The Wolverine

October 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 21 of 75

22 THE WOLVERINE OCTOBER 2017 BY JOHN BORTON I t's tough to argue with the num- bers for Michigan's offense — at least on the surface. In the season's first two games, Jim Harbaugh's crew man- aged 69 points (34.5 average), a rush- ing clip of 204 yards per contest and the ultimate bottom line of a 2-0 re- cord. Of course, there's more to it than that. The Wolverines fought through rough early stretches in both initial contests, leading to a halftime deficit against Florida and a closer-than-nec- essary battle with Cincinnati. Plus 21 of those 69 points arrived via defensive touchdowns. A pair of pick-sixes against the Ga- tors prompted Harbaugh to pull red- shirt junior starting quarterback Wil- ton Speight for a couple of series, in favor of fifth-year senior backup John O'Korn. Speight righted the ship, but didn't have his best game against a defense projected to be among the top 10 nationally entering the season. Two Speight fumbles versus Cincin- nati — one on a mistimed exchange with freshman wideout Kekoa Craw- ford — slowed what could have been a big offensive day. Michigan's offense certainly got bet- ter during fall camp, fifth-year senior tailback Ty Isaac observed. It had to, going against the formidable defense put on the field by coordinator Don Brown. "You see how well they played against Florida," Isaac mentioned of the defense. "If we have good days against them, that makes us that much more confident. We know how well prepared they are, how good their blitzes are and as players, indi- vidually, how good they are. "We'd have days where we'd come out, and I would feel like we'd win the day. It gives you confidence, be- cause if we can do it against them, we should be able to do it against any- body else." There's still no lack of fine tuning to accomplish, with Big Ten play just around the corner. Here's a position- by-position breakdown of the early returns for the Wolverines on offense: In the first two games of the 2017 cam- paign, fifth-year senior Ty Isaac became the first Michigan rusher to post back-to-back 100-yard games since quarterback Denard Robinson did so in 2012. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN MAKING THEIR POINTS Michigan's Offense Gears Up For The Long Haul

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