World News – US – Ask Aaron: Why did Michigan football struggle with the defense race in Week 1?


Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) jumps for a touchdown in front of Michigan defensive back Makari Paige (7) in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, October 24 February 2020 in Minneapolis (AP Photo / Bruce Kluckhohn) AP

We have a game in the books and rivalry week to look forward to, with Michigan due to host Michigan State this weekend in Ann Arbor

The two teams are in very different situations, with the Wolverines ranked 13th in the country and claiming an impressive road victory in Minnesota But there are still some questions with this team, on both sides of the ball, after witnessed his 49-24 victory

Your questions this week are about Michigan running backs (especially Zach Charbonnet and his use), the defensive line not being able to stop the run, the week 2 improvements and missing players

As always, you ask a question on Twitter or by emailing me with « Ask Aaron » in the subject line Subscribers to Wolverine’s confidential text come first, always

Michigan running back Zach Charbonnet (24) breaks away from Minnesota defensive back Benjamin St-Juste (25) for a 70-yard touchdown in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game on Saturday Oct February 24, 2020 in Minneapolis (AP Photo / Bruce Kluckhohn) AP

Q: If Zach Charbonnet is the no 1 return, why is he receiving so few hits? He’s dynamic and shows breakout speed It doesn’t make sense that he’s underused How to get into the rhythm of the game? (via 607)

A: This is probably the biggest mystery of the offense at this pointOffensive coordinator Josh Gattis and running backs coach Jay Harbaugh have made it known ahead of the opening game that they plan to do so. use the full four for their various skills Charbonnet, they believed, was a good, reliable downhill backstroke with the ability to break long runs We saw him on his first run when he found a seam and went 70 yards for a touchdown His next three runs totaled 6 yards, including one in the first quarter that ended in a six yard loss

And when you look at the score from the box, that was the story of the Michigan running game on Saturday: he generated 159 of his 256 rushing yards in three games. The other 28 runs were for 97 yards combined, averaging just 35 yards per carry They didn’t get a ton of mid-sized runs from anyone

I dare say Michigan doesn’t really have a No 1 back at this point They like Blake Corum and Chris Evans on screen passes and think they can use Charbonnet and Hassan Haskins between blocks I’d be surprised if the Wolverines stick to spreading around litters like they did on Saturday throughout the season, but that will likely depend on production levels Big runs will equate to extra touches, which comes back in rhythm But it’s hard to do that when you’re only picking up 2-3 yards per range It’ll be an interesting dynamic to watch play

Q: What happened in the second and third quarters with the midpoint of our defensive line? They walked through us (via 717)

A: Minnesota did – and apparently there was a reason for that Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson told us on Tuesday that Michigan expected the Gophers to throw the ball more during this time. And if you come back and watch the movie, it makes sense Michigan was lined up with a lot of threesome fronts which opened up holes in the middle and would explain Mohamed Ibrahim’s big day « I know Ibrahim racked up a good number of yards (140), but they didn’t go too late in the game, « said Hutchinson « They were running the ball So, yeah, I mean, that’s what it is He can have all the yards he wants, but no matter the yards We’ve won and we’re happy »

A: Not particularly The unit has only been penalized three times and Jim Harbaugh believes the pass interference call against Dax Hill was unwarranted I actually thought the defense was doing relatively well, especially compared to what we saw in the openers the previous season (think back to Notre Dame in 2018 and all the flags against the secondary) The only downside, in my opinion was the point made in the previous question about stopping the race I’ll give them a pass for this game and put it on the scheme / philosophy for now. If it becomes a problem again on Saturday and later we will have it revisited

But for now, Michigan’s defense was good, especially considering the long layoff and playing without cornerback Ambry Thomas

Michigan kicker Jake Moody (2) lines up a goal attempt during their college football game against Middle Tennessee at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday August 31, 2019 (Mike Mulholland | MLivecom) Mike Mulholland | MLivecom

Q: If a team improves the most between Games 1 and 2, which group of positions do you see improving the most this week? (via 734)

A: If there’s one area with the most room for improvement and the easiest solution, it’s special teams Michigan has been terrible in terms of punters and field goal attempts, a surprise given the reliability of both zones in recent years Expect them to clean things up with the snap and the protections on the punts, and the execution with goals on the field No matter who does the kick on Saturday, I don’t expect a day 0 for 3

A: No update on what Jim Harbaugh said earlier this week that security Daxton Hill « will be fine » and needs to practice and they expected an update on tight end Nick Eubanks earlier in the week Based on these comments, I would classify Hill as « likely » for Saturday’s game and Eubanks as « questionable »

Eubanks is a bit of a mystery Erick All told reporters this week that Eubanks traveled with the team to Minneapolis for last weekend’s game, but he was not in uniform and did not participated in pre-match warm-ups

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Michigan Wolverines Football, American Football, Jim Harbaugh, Minnesota Golden Gophers Football

World News – US – Ask Aaron: Why Michigan Football has- Did he struggle with running in week 1?



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