Observations on the win over Oregon State, 35-7
Michigan scored 32 points in five red zone opportunities, and three points off a Beaver turnover. Oregon State scored on the opening drive, but only was able to create that one red zone offensively; they could score no points off two Wolverine turnovers.
Offense gained 22 first downs, 405 net yards in offense, and converted 7 of 14 3rd and 4th down opportunities. DeVeon Smith had 23 carries for 126 yards, 3 TDs plus 3 receptions for 24 yards, and a two point conversion. Jake Rudock who was 18 of 26 for 170 yards with an interception and a fumble loss for two turnovers. Amara Darboh had 4 catches for 50 yards, Jake Butt had 4 catches for 23 yard, and Ian Bunting had 2 catches for 33 yards. Michigan had a 16 minute time of possesion advantage that resulted in 21 more offensive plays. To start the second half, Titus Failuga forced a Deveon Smith fumble at our 10 yard line; the fumble recovery by Jake Butt was huge as it would have given the Beavers a red zone opportunity that could have changed the complexion of the game. Rommel Mageo came to play with 8 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception, and a sack.
Defense was led by Chris Wormley with 6 tackles including a sack; Joe Bolden had 7 tackles. Oregon State gained 12 first downs, 138 net yards, but their turnover forced by Taco Charlton took them out of a second red zone opportunity. The Beavers were only 1 of 13 in 3rd and 4th down conversions. Our defensive coaches adjusted well after the opening drive, and the Beaver offense was non-existent in the second half. We forced Oregon State into 7 punts, and a turnover with 5 three and outs.
Special Teams got the play of the game after the penalty for illegal formation on the punt near the end of the half which reversed field position to the Wolverine 2 as the Beaver's high snap gave Michigan the ball at the Oregon State 3 for their second red zone, a 95 yard turnaround in field position with 1:19 to play. Justin Clark was called for running into the punter or unnecessary roughness at 2:57 to go in the half which brought Harbaugh into animation. The 10 penalties by the Beavers for 105 yards really reversed what could have been a very close game. Kenny Allen hit both field goals, and kicked off 7 times with 3 touchbacks with one out of bounds. We did well on the kickoff coverage. Blake O'Neill punted three times for a 42.3 yard average with one inside the 20. Brian Cole nearly blocked a couple Beaver punts. Jabrill Peppers returns 3 punts for 14 yards, but messed up a kickoff return gaining only 11 yards.
Tom Strobel came in to block as a backup Tight End. Joe Kerridge left the game with an arm injury; Sione Houma got some action with two carries for 20 yards. David Dawson came in for Ben Braden temporarily. Freddy Canteen and Moe Ways got some reps. We still have many, many concerns. Our offense really started slow, and it should have been a 10-7 half which would have given Oregon State a lot of incentive for the second half. Our defense is quite weak at the Buck Linebacker position, and not nearly as good at both Inside Linebacker positions as most of us thought. Our defensive backfield could easily be picked apart by a quality passing time like BYU. We did improve today, and should improve more next week against UNLV. Hopefully, by the time we play BYU, we'll improve enough to be considered a good football team.
Observations on the First Half with Oregon State Box Score Highlights Post Game Press Conference
Harbaugh Press Conference for Oregon State on September 7 (Depth Chart for Oregon State and Game Notes)