Michigan Falls to #17 in AP Poll

Michigan Ranking

Michigan Ranking Falls to No. 17 in AP Poll 

After Michigan suffered its first loss of the season at home against Michigan State, the Wolverines fell to No. 17 in the latest version of the AP Poll. 

It was a disappointing weekend for the Maize and Blue, losing to unranked rivals, Michigan State (now the No. 21 team in the nation). 

Many people are wondering when this Michigan program is going to reach it’s full potential. Under Harbaugh, Michigan is 1-4 against rivals. In Ann Arbor, that’s not going to cut it. 

The Wolverines needed this loss. Hopefully, it will wake them up. The task at 4-1 is the same as it would be if they escaped with a win and became 5-0. Win out, and Michigan is in. 

Recap

Michigan hosted the Michigan State Spartans in the first ever night game between the two in their long, battled history. Michigan entered the game ranked No. 7 and the Spartans entered a 10.5 point underdog. 

The Spartans seemed to feed off of the underdog role and play with more heart than the Michigan team. Unfortunately, that seems to be a reoccurring theme with the Michigan/Michigan State matchup. The Spartans come out with an unmatched enthusiasm, whereas the Wolverines think of it as any other game.

After a 14-10 win, Michigan State takes the Paul Bunyan Trophy back to East Lansing, and they deserve every square inch of it after the win against the Wolverines. 

Offense 

John O’Korn entered the game with high hopes from Michigan fans. After Wilton Speight went down, O’Korn was the guy who was supposed to lead Michigan to the promise land, or at least a victory over MSU. 

O’Korn went 16/35 and threw for 197 yards and three interceptions. Regardless of conditions, that’s not how a quarterback needs to play in a huge game like this.

Karan Higdon had 12 carries for 65 yards, the lone bright star from this game. Averaging 5.4 yards a carry, Michigan decided to go away form Higdon and that’s when the offense looked at it’s worst. Khalid Hill capped off a drive with the only Wolverines touchdown with a one yard score. 

In monsoon like conditions in the second half, the passing game was non-existent. Grant Perry led the team with five receptions and 61 yards. Tight end Sean McKeon added 59 yards on four receptions.

The Wolverines lost the turnover battle 5-0. It’s unlike the Wolverines defense to not force a turnover, but regardless, no football team can win turning the ball over that many times. McKeon and Ty Isaac both fumbled, along with the three interceptions thrown by O’Korn. 

Defense

It’s hard for Wolverines fans to have such an elite defense and an incompetent offense. Possibly for the second straight year, Michigan is wasting a national championship caliber defense. 

Mo Hurst and Devin Bush both recorded eight tackles. Chase Winovich finished the night with seven. 

The Michigan defense held their own against Michigan State, only allowing 252 yards of offense. The defense shut Michigan State out in the second half, and it seemed as if that was going to be the deciding factor. Unfortunately, Michigan’s offense continued to slack and turn the ball over, and never gave the defense what they deserved. 

Special Teams

Quinn Nordin went 1/1 on field goals. Nordin continues to be a money-maker for the Wolverines and given a few more opportunities, could’ve won the game for them. 

The punt and kick return was basically nonexistent.

Next Week: @ Indiana (3-2)

Michigan will look to bounce back after a heart-breaking loss. But again, the task and goal is the same. Win out. 

John O’Korn has already been confirmed as the starter for Michigan, per Jim Harbaugh. 

Indiana is 0-2 in the Big Ten with big losses to Ohio State (49-21) and Penn State (45-14). If Michigan wants to prove they belong with those two teams, they’re going to have to match the margin of victory. 

Perhaps the biggest threat to the Wolverines is WR Simmie Cobbs Jr. who did a number on Ohio State in their season opener. 

IU is averaging over 400 yards per game, but have yet to see a complete defense like Michigan’s.

John O’Korn and this offense HAVE TO get something going. If O’Korn doesn’t have success against Indiana, it may be time for  Brandon Peters or Dylan McCaffrey. 

Prediction: 37-17 Michigan

Hot Take: Michigan will run for over 250 yards in this game as a team.

With a win against IU, Michigan will then shift focus to Penn State, the tallest task thus far. Michigan needs to develop some confidence in offense, and take some of the workload off the defense if they want to be a national championship team.

 

Feature Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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