Unlike last year, when quarterback Shea Patterson completed over half his passes to the trio of Ronnie Bell, Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones — even when no one in that group was open — junior quarterback Joe Milton showed that he was capable of throwing the ball to anyone in the 49-24 victory.
To put it shortly, the move didn’t work. Mason got pushed around on the defensive line, and by about the fifth game of last season, he started to move back to offense full time. Now he’s back down between 255 and 260 pounds, and back in a role he loves.
With so many new players stepping into significant roles, the onset of the pandemic presented an opportunity for the Wolverines to build trust in one another. It was clear they had accomplished just that on Saturday night, when the team’s first-time starting quarterback and a nearly brand new offensive line looked like a veteran unit.
In his debut as a starter on Saturday night, the junior quarterback was Michigan’s leading ball carrier, with eight rushes for 52 yards. And that might just be more important to the success of Josh Gattis’s offense than anything Milton did in the air.