Michigan football looking for more consistency from receivers
ANN ARBOR – Michigan receiver Roman Wilson had a breakout game Oct. 2 against Wisconsin, catching a career-high six passes for 81 yards in a 38-17 win. Junior Cornelius Johnson is the only receiver to lead the team in receiving yards in more than one game this season, while five other receivers have done it once. The eighth-ranked Wolverines (9-1) are one of six Big Ten teams without a receiver with over 500 receiving yards this season. “The one thing I would say we probably haven’t had is the consistency of each game, who’s it gonna be? It’s almost been a different person by different games.mlive.com
Michigan vs. Penn State score predictions from MLive’s beat writers
The last time Michigan traveled to Penn State in 2019, receiver Ronnie Bell dropped a potential game-tying touchdown pass in the end zone on fourth down late in the fourth quarter. The Nittany Lions were able to run out the clock for a 28-21 win, ending the Wolverines’ Big Ten title hopes.mlive.com
Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy feels the love from fans as he, teammates are ‘chasing greatness’
“It’s really awesome because I feel like me being committed for so long and me being loyal to this university and this program for so long has been huge for the fans,” McCarthy said Tuesday night regarding fan support. The 6-foot-3, 107-pounder McCarthy played at least 20 snaps in relief during Michigan’s blowout wins over Western Michigan and Northern Illinois, but he also came in during key moments each of the past two weeks against Wisconsin and Nebraska. “Cade played really well (at Nebraska),” Harbaugh said. “My relationship with Cade has been really awesome,” McCarthy said. “That analogy really stuck because we’re doing everything we possibly can to get in the game, but we’re not expecting to get in the game,” McCarthy said.mlive.com
How Jim Harbaugh plans to spend Michigan’s bye week
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Jim Harbaugh often refers to the bye week every season as “improvement week,” an opportunity for his Michigan coaching staff to regroup and his players to recharge. “A good time to get some guys rested and healed up,” Harbaugh said Monday. More: Michigan WR Ronnie Bell set for surgery, rehab expected to take ‘months’“It’ll be my first day ever,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a good opportunity to spend more time than I normally would in a game week, to catch up,” Harbaugh said. That makes the balance of the bye week so important, for Harbaugh and his players.mlive.com
Michigan WR Ronnie Bell set for surgery, rehab expected to take ‘months’
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell was set to undergo surgery this week to repair his injured right knee suffered in the team’s season opener. Head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed the plans on Monday, the same day Bell was scheduled to have the procedure completed. He got hit awkwardly, fell to the ground and had to be carted off the Michigan Stadium field to the locker room. Bell has not spoken to reporters yet about the injury, but took part in a public autograph signing last Thursday in Ann Arbor. He’s vocal, he’s engaged at all times during the game.”Before he went down, Bell brought the Michigan faithful to their feet with a 76-yard touchdown catch against the Broncos.mlive.com
Michigan injury notes: Roman Wilson, Ronnie Bell, OL shuffling
— Michigan was without top target Roman Wilson on Saturday, one week after the sophomore wide receiver suffered an undisclosed injury. As a result, Michigan (6-0) had to play without him, providing quarterback Cade McNamara one fewer receiver option. Graduate transfer Daylen Baldwin benefitted the most, turning a game-high 14 targets into six catches for 64 yards. The injury came at just about the worst time for Wilson, a Honolulu, Hawaii, native who was beginning to emerge as Michigan’s No. Of course, that’s notwithstanding the season-ending knee injury to receiver Ronnie Bell, who is scheduled to have surgery (finally) this week.mlive.com
Wolverine recruiting report: Where Michigan’s offensive starters ranked as prospects
The Wolverines have received contributions from multiple players, but not all of them were highly regarded prospects coming out of high school. With that said, below are Michigan’s offensive starters and where they were ranked as prep prospects, according to 247Sports’ Composite system. Running back: Hassan Haskins, Eureka (Missouri) -- Haskins was a lightly recruited three-star out of high school. Tight end: Erick All, Fairfield (Ohio) – All was a four-star prospect in the 2019 class, ranked No. He held 28 offers out of high school, including Ohio State, Penn State, Oregon, Florida and Notre Dame.mlive.com
Michigan football on verge of making change on punt return
Michigan’s football team was forced to make a change on its punt return unit after Ronnie Bell suffered a season-ending knee injury in the team’s season opener. “He (Kolesar) is so valuable at the other positions at punt return, we really need somebody else to step up, and I think A.J. “Had a good week of practice last week and (will) have another one this week. We’re gonna be a better punt return unit if Caden’s rushing or holding up, because he’s just so good at those things. “We’ll see who plays in the game,” Jay Harbaugh said Monday night on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show.mlive.com
Michigan’s run game strikes again in convincing win over Washington
Corum added a seven-yard touchdown run during the Wolverines’ first possession of the third quarter, an eight-play, 73-yard drive made up entirely of running plays. Quarterback Cade McNamara finished the game just 7-of-15 for 44 yards, with much of his night spent handing the football off to Michigan’s ball carriers. Haskins, a junior, turned a team-high 27 carries into 155 rushing yards and a touchdown, his fifth career game with more than 100 yards. Meanwhile, Michigan’s defense played a much more disciplined, tighter game in Game 2 under new coordinator Mike Macdonald. Washington, which was coming off a stunning upset loss to FCS Montana last weekend, was held to just 50 rushing yards on 32 carries for an incredible 1.6 yard-per-carry average.mlive.com
Live updates: Michigan hosts Washington in prime time
Michigan and Washington will meet for the first time since 2002 on Saturday, and MLive will be there providing live updates throughout the Big Ten vs Pac-12 showdown. Continue to refresh this page to stay up to date on Saturday’s matchup at Michigan Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.How to watch Michigan vs. Washington: TV channel, kickoff time, live streamThe Wolverines (1-0) are coming off an impressive 47-14 victory Western Michigan, racking up 550 yards of offense. Michigan is 7-5 all-time against Washington. Wolverine recruiting report: Trio of five-stars headline visitor list for Washington gameMichigan football’s Joel Honigford is faster, lighter and playing a bigger role after position changemlive.com
What we’ll be watching for in Michigan football’s showdown vs. Washington
But Saturday’s 8 p.m. showdown against Washington at Michigan Stadium should be a better gauge of how improved the Wolverines are from last year’s 2-4 season. Despite the loss, Michigan is not overlooking Washington. “You can’t worry about what happened last week,” Michigan safety Brad Hawkins said earlier this week. The Wolverines have a lot riding on Saturday’s game, and a win is even more imperative after Washington lost last week. RELATED: Trio of five-stars headline visitor list for Washington gameBuy Wolverines gear: Fanatics, Nike, Amazon, LidsBuy Wolverines tickets: StubHub, SeatGeek, TicketmasterStream Wolverines games live: fuboTV, ESPN+, Slingmlive.com
Wolverine Confidential podcast: Pivotal showdown vs. Washington, impact of Ronnie Bell’s injury
1 receiver Ronnie Bell against Washington on Saturday, while the Huskies could also be without several top wideouts. On the latest episode of “Wolverine Confidential,” MLive’s Ryan Zuke, Aaron McMann and Andrew Kahn discuss the upcoming prime-time matchup at Michigan Stadium. The teams are trending in different directions after Week 1, with the Wolverines rolling to a 47-14 victory over Western Michigan and the Huskies falling to Montana, an FCS team. Not only is Saturday’s game important for Michigan’s 2021 season, the outcome also will have a significant impact on recruiting. Buy Wolverines gear: Fanatics, Nike, Amazon, LidsBuy Wolverines tickets: StubHub, SeatGeek, TicketmasterStream Wolverines games live: fuboTV, ESPN+, Slingmlive.com
Michigan football depth chart: Help needed at receiver, punt return
(Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comRunning back —1. Michigan linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green (41) tries to tackle Western Michigan running back La'Darius Jefferson (3) in the first quarter of their college football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, on Saturday, September 4, 2021. TurnerBreakdown: Like defensive tackle, Michigan appears to be rolling with a three-man rotation at corner (Gemon Green, Vincent Gray and D.J. Michigan kicker Jake Moody (13) kicks a field goal in the second quarter of their college football game against Western Michigan at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comSpecial teams —Placekicker: Jake MoodyPunter: Brad RobbinsLongsnapper: William WagnerPunt return: Mike Sainristil OR A.J.mlive.com
Michigan vs. Washington scouting report: Might Huskies turn to star freshman QB?
Michigan offense vs. Washington defenseMichigan totaled 551 yards in the opener, including 335 on the ground. Hassan Haskins (13 carries, 70 yards, touchdown) was his usual productive self. Entering the season, Washington’s defense was projected to be very good. Washington offense vs. Michigan defenseWashington scored on its opening drive against Montana and not again the rest of the night. Washington was forced to use wideouts who’d never caught a pass for the Huskies, including Michigan transfer Giles Jackson.mlive.com
WMU football ‘banged up’ after Michigan loss, but could get players back for home opener
KALAMAZOO, MI – Both Western Michigan and Michigan lost their top returning receivers to injury in their Week 1 matchup, but the outlook appears to be brighter for the Broncos in terms of getting a key part of their offense back this season. Neither player returned to the game, and two days after the contest, Michigan announced Bell will miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury. Moore, on the other hand, could return as early as Saturday’s home opener against Illinois State, head coach Tim Lester said during Wednesday’s weekly press conference. “Tackling was the name of the game,” Lester said. More WMU football coverageWestern Michigan vs. Illinois State: A Bronco fan’s guide to game day in Kalamazoo11 people join lawsuit against Western Michigan University over vaccine mandate for athletesThe good and bad from Western Michigan’s lopsided loss to Michigan, and what comes nextMichigan shows new-look defense, supersized offensive package: ‘No one knew what they’d do’Michigan dominates Western Michigan 47-14: Live updates recapmlive.com
Michigan quick hits: Harbaugh’s Washington commentary, Ronnie Bell tweets, Daylen Baldwin note
“They’ve heard from friends — because they’ve told me — that Washington considers Michigan like their biggest game,” Harbaugh told the “Stoney and Jansen” morning show. “So, that game last week isn’t indicative of the type of team that Washington is. Or how they prepare for the Michigan Wolverines.”Time will tell, obviously, but Michigan opened the week as a 5 1/2-point betting favorite. But once Bell exited the game for good, they needed another experienced receiver and big body on the field. Read more on Michigan football:How Ronnie Bell’s injury affects Michigan’s return gameMichigan’s new-look defense: Different fronts, disguises in Week 1Recruiting roundup: Tight end commit catches four TDsMichigan opens as betting favorite vs. WashingtonAgainst Western Michigan, Michigan finds its confidence againmlive.com
How will Michigan replace Ronnie Bell at receiver? ‘It’s going to be very difficult’
On Monday, Harbaugh shared the news that Ronnie Bell, Michigan’s dynamic senior wideout and co-captain, would miss the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered in the season opener against Western Michigan. He called it “a shame” and praised Bell for his performance in Saturday’s 47-14 win, before he was carted off the Michigan Stadium field. “It’s going to very difficult to replace Ronnie Bell,” Harbaugh told reporters. “Really, really tough. Michigan will need more than two catches for 15 yards to make up for the lost productivity from Bell.mlive.com
Michigan loses WR Ronnie Bell for season with knee injury
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Jim Harbaugh feared the worst with regard to Ronnie Bell, and his concern was confirmed over the weekend. Michigan’s star wideout and co-captain suffered a serious right knee injury that will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season, Harbaugh confirmed on Monday. The news comes after Bell had to be carted off the Michigan Stadium field following a punt return Saturday in Michigan’s 47-14 win over Western Michigan. Related: WR Ronnie Bell to undergoes MRI; Jim Harbaugh ‘worried’Bell, a senior from Kansas City, Mo., entered the season as Michigan’s most experienced and productive wide receiver. “He’s the heart and soul of the wide receiver room,” Michigan receiver A.J.mlive.com
Overheard outside Michigan’s locker room: Impressive win, but focus quickly shifts to Washington
ANN ARBOR – Michigan delivered a near-complete performance in its 47-14 victory over Western Michigan on Saturday at Michigan Stadium. The victory is Michigan’s first at Michigan Stadium since 2019 after it was 0-3 at home last year. Here are notable quotes from head coach Jim Harbaugh and Michigan players following the win:“It was very important. It is kind of like thunder and lightning.”- Corum on he and Hassan Haskins combining for 181 rushing yards on 27 carries. We’re all moved on and we’re ready for Washington and we’re ready for the upcoming games.mlive.com
Michigan WR Ronnie Bell to undergo MRI tonight; Jim Harbaugh ‘worried’
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Jim Harbaugh says he’s expecting the worst but hoping for the best with receiver Ronnie Bell. “As we come out of this game, that’s the biggest concern,” Harbaugh told reporters after Michigan’s 47-14 win over Western Michigan. He was later carted off the field at Michigan Stadium and was later spotted in a wheelchair in the tunnel. “That’s a big deal,” Harbaugh later said. Got the big play when we needed it.”“Fabulous,” Harbaugh later added.mlive.com
Michigan football runs over Western Michigan in season opener
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan wasn’t kidding when it said it was going to run the football more. They were winless last year during a 2-4 season that saw Michigan rank near the bottom of the Big Ten in rushing yards per game. Corum, a Marshall, Va., native, added a pair catches, including a 14-yard touchdown pass that opened the scoring for Michigan. Replay: Relive Michigan’s win, drive by drive, with MLive live updatesWith a first-year defensive coordinator, Mike Macdonald, the Wolverines struggled to keep pace with Western Michigan to start. Michigan would settle for a 29-yard field goal from Jake Moody, but it helped set a tone for the game.mlive.com
QB Cade McNamara’s winning over Michigan teammates with more than his play
While some met at a nearby park to climb hills and work on their cardio, quarterback Cade McNamara had arranged a group of teammates to meet just across the street from Michigan Stadium. More: Cade McNamara named starting QB for Michigan’s season opener******Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara throws during warmups before an NCAA college football game against Middle Tennessee in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. “I always wanted to be the starter,” McNamara bluntly said this week. McNamara shared a room with receiver Ronnie Bell, who describes Michigan’s quarterback as a vocal leader who isn’t afraid to speak up. That’s the type people I try to be around.”McNamara wasn’t one of the four players voted by his Michigan teammates as captain, but he doesn’t need the title.mlive.com
Potential breakout players for Michigan football in 2021
Those who follow Michigan football have a good idea of what to expect from players like running back Hassan Haskins and defensive end Aidan Hutchinson in 2021. He’s smart, he’s strong, he’s tough, he’s athletic. “It’s been a long process,” Michigan defensive line coach Shaun Nua said on Wednesday of Smith’s path to being a potential contributor. The junior got his weight back up to around 320 pounds to play on the interior of the defensive line. More Michigan football content:Western Michigan, led by most efficient returning QB in country, visits Michigan for openerMichigan’s new defensive scheme ‘a really good change,’ CB Vincent Gray saysProven legs and intriguing returners: Michigan football special teams previewMichigan football plans to correct Josh Gattis’ biggest regret this fallmlive.com
Why being named a Michigan football captain means more this year for these four players
Hutchinson, Ross and Vastardis are all repeat captains, but all three agreed the distinction carries more cachet this year. Last season, the coaches appointed the captains, a modification to the program’s usual standard of allowing the players to elect them. Ross said he accepts the responsibility to hold others accountable in order to raise the standard of Michigan football moving forward. Let’s go do and let’s play.”Bell is the lone first-year captain, an honor that he said took him by surprise. I’ll still keeping doing what I do, but you have to live up to that captain standard.”For Vastardis, the captain standard is elevating those around him.mlive.com
Michigan WR Cornelius Johnson, improved and eager to win — ‘It’s non-negotiable’
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — He’s been gone nearly 18 months, yet Roy Roundtree continues to leave a lasting impression with those still on the Michigan football team. The junior wide receiver still thinks about Roundtree and the “Michigan man” message he imparted during his time as a graduate assistant on staff. “He would always preach to us about being a true Michigan dog,” Johnson told reporters Tuesday afternoon outside Schembechler Hall, as Michigan wraps up preseason camp. That bodes well.”Despite the praise and notoriety that comes with playing a public-facing skill position, Johnson doesn’t seem to let it bother him. I’m pretty sure this upcoming season, he’s gonna prove everybody wrong and show everybody what he’s been doing.”_________________________Michigan College Football Season Kickoff Event: Kickoff the Michigan Football season with MLive’s football insiders Ryan Zuke, Aaron McMann, and Andrew Kahn.mlive.com
Michigan receiver-turned defensive back George Johnson turning heads during fall camp
Michigan receiver Ronnie Bell caught many off guard Wednesday answering a question from the media during a virtual news conference. When asked who has been the toughest defensive back he’s faced so far in fall camp, Bell singled out George Johnson, a former high school quarterback and receiver from Florida who is entering his third year with the team. “You never know what you’re gonna get out of George,” Bell said. He has yet to appear in a game for the Wolverines but is reportedly turning some heads during camp. “His technique, how he plays the game, he doesn’t necessarily do it like the rest,” Bell said of Johnson.mlive.com
Michigan football’s new-look D keeps players guessing in practice
While Mike Macdonald quipped last week that his new-look Michigan defense isn’t that difficult to figure out, he got some laughs from his players. A lot of unexpected stuff keeps happening that I’ve never seen before — that I’ve never seen our players do. More: Mike Macdonald wants Michigan defense to be a ‘living nightmare’ for opponentsAnd while some characteristics of Brown’s high-tempo, pressure-packed scheme still remain, things have changed. “I really like the way they’re playing,” Stueber continued. “They’re playing fast, they’re playing to the ball and they’re playing physical.mlive.com
Michigan football camp preview, Part III: Key additions, position battles to watch
Note: This is the third story in a three-part series previewing the start of Michigan football’s preseason camp, which formally kicks off Friday in Ann Arbor. • DT Jordan Whittley — Michigan bolstered its defensive line this offseason by adding Whittley, a 6-foot-1, 358-pound defensive tackle from Oregon State. More: Mike Macdonald wants new U-M defense to be a ‘living nightmare’ for opponentsHere are the position battles and storylines we’ll be monitoring:Michigan offensive lineman Chuck Filiaga (66) tries to keep Penn State defensive lineman P.J. With Sherrone Moore now coaching the offensive line, Michigan appears to have changed direction and decided to go with the five best linemen regardless of their position. Read more on Michigan football:Michigan to host ‘maize out’ vs. WashingtonCamp battles will help shape Michigan’s offensive line this fallD.J.mlive.com
College football magazines forecast tough 2021 season for Michigan
A long, difficult season could be in store for Michigan football this fall, according to projections from the annual college preview magazines. Athlon projected Michigan to finish the regular season with a 7-5 record overall, and 5-4 mark in the Big Ten — behind Ohio State, Penn State and Indiana, respectively. The Wolverines failed to appear in each magazine’s top-25 preseason poll, setting the stage for a season of tempered expectations. Safety Daxton Hill was another, earning first-team all-Big Ten recognition from Lindy’s, second-team honors from Phil Steele and a third-team listing from Athlon. Others included running back Hassan Haskins (second-team all-Big Ten, Lindy’s; third-team all-Big Ten, Athlon) and linebacker Josh Ross (second-team all-Big Ten, Lindy’s and Phil Steele).mlive.com
Spotlight grows on Daxton Hill, Michigan’s play-making safety
Daxton Hill arrived at Michigan in 2019 after a controversial recruiting pathway, one that saw the five-star safety abruptly decommit from Michigan and commit Alabama. “He just shows up by the ball,” Jim Harbaugh said of Hill in October 2019, following Hill’s first start. Michigan players voted him defensive rookie of the year after the season, setting the stage for what should have been a breakout year for Hill in 2020. “Really just having the mentality of ‘just beat your guy,’ really,” Hill said last November, explaining the struggles of Michigan’s defense. With Hill, Michigan has a future first team all-Big Ten defensive back.mlive.com
Ryan Hayes primed for big season along Michigan’s offensive line
Two years ago, as Michigan’s football team was primed to start fall camp, Ryan Hayes was just cracking the discussion among coaches. The converted offensive tackle from Traverse City had shown the physical traits to play at the Big Ten level, but he was still young. Now, as 2021 gets ready to pick up, the senior with three years of eligibility still remaining is considered a shoe-in to start along Michigan’s offensive line this fall. “There’s a difference.”More: Battle brewing for two starting spots along Michigan’s offensive lineHayes has put in the work, too. Now, with a new season looming, Hayes’ play will need to be more refined and ratcheted up a notch.mlive.com
Slotting Andrew Stueber could be key to Michigan’s OL play this fall
A healthy, vibrant and flexible Andrew Stueber will be key to unlocking Michigan’s talent, and depth, up front this fall. Where Michigan elects to play Stueber, a Darrien, Conn., native, may not be finalized until the summer. “Andrew can play both guard and tackle, or guard. Zak Zinter, really, could play tackle, guard or center. I came in as a tackle,” Stueber said in March.mlive.com
Mature, laser-focused Ronnie Bell leads Michigan’s receivers in 2021
Note: This is the third story in a new offseason series from MLive highlighting Michigan’s most important players in 2021. He led the Michigan receivers in catches and yards each of the past two years, yet 2021 brings on a new role for Ronnie Bell. “My game is just to build on everything that I’ve done,” Bell told reporters in March. Cornelius Johnson (16 catches, 254 yards) and Mike Sainristil (7 catches, 82 yards) are the two most experienced, followed closely by Roman Wilson and A.J. “I’ve not only grown as a player, but just as a person.”Which makes the role Bell plays in 2021 all that more important.mlive.com
Michigan’s young receivers made progress (and got their feet wet) in 2020
As struggles mounted at quarterback, the Wolverines had trouble distributing the football as often as they would like. In-game experience and player development are crucial at the position, and the receivers got plenty of the former last fall. Games like those are where young players get their confidence; it’s just unfortunate the Wolverines only played one more game after that. Giles Jackson followed up an active freshman season with more contributions, catching 15 passes for 167 yards in five games in 2020. Henning, the first two receivers recruited by Gattis at Michigan, both saw extended playing time during the abbreviated season: Wilson (9 catches, 122 yards, TD) finished fourth in receiving yards, while Henning (6 catches, 59 yards) got his feet wet.mlive.com
New WRs coach, Ron Bellamy, aims to raise the energy at Michigan
Ron Bellamy didn’t waste much time imparting his wisdom after taking the job as assistant coach at Michigan. “I said, ‘Listen, you are the alpha in this group,’’” Bellamy said this week on the “In the Trenches” podcast. His goal is to do the same at Michigan, a football program with mixed success in recruiting some of the state’s top players. The hope, for Michigan and for Bellamy, is to expand those relationships and improve their hit rate with high school football players in Michigan. “This state is rich in football,” Bellamy said.mlive.com
Cade McNamara replaces Joe Milton at QB as early interceptions derail Michigan’s offense
The 13th-ranked Badgers (2-0) outgained the Wolverines (1-3) 468 yards to 219 in their 49-11 victory at Michigan Stadium. “It takes away the opportunity of being able to play fast,” sophomore receiver Mike Sainristil said of the interceptions. While the first-year starter flashed glimpses of his potential in the first three games, Milton never found a rhythm against the Badgers. The Badgers scored on their next possession for a 42-11 lead, while Michigan managed zero yards on its final two drives. MORE: After hot start, Wisconsin wanted to ‘kill the will’ of Michigan footballJim Harbaugh: Michigan ‘not in a good place’ after third straight lossMichigan football hits new low in blowout loss to Wisconsinmlive.com
Michigan falls to No. 13 Indiana 38-21: Live updates recap
Indiana 38, Michigan 2112:28 – Indiana drive starts on Michigan 29The Hoosiers take advantage of the Joe Milton interception. Indiana 31, Michigan 2113:43 – Indiana drive starts on own 25Michigan forced the three-and-out and did so with less than 30 seconds coming off the clock. Indiana 24, Michigan 75:17 – Indiana drive starts on own 4Michael Penix continues to gash Michigan’s secondary. Indiana 24, Michigan 76:53 – Michigan drive starts on own 25Yet another three-and-out for Michigan after another bad drop from TE Erick All. Indiana 14, Michigan 74:48 – Indiana drive starts on own 25Been the same story for Michigan’s defense as last week.mlive.com
Joe Milton film review: Michigan QB shaky in second start
Second drive: Milton throws on target to receiver Mike Sainristil on an out route, which gains four yards. Fifth drive: Milton pulls the ball away from his running back and keeps it, gaining 17 yards with his legs. That sets up third-and-10, and Milton hits Jackson between two defenders to pick up 15. 12th drive: Michigan is down 10 points and starting its drive on its own 7-yard line with 5:03 left. Milton hits All over the middle for 5, again having to get rid of it faster than he would have liked.mlive.com
Michigan’s WRs help set the perimeter with ‘outstanding’ blocking
Michigan’s receivers didn’t need to rack up a lot of catches to make an impact on Saturday’s 49-24 win over Minnesota. “You have pads, they have pads and football is a physical game. In Michigan’s offense, Sainristil knows receivers will remain engaged throughout the game, even if they aren’t target often. “It shows that you have no problem with being physical because you need to be a physical receiver in today’s game. Blocking is very key in our offense on the perimeter.”Get Wolverine Confidential texts straight to your phone from our Michigan football writers.mlive.com
Grading Michigan’s blowout victory vs. Minnesota
Michigan’s offense quelled any doubts heading into the 2020 season by putting up 49 points in a road victory over a ranked Minnesota team on Saturday. Sophomore Zach Charbonnet had a 70-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, while redshirt sophomore Hassan Haskins had a 66-yard run. Charbonnet went untouched on his 70-yard touchdown run. However, given that Michigan’s defensive line also scored a touchdown on Donovan Jeter’s scoop and score, still a solid grade. While Bateman did have some big plays in the second half with three catches for 74 yards, that also was without Daxton Hill at safety.mlive.com
The hype is here for Michigan QB Joe Milton. Can he live up to it?
While Michigan hasn’t formally named a starting quarterback for the opener on Saturday, Jim Harbaugh and his players did their best wink-wink and a nod this week when it came to Joe Milton. But on Monday night during an appearance on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show, Harbaugh offered up his biggest endorsement of Milton yet. “Recruited Joe and coached Joe; been around Joe on a daily basis. Milton throwing the football; Bell running routes and catching passes. Milton looks and acts like a quarterback, but can do more than just launch the football, Bell said.mlive.com
Ask Aaron: Can Joe Milton finally be Michigan’s star QB?
Milton’s arm strength and size make him a unique talent, one who could certainly flip the fortunes of Michigan’s offense. He’s going to have to be selective when and where he’s throwing the football. He has big-play potential, and I think that’s what excites Michigan football fans the most. But I do think there’s something to getting Milton comfortable early on. For subscribers: Projecting Michigan football’s depth chart vs. Minnesota, 2.0Q: Do you think Michigan will play 9 games this year?mlive.com
Updated: Projecting Michigan football’s depth chart vs. Minnesota, 2.0
With two days until the first game, Michigan football’s starters are becoming clear. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comQuarterback1. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comWide receiversX: 1. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comDefensive lineEnd: 1. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comSecondaryCornerback: 1.mlive.com
No Michigan return imminent for WR Nico Collins
Michigan’s football team isn’t ready to close the door on a potential return, but receiver Nico Collins won’t be suiting up this week for the Wolverines. “But I know he’s not currently on the team.”Michigan recently updated its roster to reflect changes, including Collins' decision not to play in 2020. QB update: Joe Milton in line to start Michigan’s opener at MinnesotaCollins has not granted any public interviews since late-December, before Michigan played Alabama in the Citrus Bowl, and never returned messages from MLive. “We’ve done nothing but support him 100 percent and obviously the same we support him, we support all of our players here. If Collins was to change his mind and return, he would likely need approval from the NCAA first.mlive.com
Nico Collins ‘not currently’ on Michigan football team, Jim Harbaugh says
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan football’s star wide receiver, Nico Collins, is “not currently on the team,” head coach Jim Harbaugh revealed Monday. MORE: 12 takeaways from Jim Harbaugh’s press conference“Nico is not participating in football right now, and I don’t have a crystal ball as to if his mind would change or not, but he’s not currently on the team,” Harbaugh said. Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins at the 2018 Outback Bowl between Michigan and South Carolina on Jan. 1, 2018 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)In 2019, Collins 37 passes for 729 yards and seven touchdowns. LATEST: Michigan vs. Michigan State will kick off at noon on HalloweenCollins, at 6-foot-4, was an excellent compliment to Michigan’s growing crop of smaller, faster receivers.
Michigan expected to be good, not great, again with Harbaugh
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan has been good, not great, under coach Jim Harbaugh. Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye said the team is under the radar and has taken a lot of punches from people. Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel has said more than once that he wants Harbaugh to lead the Wolverines until he chooses to retire from coaching. Heading into his sixth season, though, Harbaugh has just two years left on a deal that pays him about $7 million per season. The Wolverines host rival Michigan State and its new coach, Mel Tucker, in their second game.
10 days before kickoff: 10 reasons to be excited for Michigan football
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – After a long, strange offseason that felt like it would never end, Michigan football is just 10 days away. With 10 days left until the start of the season, here are 10 reasons for Michigan fans to be excited about their team. Joe Milton eraNobody knows if Milton will be successful as Michigan’s starting quarterback, but he sure has all the tools. Road trips to Indiana are never easy, especially in between the Michigan State and Wisconsin games. Fans have waited a long time for Michigan football to return, and as soon as it does, it’ll be pedal to the metal.
All 12 three-stars from 2018 recruiting class could help make or break Michigan football season
Every single recruiting class is important, and the Wolverines have reached the point where the 2018 class -- by far Harbaugh’s most criticized group -- has to make major contributions. Remembering the 2018 recruiting cycleThe 2018 class was recruited amid Michigan’s worst season of the Harbaugh era. The result was Michigan’s only full recruiting class to be ranked outside the top 20 since Harbaugh took over. Michigan’s recruiting has since rebounded, but that 2018 unit will play a major role in the coming seasons. 18 in MissouriRole: Guaranteed starterNobody better exemplifies the 2018 class than Bell, and everyone who follows Michigan football knows his story.
Top 10 candidates for Michigan football’s 2020 team MVP
As a potential first-round draft pick, Mayfield certainly belongs in Michigan’s MVP conversation, even though he won’t stuff any stat sheets as an O-lineman. Even if he doesn’t ultimately win team MVP, Mayfield could end up being the most important player. LB Cam McGroneCameron McGrone #44 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates a fourth quarter sack against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Michigan Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. DE Kwity PayeKwity Paye #19 of the Michigan Wolverines tries to sack Peyton Ramsey #12 of the Indiana Hoosiers at Michigan Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Then they would both be candidates for team MVP.
Projecting Michigan football’s Week 1 depth chart, version 1.0
(Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comRunning back1. He had a strong finish to the 2019 season and could Michigan a strong 1-2 option here. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comWide receiversX: 1. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comDefensive lineEnd: 1. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comSecondaryCornerback: 1.mlive.com
Michigan’s Ronnie Bell moves to the front of the line
It was just two years ago when an under-recruited, underrated wide receiver named Ronnie Bell walked onto Michigan’s campus for the first time. Fast forward to 2020, rocked by the global COVID-19 pandemic and a slew of departures among Michigan’s receivers, and Bell returns as the top guy at the position. But Bell and Michigan’s receivers contributed to one of the worst dropped-pass rates in the country, catching just 75.2 percent of all on-target throws in 2019, according to data compiled by Sports Info Solutions. Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell (8) catches a touchdown in the first quarter of their Big Ten football game against Indiana at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, on Saturday, November 23, 2019. “Even though for what a lot of people view as success for Ronnie last year, Ronnie believes — and he knows — that last year was just scratching the surface.mlive.com
Michigan QB Joe Milton, ‘lights out right now,’ earns rave reviews early
In April, with much of the Michigan football team sent home amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, Ronnie Bell and Joe Milton returned to Ann Arbor. With spring practice canceled and players forced to work out on their own, Bell said he and Milton spent plenty of time together. “Nobody else was here.”Fast forward to September and Michigan’s quarterback room looks much different, much younger. Michigan quarterback Joe Milton (5) talks with media during the 2020 Citrus Bowl Kid's Day event at Fun Spot America in Orlando, on Monday, December 30, 2019. “He’s done a really good job of improving in that, but still maintaining his power and his arm,” Gattis said.mlive.com
What would Michigan’s receiving corps look like this season without Nico Collins?
Wide receiver attritionIt looks like the Wolverines will be without three of their top four wide receivers from a year ago. That trio, which highlighted the team’s top-five 2017 recruiting class, combined for 96 catches, 1,490 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns last season. So what would the receiving corps look like if Collins isn’t in the picture? NewcomersNo matter who comes and goes, Michigan is always going to bring in new playmakers at the wide receiver position. They don’t all need to be better than Collins, Peoples-Jones and Black.
No. 12 Michigan Blasts Indiana 39-14
Shea Patterson needed almost two full seasons to find his groove at Michigan. Patterson threw for 366 yards and five touchdowns, leading the 12th-ranked Wolverines to their fourth straight victory 39-14 over Indiana on Saturday. Theyve got size and a lot of speed to go along with that, Indiana coach Tom Allen said. Collins tacked on the final score on a 19-yard catch with 1:39 left in the third to make it 39-14. Indiana: Makes the short trip to rival Purdue with visions of winning back the Old Oaken Bucket for the first time in three years.detroit.cbslocal.com
9 players on current Michigan football roster who have proven to be recruiting steals
Jim Harbaugh has landed plenty of highly rated recruits during his tenure at Michigan, but some of the most important players on the roster were ranked much lower and have proven to be steals. None of these players were four- or five-star recruits, and only one ranked among the top 500 overall players in his class. For a player ranked No. 975 player in 2018 classHarbaugh went into Missouri to land Hassan Haskins in 2018, and his only other Power Five offer came from Purdue. Metelluls has 159 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions and 12 passes defended in his Michigan career.
Michigan football's talented wide receivers not living up to preseason hype
Peoples-Jones dropped the first two passes thrown his direction. Collins dropped a pass on a crossing route that would have been a big play. But his receivers dropped the ball. The numbers are fine considering the inconsistency of the offense, but these receivers are supposed to be extraordinary. After their worst game as a unit, they've got half a season to live up to the hype.
Two Conference Losses Squash Wolverines High Hopes
Michigan went into the season hoping to end its 15-year conference championship drought, the longest in school history, and to perhaps contend for a national championship. The Wolverines will have a chance to earn a measure of respect, and perhaps improve their postseason positioning, if they can beat No. And, the big thing is we have one this Saturday and we have another opportunity on the national stage.Michigan also has games remaining against Michigan State and No. We got Notre Dame, Michigan State and the game at the end of the year. A Michigan graduate, Connor Grady, sent Bell an email imploring him to quit the team and the sport.detroit.cbslocal.com
How Ronnie Bell came up clutch time after time for Michigan football vs. Army
Ronnie Bell #8 of the Michigan Wolverines is tackled by Cole Christiansen #54, Cedrick Cunningham #22 and Cam Jones #20 of the Army Black Knights during the second half at Michigan Stadium on September 7, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Bell led Michigan with seven catches for 81 yards in what was otherwise a struggle offensively. Zach Charbonnet #24 of the Michigan Wolverines is tackled by Jacob Covington #57 of the Army Black Knights, right, during the first half at Michigan Stadium on September 7, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. On the next play, Bell caught a 12-yard pass to get Michigan inside the 30-yard line. Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines shouts for an official during the first half of a game against the Army Black Knights at Michigan Stadium on September 7, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
14 most important things Jim Harbaugh said in final week before Michigan football season
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Jim Harbaugh answered questions Monday as Michigan football prepares for this weekend's season opener against Middle Tennessee State. Competition continues at field goal kickerAs of five days before the season opener, Michigan still doesn't have a starting place kicker. An injury at fall camp delayed the start of his 2018 season, and he never got back in the flow of the offense. Ronnie Bell is most improved offensive contributorOf all the players who contributed on offense last season, Harbaugh believes Ronnie Bell has improved the most heading into 2019. He's going to play and work into that safety position, but he's really done extremely well."
Michigan football could have 7 dangerous wide receivers this year in Josh Gattis' offense
(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Michigan football team is expected to have a much more dangerous offense this season under Josh Gattis, and depth at wide receiver is one of its greatest weapons. Donovan Peoples-Jones catches a touchdown against SMU on Sept. 15, 2018, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Of his six touchdown catches, three came against rivals Ohio State and Michigan State. Bell is sandwiched between the three talented juniors and three incoming freshmen, but he won't be forgotten in Gattis' offense, which will take advantage of his speed and elusiveness. True freshmenJim Harbaugh landed a trio of talented pass catchers, though they come with much less fanfare that Peoples-Jones, Collins and Black.