The Michigan football team is off to a good start in 2016. Here are five takeaways from the first half of the season.
There are a lot of things to take away from the first six games of the Michigan football season. Yet, the most obvious, is that the Wolverines are good — I mean really good.
I have been following Michigan football for over 20 years. And truthfully, the only Wolverines team that compares to this one so far is the 1997 team, the last Michigan team to win a National Championship.
This Wolverine squad may not share that same fate. But make no mistake, they are just as good and just as talented.
Jabrill Peppers is having a season for the ages. The defense, in my opinion, is on par with that 97 group and the offense is playing at a high level.
The big question coming into the season was at quarterback. Yet, after six games, Michigan fans are getting comfortable with Wilton Speight. He’s not a superstar, but he’s solid and he has UM at 6-0.
Certainly, the Wolverines have many challenges ahead. If they want to win the Big Ten or even the Big Ten East, their first challenge is toppling Ohio State — which will prove to be this team’s ultimate challenge.
Winning or losing that game could be the difference between playing in the CFB Playoff or in a New Year’s Six Bowl.
But before we look too far ahead, let’s take a look back at what we’ve learned over the Wolverines first six games.
Outside of Michigan’s overall dominance as a team, by far the biggest story through the first six games has been Peppers.
We all knew how dynamic Peppers was before the season, so really, we shouldn’t be surprised by what he’s doing.
Yet, week after week, game after game, he continues to wow you.
As a linebacker, he’s been lights out. He has 35 tackles, 10 TFL and two sacks. His ability to blitz and wreak havoc in the backfield has been off the charts and he is undoubtedly, going to be a top-10 pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
In truth, no player since Charles Woodson, has done the things that Peppers is doing. The two are especially similar when it comes to dominating all three phases of the game,
Woodson did that, now Peppers is following in his footsteps. Five rushes for 98 yards and two touchdowns on offense, as well as a punt return TD and average of 17.8 yards per return are reasons why Peppers is generating so much Heisman talk.
Who knows if he can repeat the feats of Woodson, but so far, he’s off to a good start.
There is no doubt, this is Michigan’s best team since 1997
Harbaugh came to Michigan to restore the Wolverines to greatness and he has done it in just two years.
Obviously, the Wolverines has work to do, in order to achieve what the 1997 team did, but the point is, they have a legitimate chance.
The defense is incredible and as last Saturday’s 78-0 nothing win showed, its nasty and mean. (Poor Rutgers).
The amount of NFL talent on this Michigan team is insane. Get ready to hear Michigan guys go early and often this April.
Jake Butt, Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson, Chris Wormley, Maurice Hurst, Ryan Glasgow, Taco Charlton, Peppers, Jourdan Lewis and Channing Stribling are all sure to be drafted. Others like Speight, Ben Gideon and Mike McCray are all improving their stock rapidly as well.
The talent is there; the coaching is there; the problem this season, might just be the schedule.
Road games at Michigan State and Iowa will be challenging and the final game against Ohio State, also on the road, will be define the season.