The Wolverine

2018 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 141 of 179

140 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2018 FOOTBALL PREVIEW 2017 While the defense dominated once again under second-year coordinator Don Brown (No. 3 nationally, 271.0 yards per game), the offense was equally as abysmal (105th, 348.9). A rash of injuries — most notably to red- shirt junior quarterback Wilton Speight and freshman wide receiver Tarik Black — cer- tainly hindered the group, but even when healthy the unit never seemed to click. This was painfully obvious early in the campaign, when U-M only mustered 20 of- fensive points against Cincinnati Sept. 9 (the Wolverines benefitted from a pair of pick- sixes in the 36-14 triumph) and 22 versus Air Force the following week (a punt return touchdown supplied additional points in the THE YEAR IN REVIEW Michigan Takes A Step Back In Year Three Of The Jim Harbaugh Era BY AUSTIN FOX A fter losing 17 starters from its 2016 squad that went 10-3 and was on the verge of the College Football Playoff, the 2017 Wolverines were expected to take a slight step back. However, no one anticipated them to regress as much as they did. The '17 group wound up finishing 8-5 and was never able to establish any momentum or rhythm all season long. Head coach Jim Harbaugh posted back-to- back 10-win seasons during his first two years in Ann Arbor, but the Wolverines slipped to an 8-5 mark in 2017 due in large part to major struggles on the offensive side of the ball. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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