Jabrill Peppers came to play
Michigan’s Heisman candidate did everything in his power to will Michigan to victory today. But nothing spoke louder than his 54-yard punt return for a score with 11:27 left in the fourth quarter, as Peppers spilt the Colorado special teams unit, shaking a few oncoming defenders, diving in for the score, an incredible play by the All American. He would finish with 204 all-purpose yards, his best game by far as a Wolverine
Defensively, though, Peppers was outstanding as well, making hits in the backfield, including one sack, finishing with nine tackles.
Simply put, he’s good, he’s super athletic, and he was the best player on the field today.
Wilton Speight had a first half to forget
Speight struggled right off the get go. He would fumble on U-M’s second possession, as a CU defender waltzed into the end zone for the score, as Michigan immediately found itself in a 14-0 deficit.
After that, he would struggle some more, throwing into double coverage numerous times, showing no touch on his deeps balls, and just flat out made bad decisions – he looked rattled. He completed 9-of-his-21 passes, for 124 yards and one touchdown, and that score was 45 catch and run by Amara Darboh, who did took a short pass for the score right before the half.
However, in the second half, Speight was able to get things going for U-M’s offense. While, it wasn’t eye popping, his best play he eluded rushers and found Grant Perry for a 54-yard reception to CU’s 7, Michigan would score three plays later on a Ty Isaac touchdown run.
Overall, Speight would finish 16-of-30 for 226 yards and one touchdown pass. Still, though, Speight and U-M have some things to work on, especially with Penn State coming to town next week.
Michigan’s secondary misses Lewis
U-M hadn’t shown any weakness in its secondary this season without Lewis till today, as Colorado Sefo Liafau torched the Wolverines for 246 yards and three touchdowns, including scores of 37, 6 and 70, but had to leave mid third quarter after suffering an apparent leg injury. That’s when U-M caught a break, with Liafau out, Steve Montez couldn’t handle Michigan’s pressure up front, finishing 0-for-7 passing.
That being said, with Lewis out, it out tremendous pressure on U-M’s safeties and linebacker to cover in the middle, and U-M looked outmatched for a quarter and a half. Luckily, Lewis should be coming back soon – hopefully anyways.
U-M can take a lick, and get back up
Trailing 14-0, and 21-7 in the first quarter respectively, Michigan could have easily gave up today, especially on defense. Uncharacteristically, U-M’s defense gave up 195 yards of total offense in the first quarter, as the Buffalos spread offense found some holes in U-M’s secondary.
But after the first quarter, Michigan’s defense stepped its game up, only allowing 130 yards the rest of the game, with 70 yards coming on Shay Fields’ touchdown reception to start the third quarter. In the end, Michigan was able to wear CU’s offense out by being the more physical team.
Special Team comes up big
Along with Peppers’ 54 yard score, Grant Perry took a Delano Gill block for U-M’s first score, and CU’s punter low rugby style kick hit his own lineman in the back for another. Kenny Allen only hit 1-of-3 field goals, but the in the end, Peppers returns were too much for Colorado to handle, and were a major difference in the game.