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3 Improvements Michigan football SHOULD have made during Bye Week

The Michigan Wolverines are coming off their Bye Week and heading into a matchup with their in-state rival, Little Brother, Michigan State. Michigan made it through the first half of their season unbeaten and healthy, leaving fans and media with many more answered questions than unanswered queries. But, 7-0 doesn’t mean a team coasts until the end. The Bye Week was a perfect time for them to correct what needed to be corrected, implement a few wrinkles here and there, and focus their attention toward defending their Big Ten championship and contending for a National title. Here are three ways Michigan football should have improved over the Bye Week and heading into their second-best rivalry game.

What did Michigan Football need to do to improve during their Bye Week?

How do you take a team that is 7-0, ranked in the top 5 of the country, the reigning Big Ten Champions, and improve them? How can we as a fan base look for the team to get better on both sides of the ball where they have dominated all season so far? Michigan football should live by the motto this season: If you’re not getting better you’re getting worse. There should always be a focus on improvement. So here are three ways the Michigan Wolverines can improve on their Bye Week.

The Michigan Football offense needs to be less predictable

Michigan Football

When it comes to the strengths of the Michigan football offense, it’s not a surprise to anyone that the running game is so dominant. With Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards being the one-and-two punch, and a dominant offensive line led by Zak Zinter and Olusegun Oluwatimi, this once again is the strength of Michigan’s offense. However, a little mix-up from time to time would be nice.

Per PFF, out of the 487 offensive snaps Michigan football has taken this year, 280 of them have been run plays, and 207 have been pass plays. Even though I love seeing Corum and company ram it down people’s throats week after week, it would be a nice change of pace to see a little play-action, or some more shots downfield, something to get the people going. We understand that “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” but come on Jim (Harbaugh) let’s rip the ball downfield a little more and get the juices flowing. I’m not suggesting the offense doesn’t work, because it clearly does, let’s just shake it up a little bit.

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Let the big dawg, Derrick Moore, EAT

When it comes to the defensive side of the ball for Michigan football, they took two big hits coming into the season up front in Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo heading to the NFL. It left many fans wondering who was going to take up the mantle this year and lead the way. The clear leader on the defensive line is Mike Morris who is having a fantastic year with 12 solo tackles, 5 sacks, and one forced fumble Per ESPN. But who is his counterpart, who is going to be the Robin to Morris’s Batman?

With a revolving door of Eyabi Okie, Jaylen Harrell, and Derrick Moore, there is one guy who should be in the rotation more. Through 7 games, Moore has played a total of 107 snaps, has 9 total pressure, 3 quarterback hits, 4 hurries, and 2 sacks, and has the second-highest win rate of any defensive linemen or edge at 20% per PFF. With the rotating door at the other edge spot (opposite of Morris), I do not see why Derrick “the Ocho” (yes that is my new nickname for him) Moore cannot see more snaps. He is producing just as much as Okie and Harrel, who are in competition for this spot. Let the man pin his ears back on passing downs and do what he does best: get after the quarterback.

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Get Andrel Anthony more involved in the passing game

We all remember that electric call by the great Gus Johnson during the first quarter of the Michigan State game last year, “at the seven, McNamara standing strong in the pocket, and it’s caught, Anthony with a burst! Anthony is down the sideline! Andrel Anthony, touchdown Wolverines! 93 yards like that! WOOO!”

The former three-star prospect had his coming out party last year in his hometown of East Lansing, as he finished that game with 6 receptions for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns per ESPN. Anthony finished the season with 12 receptions for 248 yards, and 3 touchdowns, according to ESPN, but was expected to take the next step and be one of the main focuses in Michigan’s offense this year. To this point in the season, this has not been the case. So far this year, Anthony has 6 receptions for 73 yards and no touchdowns, per ESPN, and more times than not we see him blocking on running plays more than anything else.

The explosive wideout is caught in the middle of a crowded receiver room and needs to prove to the coaching staff and his quarterback that he is worthy of the targets. Having two burners in Anthony and Roman Wilson, who you can turn to at any point and say, ” hey go make a play,” makes any offense better. At a certain point, it’s almost too predictable that when Anthony is on the field, it is going to be a run. Out of Anthony’s 172 snaps this year he has been a run blocker in 104 snaps, per PFF. Even though he has been a fantastic run blocker we need to see Anthony start using his speed in space more consistently.

So what improvements did Michigan Football need to make during their Bye Week? They needed to stay focused, stay loose, and continue to dominate on both sides of the ball, which seems to be working very well for them so far.

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