Following its season opener, this year’s iteration of the Michigan football team remains largely unknown. Four quarters against a far inferior team in Colorado State can only say so much, after all.
But the Wolverines likely won’t find much clarity against this week’s opponent, Hawaii, a team that’s similar to the Rams in talent, if not worse; the Wolverines opened up as 46-point favorites.
But there is still a lot to address, and even though Michigan’s victory over the Rams didn’t answer many questions, there are a lot of implications going on in preparation for next Saturday’s game.
Michael Barrett shines
Following his six tackle performance, graduate linebacker Michael Barrett received heaps of praise from Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh at his press conference on Monday.
“Mike Barrett, I’m going to take a deep, long bow on that one,” Harbaugh said with a smile.
Harbaugh’s comment was in reference to the fact that, coming out of a high school as a quarterback, no one knew what position Barrett would play collegiately. Before anyone else knew where Barrett would thrive, Harbaugh noted that he envisioned Barrett playing linebacker or safety.
Now, in his fifth year, Barrett is excelling in his greater role at linebacker — and against Colorado State he displayed how well he fits into this defense.
“I feel pretty comfortable out there after spending the offseason tuning in the fine details of the defense,” Barrett said.
Barrett has found a spot in a linebacker room that is in need of further depth, and his development throughout the remaining season will be paramount to the Wolverines defensive success.
Rod Moore building off last year’s success
On Saturday, sophomore defensive back Rod Moore grabbed his first career interception. And he didn’t stop there, notching four tackles and assisting on a sack as well.
Even though Moore is just a sophomore, his impact is nothing new. Moore’s contributions are only a continuation of what he displayed towards the end of his freshman campaign.
“Just coming off last year, it felt the same,” Moore said. “I just feel more comfortable, I feel more loose, I play faster.”
Moore did not necessarily expect to be making an impact this early in his career. . He said it was a goal for him, but it came as somewhat of a surprise.
But after Moore made plays like he did on Saturday, his production shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore.
Yes, the quarterback battle is still happening:
At this point, Michigan’s quarterback competition has been written into the ground, but its end remains unknown. Even after senior Cade McNamara underwhelmed in his start to the season, the competition is not over.
This week, sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy is set to make his first career start against Hawaii. On the surface, it may look like an early season game against a group of five opponent, but for Michigan, it’s McCarthy’s chance to prove his merit.
But even with the circus of the quarterback competition happening in perpetuity around the Michigan football program, junior wide receiver Roman Wilson says it’s still business as usual in the locker room.
“It’s not really talked about,” Wilson said of the quarterback competition. “I mean you guys talk about it enough, that’s enough for us.”
Even Harbaugh seems to have had his fill of talking about the competition.
“We’ve plowed this ground about as thoroughly as it can possibly be plowed,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh did eventually shift his tone, noting that he would “prefer” to only have one starting quarterback going into every game this season.
Maybe now he only has to wait one more week.