Observations on the win over Colorado, 45-28
Michigan scored 17 points in 4 red zone trips while Colorado gained 7 points in two red zone chances. Colorado scored 7 points of one Wolverine turnover.
Offense gained 397 net yards, 20 first downs, was 5 of 16 in 3rd down conversions, and controlled the time of possession by over 5 minutes resulting in 4 more offensive plays. Wilton Speight finished 16 of 30 for 229 yards and a TD, but was sacked 4 times and gave up a turnover for Buffalo TD. DeVeon Smith ran 11 times for 87 yards and a TD. Ty Isaac ran 10 time for 18 yards and a TD. Amara Darboh caught 2 passes including a 45 yarder for a TD. Jehu Chesson ran 3 times for 25 yards including a 17 yarder for a TD. Jake Butt caught 7 passes for 87 yards. Rick Gamboa and Kenne Olugbode led the Colorado defense with 11 and 10 tackles respectively. Our offense was forced into 7 punts and a turnover.
Defense gave Wolverine fans a scare today, and many lost a lot of confidence in the unit as a result. Colorado gained 325 net yards with 15 first downs, but was only 1 of 14 on 3rd and 4th down conversions. Sefo Liufau was 16 of 25 for 246 yards and 3 TDs until he left the game after with an ankle injury following a 70 yard bomb to Shay Fields to give the Buffaloes a 28-24 lead in the 3rd quarter. Both our safeties, Dymonte Thomas and Delano Hill, were torched for 3 TDs. Liufau's replacement, Steven Montez was 0 of 7, and couldn't help Colorado stay in the game. Devin Ross caught 7 passes for 78 yards and 2 TD. Ben Gedeon led the defense with 12 tackles including a sack, and Jabrill Peppers had 9 tackles. Carlo Kemp got his first action as a Wolverine on defense.
Special Teams were both good and bad! Jabrill Peppers ran back 4 punts for 99 yards including a 54 yarder for a TD plus ran back 2 kickoffs for 81 yards including a 55 yarder that set up a score. Kenny Allen only hit one of three field goal attempts, and we allowed Jay MacIntyre to return 3 punts for 58 yards including a 32 yarder. Our net punting was very poor. ON the other hand, our punt return team was spectacular. Michael Jocz blocked to Buffalo punts, and Grant Perry returned one for a TD. In all, we had two special teams TDs and a field goal for 17 points, and Colorado scored zero on the special team unit.
If it weren't for the injuries to Liufau and Gonzalez, this game may have been a high scoring nailbiter; instead, we dodged a bullet, and cruised to a win. Colorado will probably finish in the lower tier of the PAC-12 although they looked improved from their last two seasons. It will not be so easy next week when the Big Ten schedule begins, and Penn State will have momentum with a win. All of us hoped for a championship season, but our defense is not as good as advertised, and the offense may not be able to execute against the stronger defenses we'll soon face. Wish I could be more optimistic. Go Blue!
Observations on the first half with Colorado Box Score Highlights Post Game Press Conference Player Participation
Jim Harbaugh Press Conference on September 12 for Colorado