Two Wolverines that flourished after week five

Michigan's Colston Loveland celebrates his touchdown against Michigan State during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
Michigan's Colston Loveland celebrates his touchdown against Michigan State during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. /

As the seasons changed from summer to winter, college football created new possibilities for all football teams. The end-of-season results were good for some teams and bad for others. The Michigan Wolverines established a 13-game winning streak to start the season.

Some analysts have said the Wolverines played a soft schedule during the first four weeks. Some journalists have stated that Michigan football should have scored more points against the competition they’ve played for the first two months.

Regardless of those opinions, Michigan football remains undefeated while Coach Harbaugh endured a total suspension of six games before he returned to the sidelines to capture the 2023 Big Ten Championship.

The 13-win season secured Michigan football a spot in the College Football Playoff; Alabama will square off against the Wolverines on 1 January. From the beginning of the season to the present day, the Wolverines have flourished amid turmoil and adversity.

With every daily practice session, the coaches implemented strategies that allowed the team to develop chemistry on both sides of the ball. Let’s reflect on some statistical achievements that improved after week five of this season.

Colston Loveland finished strong

Roman Wilson had been torching defenses as he amassed six receiving touchdowns in the first four games of this season. Cornelius Johnson procured 224 yards in his first four games, displaying he can beat man or zone coverage.

Colston Loveland took a little longer to hit the jackpot. He didn’t find the endzone after five weeks of football to begin the season.

However, after Week 5 Loveland has been operating as the lead tight end, allowing him more opportunities to create for the team.

Alabama will have to plan to stop the two wide receivers I mentioned above. Neither wideout is one-dimensional, and both players display exceptional route-running skills. Defensive coordinators would have to account for the receivers throughout the game. The coverage dictated to Wilson and Johnson will provide opportunities for Loveland.

Opposing linebackers can never lose sight of Blake Corum; these situations will alter and disrupt defensive formations. Diverse coverage and schemes will focus on locking down these exceptional playmakers. Colston Loveland should face single coverage, which allows him to take advantage of defenders using his 6’5 frame. The sophomore continues to improve during each game. The zero in the touchdown column that he displayed disappeared against Minnesota; Colston Loveland scored his first touchdown in week six. He ended the season with four receiving touchdowns.

Will Johnson closed the season strong

Will Johnson only appeared in two of the first four games to start the season in 2023, UNLV and Rutgers are the two games that he played early in the season. Johnson did have knee surgery during the offseason, which may have led to his low snap count during these games. When a team sets recovery timetables for different players, established guidelines are followed to ensure reinjury doesn’t occur after the surgery. Johnson got back into game shape while regaining playing rhythm. His health improved as the season progressed, and Johnson’s playing time increased weekly. Patience and work ethic allowed Johnson to regain his elite play-making attributes. Will Johnson finished the regular season with three interceptions and four pass breakups.

These stats changed throughout the season. From week five to week thirteen both athletes increased their on-field productivity. The skills of these two talented athletes allowed them to achieve high accolades on the gridiron. Will Johnson was named All-Big Ten First Team Media and Coaches selection in 2023.

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Colston Loveland was named All-Big Ten First Team Coaches selection in 2023. Perseverance and hard work allowed these two young men to make an impact on an undefeated Michigan team that won the Big Ten Championship this season.