Often the forgotten third category behind offense and defense, Michigan’s special teams unit has been impressive through U-M’s first three games this season, impacting games with field positon through returns, blocked punts and - most notably- Jabrill Peppers' 54-yard punt return for a touchdown against Colorado.
“Special teams is a huge facet every game, we always want to make an impact with our teams,” said U-M special teams coach Chris Partridge. “We talk about attacking and putting opponents on their heels in all special teams categories. So I think we were able to have an impact.
“It’s funny, everyone else was like ‘what a tremendous game,’ (against Colorado) and to me we left so much out there,” Partridge said. “We can get a lot more, a lot better and make more impact plays on teams. We’re working at that, and working to build off of the game to do some more stuff.”
However, having a player of Peppers’ ability has helped his teammates buy into special teams, says Partridge, and that was evident after Peppers' 204 total yards of offense on Saturday, earning Big Ten special teams player of the week for his effort.
“What I’m going to say is my kids have bought in, they’re understanding it, they love it, they take pride in it, and we’re doing whatever we see to try to affect it. We have weapon back there, so it’s kind of fun calling that game, because you can do some different things and try to figure out what they are trying to do,” Partridge said.
No. 4 Michigan (3-0) opens up Big Ten play against Penn State this Saturday at 3:30 P.m. ET.