Showing flashes of playmaking ability this season, sophomore wide out Amara Darboh earned the first 100-yard receiving day of his career catching nine passes for 107-yards, including a 12-yard touchdown.
“I think it was a whole team effort,” Darboh said afterward. “The (offensive) line did good blocking, Devin (Gardner) did good delivering the ball at the right spot, at the right time so, I think it was a team effort that helped me have a good day.”
That day began early with a 34-yard completion down Michigan’s sideline on the Wolverines opening drive in the first quarter.
With Gardner under some duress from the Indiana front, Darboh cut off his route and bolted up field as Gardner stepped up and found him deep into Indiana territory.
A broken play and one of the few times this season that a wide receiver has improvised to get open and help Gardner out. Following a seven-drop performance by the position group as a whole in a loss at Michigan State, that’s been a focus in practice.
“It was like a wide departure, hitch thing and the corner jumped it so me and Devin were on the same page and he threw it up,” Darboh said. “He let me air it so I could have some room to get under it.”
“Especially after the game we had up at (Michigan State) so we were just trying to help him out, help the offense out and the team get the win.”
With Jake Butt out of this one after being suspended for not living up to team expectations, Michigan needed a second wide out to emerge and Darboh provided just that.
But possibly the biggest play of the day came in the form of a pass break-up by Darboh on a poorly thrown ball by Gardner that could’ve easily been six points headed the other way.
“I ran my route and the route we ran, you’re supposed to just sit there but then I saw I think it was a linebacker that kind of jumped it,” Darboh said.
“So I was kind of thinking, kind of like hit the arm cause I hear the DB’s coach say that all the time. So I just kind of tried to swipe and hit the arm and I’m thankful he didn’t get the pick.”
Darboh now has 26 catches for 362-yards and two touchdowns on the season, including a 13.9 yard per catch average, good for first on the team of the guys with more than two catches.
For the sophomore that appears to be picking things up as the weeks go on, the comfort level is simply increasing.
“I think for me it’s the more I play the more I get used to the game,” Darboh said. “And feel it out and feel what the defensive backs are doing and feel out where to be and I think the more I play the more experience I’ve been getting.”
Bolden Explains The Stake
Johnson Goes From Fan to Game Day Hero
Hoke Deflects Brandon Questions to Monday
Recap: Johnson Emerges in U-M's 34-10 Win
Johnson Runs Michigan to 34-10 Win Over IU
Brandon Era Over, Hackett Interim A.D.
Dave Brandon Resigns, Jim Hackett Interim AD
Major Developments Could Speed U-M Timeline
Hoke Expects Job Status Talk After Season