Football

Senior quarterback Shea Patterson has kept his faith in new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, despite some statistical struggles to start the season.

Michigan ranked 25th in offensive SP+ last year. It brought in a new coordinator, Josh Gattis. Through a month of the season, it ranks 66th in the same category. Pick whatever number you want — the Wolverines are probably down. As Patterson and others pointed out, they are 4-1, their fate still in their hands. But the numbers seem to portend things getting worse once the tough part of the schedule comes around.

Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’ offense has scored 7.2 fewer points per game and over 51 fewer yards than the group did last season.

Josh Gattis came in with a plan to revolutionize Michigan’s offense and bring it into the modern era of college football. Through five games, the unit is down 51.7 yards and 7.2 points per game from a season ago, when it was roundly criticized as antiquated and inefficient.

Brandon Peters will face his old teammates as Illinois' quarterback this weekend.

Peters was once anointed Michigan’s savior, coming into a 2017 game against Rutgers to raucous cheers after it was clear John O’Korn would no longer cut it. It seemed like Peters could finally be the quarterback the Wolverines had been missing. The feeling lasted for three fleeting games. Then Peters suffered a concussion against Wisconsin, could only watch as O’Korn was dreadful in a loss to Ohio State and looked utterly pedestrian in a bowl loss to South Carolina. That April, Shea Patterson was granted an instant-eligibility waiver and Peters’ entire career was thrown into flux.

Jim Harbaugh voiced his opinion on NFL Draft entry rules and paying college athletes on Monday.

Jim Harbaugh was asked an open-ended question Monday, as reporters searched for his thoughts on the California bill that was passed last week allowing players to profit off their name, image and likeness. As the hot-button topic of the college sports landscape, it’s more than a reasonable question to ask of the highest-paid figure in the state of Michigan. Harbaugh used the chance to expound upon — even flesh out — his own thoughts about amateurism, pay-for-play and potential reform options.

Saturday's victory over Iowa marked the fifth top-15 win of Jim Harbaugh's tenure at Michigan, none of which have come on the road.

It was the fifth top-15 win of the Jim Harbaugh era, none of which have come away from Michigan Stadium. That’s a game Michigan wins at home and might not on the road.
And that’s all it was.

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Lining up against Iowa, Michigan was faced with what could have been in NFL prospect offensive lineman Alaric Jackson, but with greatly improved o-line play of its own, it doesn't care.

Michigan's offense struggled to move the ball in Saturday's 10-3 win over Wisconsin.

An hour after a game in which Michigan scored just 10 points, averaged just 4.5 yards per play and gained less than 300 yards total, Jim Harbaugh sat behind a microphone and declared that his team’s offense was “hitting our stride.”

Michigan's defense stepped up in the Wolverines' 10-3 win over Iowa.

The unit had been bailed out all afternoon — the offense mired in a bewildered mess, the defense responding emphatically. Rinse, repeat. The whiplash hadn’t hindered defensive coordinator Don Brown’s unit. To that point, Iowa had a single rushing yard. Its quarterback, Nate Stanley, had been picked off three times. The Wolverines were flying. Eight sacks. Twelve tackles for loss.

Up 10-3, they just had to do it one more time. And, really, was there ever a doubt?

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Early this week, Don Brown offered his defense a challenge.

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley had thrown eight touchdowns and zero interceptions on the season. The Michigan defensive coordinator told his guys to try for at least two picks.

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Jim Harbaugh felt no need to wait for questions.

Walking into the press room Saturday afternoon, he had a “special guest” beside him and a message to deliver.