There are always players that are going to get all the credit and contribute a lot to the teams performance, but there was also a lot of underrated pieces that went into Michigan’s surprising nine win season. Jake Rudock, Jehu Chesson, Jabrill Peppers, Jourdan Lewis and Amara Darboh all gained a lot of respect from what they did this year, but there were also some over looked players and stats from this season that people aren’t seeing.
After the shocking loss to Michigan State on a botched punt by Blake O’Neill, it has been frowned upon to even say the word punt in Ann Arbor. Aside from that play, the punting has been excellent all season. O’Neill averaged 41.3 yards per punt and had 23 land inside the 20 yard line. 14 of his punts resulted in fair catches too, which doubled the the number from the previous season.
Red-Zone Touchdown Percentage
A strong note about this years defense was how they rarely allowed teams to get into the end zone once they were in the red zone. They forced teams to 13 field goals on 31 trips inside the 20-yard line. That gave them a 42 percent rate which was the third best nationally. On the offensive side of the ball they had a 93.9 red zone scoring rate that was ranked fourth in the nation. The were regularly minimizing scoring opportunities for opposing teams and maximizing on theirs.
The offensive line unit that consisted of Mason Cole, Graham Glasgow, Ben Braden, Erik Magnuson and Kyle Kalis were able to allow eight fewer sacks than last year in 58 more pass attempts. Rudock has been able to make his reads and minimize the mistakes as the year went on and the line got stronger. Only Glasgow will be graduating so I would expect this unit to be even stronger next season.