Michigan stock report after Week 4: Wolverines remain on auto-pilot in latest walkover
The Michigan Wolverines continue to prove why they are one of the top teams in college football. Saturday’s 31-7 Big Ten victory over Rutgers was the latest example of this team finding multiple ways to win no matter the competition, and while the Scarlet Knights struck first to go up 7-0 early, that ended up being their only touchdown and Michigan roared back in a major way.
Here’s the stock report for Michigan after Week 4:
Player of the game: Blake Corum
Michigan went into the game knowing Rutgers was going to go all-out to stop the run, and while it wasn’t easy at times, the Wolverines still found success. Blake Corum led the charge with 21 carries for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns. Corum continues to be the reliable go-to back in critical situations, while RB No. 2 Donovan Edwards appeared to struggle with decisive decision-making and finished the game with just 6 carries for 13 yards. Corum brings a calming presence to the Michigan offense and has the veteran presence to churn out the tough yards and extend drives.
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Biggest surprise: Colston Loveland
Maybe it’s not a massive surprise to see the young, talented tight end finally put together a breakout performance, but Michigan fans have been waiting for Loveland to emerge as a reliable top target for JJ McCarthy. Loveland led all Wolverines’ receivers with 5 receptions for 75 yards. If he can build on this performance and become a bigger focal point for the offense moving forward, defensive coordinators will have a tough time game-planning against the bevy of dynamic weapons the Michigan offense brings to the table.
Biggest concern: The wide receivers
While we knew it may be a tough day running the football against a stout rushing defense in Rutgers, Michigan was able to churn out over 200 yards on the ground. The surprising part was how the Scarlet Knights were able to slow down the dynamic WR duo of Cornelius Johnson and Roman Wilson. Johnson didn’t record a single reception and Wilson finished the game catching just 3 passes for 59 yards. Time after time, it seemed like the Michigan wideouts struggled to get separation from the Rutgers secondary. The offensive coaching staff will need to fix this if the Wolverines are to hang with the top competition in the Big Ten.
Key stat: Time of possession
Michigan wore out the Rutgers defense with long, effective drives that often ended in points. The Wolverines dominated time of possession, keeping the ball for more than 36 minutes, compared to the Scarlet Knights possessing it for just over 23 minutes. This led to Michigan finishing 8-of-13 on third down and punting just 1 time. That’s how winning football teams get it done.
Developing trend: Balanced attack
Michigan has put together a great offensive game plan for nearly all of its games in 2023 so far. The coaching staff doesn’t ask too much out of McCarthy, but know he’s capable of making the big throw in the big moment. On Saturday, the Wolverines finished with 415 total yards, with 214 of those coming through the air and 2o1 coming on the ground.
Looking ahead: Nebraska
Michigan will travel to Nebraska next week and should be significant favorites over the 2-2 Cornhuskers. Nebraska hasn’t been impressive on either side of the ball under new head coach Matt Rhule, and while the Wolverines can’t overlook any road Big Ten opponent, they should be able to take care of business with ease.