Michigan Football: Lessons we learned from Michigan State loss

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Cade McNamara can throw the football

Throughout the past couple of football games, fans have been clamoring for freshman J.J. McCarthy to start over Cade McNamara. Well, after Saturday’s game in which McNamara threw for over 380 yards, he proved that he can throw the football when needed.

Yes, J.J. McCarthy did throw a dime of a touchdown pass to Andrel Anthony at one point early in the MSU game, but overall, J.J. was way more inconsistent than McNamara and also fumbled the ball twice on RPO plays (including losing a huge fumble in the fourth quarter as I’m sure all Wolverines fans know).

We all know the reason now why JJ does not start. He is only a freshman, and as shown, still makes freshman mistakes.

One thing that Cade has done tremendously throughout this season is limit his turnovers. He did have one turnover against MSU, but I can’t fault him for that as the MSU DB made an insane play on the football for an interception during Michigan’s potential game-winning drive.

Was Cade perfect? No. He still missed on a few deep balls, but he more than did his job to win Michigan the game. He also wasn’t sacked, which brings me to my next point.

Michigan’s o-line played a great pass block game

Michigan State came into the game against Michigan with two pretty good defensive linemen in Jacob Panasiuk and Jacob Slade.

Those two were held to no sacks. There were several times during the game that Cade had a ton of time to survey the field and find a receiver for a first down.

The pass blocking was great, but the run blocking wasn’t great. Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum did combine for over 140 rushing yards (146) but a lot of times, they were met at or near the line of scrimmage for minimal gains. That’s not gonna cut it against elite teams. The o-line needs to be better at run blocking moving forward.

Teams will continue to stack the box against Michigan, like MSU did, and Michigan’s job will only get harder from here on out. Michigan State had a great run defense, but Michigan will need more out of their offensive line moving forward.