ANN ARBOR — Michigan picked up its fifth consecutive win by topping Maryland 42-21 on Saturday afternoon.
While the Wolverines got off to a slow start again — they actually trailed this one 7-3 after the first quarter — they took control of the game in the second and dominated the Terps on the ground and in the air, defensively limiting Maryland.
Here are three takeaways from the win:
1. Michigan’s defense dismantled a potent run game. Throughout the first three quarters, Maryland had more penalty yards (89) than actual yards (87). While that wouldn’t hold in the fourth, the Michigan defense was in control almost the entire game. UM prevented Ty Johnson and Anthony McFarland from getting easy runs up the middle and held Maryland’s top rushing duo to just 37 combined yards after the two entered averaging almost 150 per game.
2. The offensive line is improving each week. That’s something everyone from coach Jim Harbaugh to running back Karan Higdon noted afterward, with Harbaugh saying the line is playing its best football of the year as a collective unit. Fewer breakdowns are allowing Toledo native Shea Patterson more time to work out of the pocket, turning him into more of a weapon than he already is for the Wolverines. And speaking of Patterson...
3. Patterson has improved his agility. His ability to make plays like his 34-yard pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones is in part because he’s spent time working out with the Michigan running backs.
“He works out with us a lot,” Higdon said. “Doing a lot of drills in the summer workouts, getting his footwork right and it shows. He's able to pick his feet up, get them down, get out of tight windows, make tight windows, and he does a heck of a job.”
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