ANN ARBOR, Mich. - It's rare for anything around the Michigan football program to fly under the radar, but one of the team's star players seems to be doing just that.
Karan Higdon quietly put together another strong performance Saturday against Wisconsin, rushing for 105 yards on 19 carries. It was his fifth-straight game of more than 100 rushing yards.
Michigan has a much-improved offense this season, and that's largely thanks to Shea Patterson and a revamped passing attack. But Higdon, who was just as good for the Wolverines last year, has continued to be a steadying force.
As the quarterback and leader of the offense, Patterson is going to garner most of the attention. But Donovan Peoples-Jones and Zach Gentry have also stolen the spotlight with excellent seasons in the passing game.
Their contributions have been flashy, but Higdon has been the most consistent.
After being held to 72 yards on 21 carries against Notre Dame, Higdon has rushed for 156, 136, 115, 103 and 105 yards during Michigan's six-game winning streak. He sat out the Sept. 15 game against SMU due to injury, but that likely would have been another 100-yard effort, as backups Chris Evans and Tru Wilson combined for 138 yards on 29 carries.
Higdon was a three-star recruit out of Sarasota, Florida, and the No. 40 running back in the 2015 class. He was the first player to officially commit to Jim Harbaugh on national signing day, and he's turned into one of the most productive players in Harbaugh's tenure at Michigan.
His modest prospect pedigree and lack of huge-play potential have kept Higdon from becoming a household name throughout college football, but he's one of the most important players on Michigan's roster.
Higdon only has one rush for more than 50 yards this season -- a 67-yard dash against Western Michigan -- but he's taken seven carries for at least 20 yards and 15 carries for at least 10 yards. He leads the team with 28 first downs and six rushing scores.
The senior was asked to carry the ball 30 times during a dogfight at Northwestern, scoring two critical touchdowns and racking up 115 yards.
Higdon is quietly among the nation's top 10 qualified running backs in rushing yards per game. He's the top option for a run-first offense on the No. 6 team in the country.
This weekend will be an excellent test for Higdon as he squares off with the No. 1 rush defense in the country. Michigan State is allowing only 62.33 rushing yards per game and 2.34 yards per carry. If Higdon can scratch out 100 yards against the Spartans, more people will start to notice.
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