Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed starting quarterback Brandon Peters has been entered into the concussion protocol after being taken out of Saturday’s road loss at Wisconsin. Because of the concussion protocol, it is unknown if Peters will be available for Michigan’s regular-season finale at home on Saturday against Ohio State.
“He’ll be evaluated again by the doctors this week to see if he would be cleared for contact,” Harbaugh said, according to The Detroit News. “[John O’Korn] has remained diligent every single week to preparation and the game plan, always sitting on a spring ready to play.”
If Peters is unavailable for Saturday, the offense will be placed back in the hands of O’Korn. Wilton Speight has not been cleared to for contact practices yet as he continues to recover from fractured vertebrae earlier this season.
Michigan’s offense seemed to get a much-needed jolt when Peters was inserted in the offense in place of O’Korn, who had also replaced an injured Speight. Without Peters, Michigan’s offense has not been able to find much offensive success this season, and that could pose a significant problem this week against the rival Buckeyes, who will be playing to remain on the College Football Playoff radar.
As Michigan heads into November, Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has an important decision to make if Michigan is going to finish the season on a strong note. He’s just not ready to show which way he is heading with it.
Harbaugh is holding off on sharing his decision on what to do at quarterback. After replacing John O’Korn with Brandon Peters in Saturday’s win against Rutgers, Harbaugh is in charge of a bit of a quarterback debate in Ann Arbor with just a handful of games remaining. The offense, which has been sluggish at best all season long under Wilton Speight and O’Korn, seemed to have a bit of a spark on Saturday once Peters got on the field. Of course, Michigan was playing at home against Rutgers so the barometer to determine whether or not this was legitimate hope for a sudden offensive turnaround is highly questionable.
Peters completed 10 of 14 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, but again, it was against Rutgers. With Michigan staying home this week for a primetime showdown with Minnesota with the Little Brown Jug on the line, Harbaugh has suggested both O’Korn and Peters will get playing time against the Gophers. He only went so far as to say Peters is “likely” to get the start over Peters, but the decision is split nearly right down the middle.
Michigan has the Big Ten’s 9th-ranked offense and 11th-ranked passing offense through eight games played this season. Michigan is 3-2 in Big Ten play and has lost head-to-head against second-place Penn State and third-place Michigan State in division play. Michigan will host Minnesota this week and play the next two game son the road against Maryland and Wisconsin before ending the regular season at home against Ohio State.
Michigan saw a bit of a spark on offense two weekends ago in a road win at Purdue when John O’Korn took over at quarterback in place of an injured Wilton Speight. With the Wolverines coming off a bye week ahead of a game against in-state rival Michigan State, Jim Harbaugh says O’Korn will be getting the start this week and beyond while Speight remains unavailable.
Various rumors were spreading online about Speight potentially being done for the year, but Harbaugh did not go so far as to confirm those reports. Instead, Harbaugh played it safe by going on a much shorter timeframe to worry about. Regardless of how long Speight is out, Harbaugh should trust O’Korn to run the offense in the meantime. Whether it was a one-game spark against a young program still in the early stages of competing or not, O’Korn has what it takes to lead Michigan’s offense for as long as he is needed. In fact, he may end up keeping the job anyway if he performs well by the time Speight is able to play again.
Speight had completed just 54.3 percent of his pass attempts this season with three touchdowns and two interceptions, but both of those interceptions occurred in the season opener against Florida. But he had gone the last two games without a touchdown pass before leaving the Purdue game early.
O’Korn completed 18 of 26 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown with an interception against Purdue in a 28-10 victory in Big Ten play.
Michigan hosts Michigan State this week and travels to Indiana and Penn State the next two weeks.
Freshman kicker Quinn Nordin kicked a school-record five field goals to help No. 7 Michigan (3-0) overcome red zone deficiencies in a hard-fought 29-13 victory against Air Force (1-1) Saturday afternoon in Michigan Stadium.
For the third straight week, Michigan’s offense continued to sputter at best, leaving some questions for the Wolverines as they prepare to enter Big Ten play next week. Michigan managed to score just one touchdown against the Falcons, and the Wolverines really showed some warts trying to move the ball. Give Air Force credit for the defensive effort they presented, but Michigan only converted three of 11 third-down attempts and was unable to score a touchdown on any of their four red zone trips. It may not have cost Michigan a win today, but at some point, that trend cannot continue if the Wolverines are going to make a run for the Big Ten championship this fall.
Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight was never pulled from the game, but his day was far from impressive as the leader of a Michigan offense still trying to find itself three weeks into the season. Play calling lacked creativity at times as well, but that just means there is room for improvement for Jim Harbaugh and his squad. Fortunately for Michigan, they have a kicker who continues to be automatic from any distance early on and the defense continues to rise to the occasion.
Air Force did find something to work with in the second half as they worked to tire down Michigan’s defense using their trademark option attack, but the Wolverines proved to have the decisive edge anytime Air Force tried to mix things up using their speed. Michigan was just faster. On a fourth-quarter drive, with Air Force trailing 22-13, a promising drive was thwarted when the Falcons tried running Timothy McVey to the right side. The Wolverines gobbled him up behind the line of scrimmage inside the red zone and Air Force kicker Luke Strebel sailed a field goal attempt wide left. Air Force probably needed to get a touchdown on the drive anyway, but the missed field goal midway through the fourth quarter felt like a near knockout blow for an Air Force offense not known for quick drives.
Michigan now enters Big Ten play looking to finish what they failed to do a year ago; win the Big Ten East Division, and perhaps the Big Ten championship. The defense is locked in for the job. Next week, the Wolverines head to Purdue to take on a Boilermaker team that has looked like a new program this season under new head coach Jeff Brohm. Purdue is playing at Missouri today and has already pushed Louisville into the fourth quarter. Can Michigan avoid an upset next week?
Air Force will return home for a big Mountain West Conference game against San Diego State. The Aztecs will be coming off a home game against Stanford.
A week after the defense set the tone in a season-opening win against the Florida Gators, No. 8 Michigan (2-0) once again could count on the defense to get the job done in their home opener against Cincinnati (1-1). In a 36-14 win in The Big House, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh still has some work to do to get the offense in gear.
Michigan’s defense accounted for two touchdowns, with Tyree Kinnel and Lavert Hill each recording a pick-six. Wilton Speight had a nice day in the box score with 221 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns, but there is still some passes that were off the mark and could use some polish. Ty Isaac led all players with 133 rushing yards, with 53 coming on one run. Of the 192 rushing yards Michigan compiled as a team, 97 of those yards came on two separate runs. The Wolverines converted just five of 15 third-down conversion attempts, and Michigan was flagged for seven penalties.
But defensively, the Wolverines have not skipped a beat this season. Through two games, the Wolverines have showed some of the best defense in the nation, thus putting to rest any concerns about the roster turnover from a year ago. That defense will see better tests coming their way though, as neither Florida or Cincinnati was expected to do much on offense against Michigan in the first two weeks. Air Force will present a different offensive style, but Michigan should have the depth to preview once again even if the offense is not clicking as desired.
Cincinnati hung around into the second half, cutting a Michigan lead to 17-14 in the third quarter, but the Bearcats simply could not keep any momentum with their own shaky play going up against a solid Michigan defense.
Michigan will stay home next week for a game against Air Force. Cincinnati will remain on the road but will stay in state to face Miami Ohio.