Throwing just over 72 percent in the game, Wilson was a fantastic facilitator of the ball.
The result hovered somewhere between brutish and boring. Brady Hoke was sent packing largely because of his inability to get solid play under center. “As did all of our team”, Harbaugh said.
He has made wearing khakis ironic in Ann Arbor.
“…Tip the hat to the Utah player (Thomas), the nickel, he made a heck of a play on it”, Harbaugh added. Butt showed flashes of brilliance as an underclassman and figures to improve under the tutelage of tight end specialists Jim and Jay Harbaugh.
PEAVLER: I guess I’ll be the first one to throw out a prediction here.
“It’s good, real football“, he said. And, from what we’ve seen in only one game, the team is generally playing much the way it did last season, when it couldn’t win enough games to make a bowl.
Wilson’s evening outshined stud tailback and Heisman hopeful Devontae Booker who was held by a Michigan defense who played really well despite giving up 17 of the 24 points that Utah scored. Rudock promptly threw three against Utah, and finished 27-for-43 for 279 yards and two touchdowns.
Harbaugh isn’t the only new face in the program.
Michigan won’t panic after losing to a more talented team on the road. “But I was impressed”. Rudock got the start and threw interceptions.
“He was seeing the field extremely well”, Harbaugh said of Rudock. Interesting fact: Booker’s yards per carry against Michigan a year ago was 3.1, his lowest of any game last season. It’s that offensive line that was the lifeblood of Stanford and the 49ers when Harbaugh was coach.
Filled with Harbaugh-inspired hope, Michigan fans descended on Salt Lake City this week as if it was their Mecca. They didn’t get beat deep or catastrophically blow a coverage but they did struggle to keep option runs from gaining at least four yards.
While Harbaugh’s cloistered summer camp gave us zero answers, Harbaugh’s public debut gave us few more. They host Oregon State next Saturday (Sept. 12 ) at the Big House with the opening kickoff scheduled for noon.
For now, Harbaugh is poking and prodding to learn more about the team he took over. As it turned out, Iowa transfer Jake Rudock got the call and did very little with the opportunity. While the defense penetrated and made some plays, they looked a little lost at times.
Michigan wouldn’t go down without a fight however, as Rudock would connect with Amara Darboh for a 10-yard touchdown pass to cut into the deficit, 24-17.
Things looked organized in John Baxter’s first game at the helm of Michigan’s special teams. With all the talk of the future of Michigan football with Jim Harbaugh at the helm, now they are a mediocre team at best, among the likes of Minnesota of Maryland in the Big 10.
Wales had a chance to win it with 10 minutes remaining when Neil Taylor broke down the left hand side but Ramsey’s shot was beaten away from Georgallides. School officials were expecting a more than capacity crowd of 45,807 at Rice-Eccles. Mason Cole burst onto the scene past year, winning the starting left tackle job as a true freshman. More often than not though, Durkin had people in position to make plays. A late Utah touchdown will put the game out of reach for the Wolverines.
The passing game is fixable.
Harbaugh isn’t ready to take on that rivalry monster, yet. On Thursday night, he coached the Wolverines for the first time.