2021 COLLEGE FOOTBALL CAPSULE: MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

HEAD COACH: Jim Harbaugh

RECORD AT MICHIGAN: 49 – 22

CAREER RECORD: 107 – 49

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Josh Gattis, Sherrone Moore

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Mike Mcdonald, Maurice Linguist

RETURNING STARTERS:

OFFENSE: 3

DEFENSE: 9

KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:

DE Aiden Hutchinson

WR Ronnie Bell

FS Dax Hill

KEY LOSSES:

DE Kwity Paye

WR Nico Collins

RB Zach Charbonnet

2020 RESULTS:

at Minnesota 49 – 24

Michigan State 24 – 27

Indiana 21 – 38

Wisconsin 11 – 49

Rutgers 48 – 42 OT

Penn State 17 – 27

2021 SCHEDULE:

September 4 Western Michigan

September 11 Washington

September 18 Northern Illinois

September 25 Rutgers

October 2 at Wisconsin

October 9 at Nebraska

October 23 Northwestern

October 30 at Michigan State

November 6 Indiana

November 13 at Penn State

November 20 at Maryland

November 27 Ohio State

2020 BIG TEN RANKINGS:

OFFENSE:

SCORING: 20.3 (5).

RUSHING: 131.5 (11)

PASSING: 250.3 (6)

TOTAL OFFENSE: 381.8 (7)

DEFENSE:

SCORING: 34.5 (12)

RUSHING: 178.8 (10)

PASSING: 255.5 (13)

TOTAL DEFENSE: 434.3 (12)

FIELD POSITION:

OFFENSE: 29.3

DEFENSE: 30.3

EFFICIENCY:

OFFENSE: 42.3%

DEFENSE: 43.1%.

EXPLOSIVENESS:

OFFENSE: 6.0

DEFENSE: 5.6

FINISHING DRIVES:

OFFENSE: 4.5

DEFENSE: 4.5

ADJUSTED TURNOVER MARGIN

PROJECTED: -0.2

ACTUAL: -2

NUMBERS TO KNOW:

5.99%…. Michigan allowed 5.99% of opponents total pass plays two game 30 yards or more.

0.9%…. Michigan intercepted only two passes in 217 opportunities, a 0.9% rate that ranked hundred and 21st in the country.

8.0%… Michigan led the Big Ten and ranked 19th in the country with a turnover rate of 8.0%.

2020 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS:

PASSING: Joe Milton, eight incompletions, 141 attempts, 1,077 yards, 4TD, 4INT

RUSHING: Hassan Haskins, 61 attempts, 375 yards, 6.1 average per carry, 6TD

RECEIVING: Ronnie Bell, 26 receptions, 401 yards, 15.4 average per catch, 1TD

TACKLES: Josh Ross, 53

SACKS: Carlo Kemp, 2.0, Kwity Paye 2.0

INTERCEPTIONS: Dax Hill 1, Josh Ross 1

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

Michigan fans might be getting a little impatient with head coach Jim Harbaugh. Yes, 2020 was an difficult season for everybody, but Michigan one only two games and had to go into overtime to win at Rutgers. Everybody is now expecting better things, including coach Harbaugh. The offense struggled last season and they have only three returning, and just one skilled player. Though the defense returns nine starters, they were one of the worst defenses in the Big Ten and in the country last season.

They needed game – changing quarterback and an identity on offense.

On the outside looking in Michigan appears to be a successful program, but what it boils down to is they need a huge season. In fact, it needs to be a remarkable season.

A LOOK AHEAD AT 2021:

2020 is a season to forget four Michigan football fans. It was marred by several mistakes and just plain bad football. There are several questions going into this season about the offense and if it will be able to provide enough firepower to make a difference in the Big Ten.

On defense, the Wolverines lose longtime coordinator Don Brown and replace him with Mike Mcdonald, who arrived from Baltimore with a brand new scheme.

Michigan has the talent to be very good, but with all the new faces, and a few new coaches, there will be plenty of question marks heading into the fall.

OFFENSE:

The quarterback position at Michigan last season was undoubtedly surrounded by controversy. Both Joe Milton and Cade McNamara suffered injuries that completely hindered their development. McNamara came out a spring football as the #1, but he is not a shoe – in starter. Look for JJ McCarthy, a five – star recruit, to push McNamara for the starting job. McCarthy, an early enrollee, God valuable experience in the spring learning the new offensive system.

The running game could be strong this season with starter Hassan Haskins returning and Blake Corum getting valuable experience in 2020. Donovan Edwards is an explosive talent as the top recruit out of Michigan. He could be an immediate contributor to this Michigan offense.

Upfront, Michigan returns only two starters in left guard Chuck Filiaga and right tackle Andrew Stueber.

Ronnie Bell is the only skill player on the outside, so Michigan will rely on several true freshman to make an immediate contribution.

DEFENSE:

Now that longtime coordinator Don Brown is out, it’s time to find out what this Michigan defense will look like under Mcdonald. He has stated the scheme will include several combinations from coaching stops with the Baltimore Ravens and add Georgia. Mcdonald has several pieces the work with, but now he must make those pieces fit together.

Having DE Aiden Hutchinson return is huge for the Wolverines. A likely high draft pick in next year’s NFL draft, Hutchinson decided to return to Ann Arbor and that gives this defense much needed leadership on that side of the football.

Also returning for Michigan will be Taylor Upshaw, Mike Morris and Gabe Newberg. Also returning upfront will be Donovan Jeter and Christopher Hinton. Look for Mazi Smith to take a step forward with increased playing time.

The linebacking corp enters the season in tact except for Cameron McGrone, who left for the NFL. Leading the way will be Senior Josh Ross and Junior Michael Barrett.

All four starters return in the secondary including former five – star recruit Dax Hill.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

In 2020 Michigan split their kicking duties, but this season, Jake Moody will be the likely starter. Brad Robbins is expected to be the starting punter, although freshman Tommy Doman will give Robbins a run for the starting role in the early fall. Michigan loses Giles Jackson as their return man, so the Wolverines may use a combination of players to fill that role.

FINALLY:

Anyone who knows anything about college football knows Michigan is entering this season with a ton of question marks. It will be up to coach Harbaugh and his staff to re – tool the offense and find a way to make it more explosive. The defense has talented, but it may take time to get everybody on the same page.

The Wolverines will know where they stand early on in the season with a whole matchup against Washington. The biggest early conference test will be October 2 at Wisconsin.

Harbaugh’s future may rest on how quickly the questions about this football team are answered.

MICHIGAN ROSTER: https://mgoblue.com/sports/football/roster

2020 MICHIGAN STATS: https://mgoblue.com/documents/2020/10/25/fbl_stats_2020.pdf