Rapid Reaction: Donovan Peoples-Jones enjoys big day in Michigan win
Last week, Michigan’s Nico Collins was on the receiving end of a Shea Patterson pass that ended a 364-day streak in which a wide receiver hadn’t caught a touchdown pass.
This week, Donovan Peoples-Jones made it pretty clear that a streak like that won’t happen at Michigan again for quite some time.
The 19th ranked Wolverines came up with a 45-20 win over SMU, a game most expected UM to dominate from start to finish. The Maize and Blue did struggle early in the game, but a huge pick-six from Josh Metellus at the end of the first half turned into a game-changing moment.
And while that play will be the highlight from the game, Peoples-Jones had the standout performance.
The sophomore receiver hauled in four catches for 90 yards and three touchdown passes in the victory, which improves Michigan’s record to 2-1 on the year. Yes, Peoples-Jones has had some big moments before, but not a statement quite like this.
Patterson to Peoples-Jones proved to be a lethal combination on Saturday, one that could become one of the best quarterback-wide receiver combinations in the B1G. And a one-two punch that could open up Michigan’s offense even more moving forward.
Michigan did all of its offensive work without running back Karan Higdon. Without him, the Wolverines still racked up 434 yards of total offense and scored 45 points. Patterson completed 14-of-18 passes for 237 yards.
Peoples-Jones made up for the missing link.
SMU isn’t a great measuring stick, but considering the passing troubles Michigan had last fall, any sort of success, against any opponent, is a good sign. And the Wolverines seem to have found a go-to receiver and a guy who can be targeted in big-play situations.
Each week, the Wolverines’ passing attack has looked better. Last Saturday, it was Patterson’s ability to place the ball anywhere he wanted on the field and breaking that touchdown streak. Against SMU, it was Peoples-Jones development into a consistent playmaker.
If the two continue to mesh, there are going to be a lot of B1G defenses that get burned by the Patterson-Peoples-Jones combination.