Football

Junior center Caesar Ruiz is among the offensive linemen who committed avoidable penalties against Army.

As Cesar Ruiz assessed the state of Michigan’s offensive line earlier this week, he was careful not to label any struggles as “growing pains.” The implication accompanying that term is that the Wolverines’ inconsistency on the offensive line is a result of Josh Gattis’ new offense. The junior center knows that isn’t the case.

Senior linebacker Jordan Glasgow has impressed Don Brown through two weeks of the season.

That gives him the license to make a determination that strays from conventional wisdom a time or two. On Monday, that particular claim came in regard to senior VIPER Jordan Glasgow. “I’ll say this, and I might be criticized: This guy might be one of the best players in the Big Ten,” Brown said. “Watch him run and hit people. Just watch him play.”

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Jordan Anthony (center) showed against Army that's he's a valuable depth option for the Michigan football team.

The example was small and understandable enough that Brown could explain it to a group of reporters — most of whom aren’t qualified to step onto a football field — in minutes. So imagine a whole book of them, then imagine a player getting that responsibility thrust on him midgame, and then you might understand Jordan Anthony’s predicament.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh suggested that Jess Speight switch from offensive line to defensive line in the offseason, then rewarded him with a scholarship.

The Monday after the Middle Tennessee game, Harbaugh gathered the team together and announced that Speight and junior offensive lineman Andrew Vastardis would receive scholarships. Speight had gotten into the game on special teams, making the moment even more special.

Fully healthy for the first time in two years, Tarik Black already has 104 yards this season.

Black stands at the center of the Wolverines’ offensive dichotomy. When Michigan’s offense was at its best in its 27-point first half against MTSU, he was its standout performer, notching 80 yards before halftime. Late in the second quarter, he missed a drive with cramps — a product of not having a full workload in two year. Since then, he has just 24 yards on three catches.

Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis lamented some mental mistakes he believes are handicapping the offense..

It’s unlikely Josh Gattis ever tried to envision what his first in-season press conference as Michigan’s offensive coordinator would look like because, frankly, he has better things to do. But if he did, he probably didn’t picture reporters trying their best to play Operation, guessing at potential issues to try and find an answer for why his offense hasn’t worked.

Defensive coordinator Don Brown explained the difficulties that went into approaching overtime against Army..

If there’s one team you really don’t want to face in overtime, it’s probably Army.

Like any team that runs the triple option, the Black Knights thrive on a short field, chipping away at the green turf until there’s no more empty space.

Though the Michigan football team came out with a win Saturday, there was plenty to be concerned about in all facets of the game.

By the skin of its teeth, the Michigan football team emerged victorious on Saturday against Army. That has done little to deter criticism in its aftermath. The Wolverines enter their first of two bye weeks, with more questions than answers through two weeks.

How much of that cynicism is warranted? Let the official Michigan Daily Panic Meter assess those worries.

Freshman running back Zach Charbonnet saw an expanded role on Saturday.

Michigan’s running game wasn’t supposed to look this way.

All offseason, coaches posited that it would be a three-headed committee. When running backs coach Jay Harbaugh spoke to the media three days before the start of the season, he listed five names in consideration for touches.

And for one week, reality bore that out. Then Saturday afternoon arrived. The final carry split: Zach Charbonnet, 33; Christian Turner, 3; Ben VanSumeren, 1.

Senior quarterback Shea Patterson has lost three fumbles in 2019 -- but he's not responsible for Michigan's lackluster play.

It makes sense to be alarmed right now — to see the need for change. The Wolverines are lucky to have won their first two games despite both coming against clearly inferior teams. They’ll go to Wisconsin after the bye week, seemingly unready to win a game of that magnitude, and with Michigan’s schedule, a loss in the third game of the season means you might as well wrap the whole thing up. It doesn’t make sense to bench Patterson as a result of that alarm. He isn’t the problem. Everything else is.