Blake Corum surges, the WRs fall

Free Press sportswriter Tony Garcia breaks down the Michigan football players who helped or hurt their stock after Saturday’s 29-7 win over Michigan State:

Three

DB Rod Moore: According to Pro Football Focus, Moore had his best game of the season. His highlight of the night came late in the fourth quarter when Payton Thorne pitched down the middle; Moore jumped in front and sent it back 30 yards. Moore was targeted five times in coverage and only allowed one reception. When matched with Keon Coleman, the Spartans’ most dangerous player on offense, Moore held him to no holds on three targets and had a pass breakup. He also failed to complete tight end Tyler Hunt. Moore only allowed a 9-yard reception to Daniel Barker. He finished third on the team with five tackles.

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RB Blake Corum: The sophomore’s stock continues to rise as he had one of his best games on Saturday. He had a career-high 33 carries, racking up 177 yards and a rushing touchdown and was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. He also caught a 2-yard pass for the team’s first score.

He was productive every time he touched the ball, collecting 14 of Michigan’s first 27 tries; he’s an NCAA-leading 69 first downs. He also had perhaps his most volatile game of the year, according to Pro Football Focus, forcing the top 15 career missed tackles to go with the top four team plays that gained 12 or more yards.

Michigan Wolverines field kicker Jake Moody (13) makes a field goal during the second half on October 15, 2022 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

KJake Moody: On the heels of a streak where he missed a field goal in three out of four games, the eldest was clear in Michigan’s two biggest games of the year. A week after going 4 for 4, he went 5 for 5 en route to being named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week. Moody connected from 22, 25, 39 and 33 yards before hitting a career-long 54 yards early in the fourth quarter. By then Michigan had gained 15 points and Moody’s had scored 16 points overall.

Michigan wide receiver Cornelius Johnson (6) tackles Maryland defensive back Dante Trader Jr. during the first half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday September 24, 2022.

three down

W. R. Cornelius Johnson: It’s been a bumpy season for Cornelius Johnson, and Saturday saw some big setbacks. Johnson committed the Wolverines’ only turnover, catching a drag route on the opening set and taking it 7 yards before it was dislodged; this resulted in the only scoreless drive for the Wolverines in the first three quarters.

He was targeted another time, but the ball didn’t even hit his hands on what looked like a bad road. It was the second time this month that he had just one catch for 7 yards.

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CB Gemon Green: Few on the Michigan defense had a tough night against Michigan State, but Green was targeted in coverage three times and allowed receptions on all three. The first two were expensive. On the third and 8th in the first quarter, MSU threw a mid ball to Keon Coleman that went up and over Green for a 29-yard gain. Two plays later, MSU ran a similar play with a similar result, only for a 25-yard touchdown. Coleman threw for over 100 yards in the first half (although only two passes were on the green), causing UM to change their plan in the final two quarters and keep a safety above him at any time.

Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson attempts to dive to catch a pass that fell incomplete past Iowa defensive back Sebastian Castro during the first half on Saturday October 1, 2022 in Iowa City, Iowa.

WR Roman Wilson: Michigan did the majority of its work on the ground, but when it got through the air, McCarthy rarely targeted its wides. Two of his top three receivers were a tight end (Luke Schoonmaker) and a running back (Donovan Edwards). That didn’t leave much for Wilson, who had his least productive game of the season. He caught just one pass, which lost 3 yards, and contributed to one of Michigan’s few blocked red-zone drives. Wilson has yet to register 30 receiving yards in a Big Ten game and caught just one pass over 10 yards in October.

Contact Tony Garcia at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @realtonygarcia.

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