said earlier this year he had no plans to retire anytime soon and loved his job at U-M, though he didn't rule out the possibility of being a head coach again one day. He previously led the programs at Plymouth State, Northeastern and UMass. The pay bump would make him the third-highest paid assistant in the country according to USA Today, be- hind Texas A&M's John Chavis and Clemson's Brent Venables. Drevno — Harbaugh's first assis- tant coaching hire when he took the job in 2015 — has also reportedly been given a five-year contract worth $1 million annually. He worked with Harbaugh and passing game coordi- nator Jedd Fisch (now at UCLA) over the past two seasons, and helped the MISCELLANEOUS NOTES • Following the Orange Bowl loss, Michigan now stands 2-2 all time versus Atlantic Coast Conference schools in bowl games. The Wolverines beat Virginia Tech 23-20 in the 2012 Sugar Bowl, smoked North Carolina State 42-7 in the 1994 Hall of Fame Bowl and lost to North Carolina 17-15 in the 1979 Gator Bowl. • The Wolverines are now 9-7 in bowl games played in Florida, and 1-2 all time versus Florida State. Michigan beat the Seminoles 20-18 in 1986 with Jim Harbaugh at quar- terback and lost a 51-31 shootout in Michigan Stadium in 1991. • Michigan finished as one of the top five scoring squads of all time coming out of Ann Arbor. The Wolverines put 524 points on the board over the course of the season, surpassing Fielding H. Yost's 1905 crew that scored 495. That team, like the 2016 squad, played 13 games. The 2016 team wound up scoring more than all but four other Michigan units. All of those, however, played fewer games and routed opponents with Yost at the helm — 1902 (644 points in 11 games), 1904 (567 points in 10 games), 1903 (565 points in 12 games) and 1901 (550 points in 11 games). • Fifth-year senior wide receiver Amara Darboh finished his career among Michigan's top 10 receivers in terms of catches, and just outside the top 10 for receiving yards. He wound up with 151 career catches, ninth on Michi- gan's all-time list and just one behind eighth-place David Terrell (1998-2000). Darboh concluded his Michigan career with 2,062 receiving yards, No. 12 on the all-time list. Ahead of him are No. 11 Greg McMurtry (1986-89) with 2,163 and No. 10 Jason Avant (2002-05) with 2,247. Darboh's five Orange Bowl receptions made it 33 straight games in which he caught a pass, good for No. 4 all time behind Jeremy Gallon (2010-13) with 39, Braylon Edwards (2001-04) with 38 and Avant with 35. • Redshirt sophomore quarterback Wilton Speight completed 204 passes on the season, cracking the sin- gle-season top 10 for a Wolverine quarterback. Speight's completions slid him in just ahead of Chad Henne's 2006 total of 203, giving this year's U-M quarterback the 10th- most connections in a single season. Speight also edged Henne for 10th in passing yards, 2,538-2,526, from that same 2006 campaign. • Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison earned defensive line coach of the year honors from Foot-, determined by a vote of the prior win- ners. U-M ranked No. 2 in tackles for loss, No. 4 in sacks and No. 15 in rush defense spurred by its deep and talented defensive line. Only five teams allowed fewer than Mich- igan's nine rushing touchdowns, and the Wolverines ranked No. 7 nationally in yards allowed per rush (3.22). • Michigan finished No. 1 in the nation in third-down defense, allowing conversions only 21 percent of the time. That's the lowest percent- age nationally since 2003 when Louisiana Monroe allowed 20.24 percent. • Fifth-year senior kicker/punter Kenny Allen was the only Wolverine voted to the Associated Press' all-bowl team. Allen averaged 47.4 yards per punt and placed four of his eight kicks inside the 20-yard line. He also made all three field goal attempts in the game and notched six touchbacks on seven kickoffs. • In addition to quarterback Shane Morris, offensive lineman David Dawson and long snapper Scott Sypniewski have also decided to pursue graduate transfers elsewhere. Dawson, who appeared in three games and played both ways against Rutgers this year, finished his Michigan career with 14 games played and has already announced he will spend his final year of eligibility at Iowa State. Preferred walk-ons Andrew Robinson and Camaron Cheeseman are expected to split the long snapping duties next season. Robinson will be a junior and Cheeseman will be a sophomore. Wide receiver Amara Darboh finished his U-M career with 151 receptions for 2,062 yards and 14 touchdowns. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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