Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis is a Schembechler-era savant and once again this season he’ll be diligently handing out his postgame helmet stickers after each game. Sap has pored over hours and hours of U-M games over several decades, and in these posts he’s able to tie the present to the past. I encourage you to subscribe to Dr. Sap on YouTube, or follow Sap on Twitter.
OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – It’s always difficult awarding champions after a loss because, for the most part, no one typically will have played a perfect game. Mistakes were made all over the field, in all phases of the game. Having said all that, I’m awarding my decals to those players whom I feel demonstrated the ability to be game-breakers. I call that out because in order to beat Ohio State next week, players will need to step up and make plays.
On offense that guy is Chris Evans. He seems to finally be healthy and quite possibly THE ONLY healthy runningback right now. He was close to going all the way against Wisconsin on a couple of plays, on Saturday. He can hit the home run and/or leap over defenders in a single bound as he did last week against Maryland. Hopefully #12 can channel his inner Clarke Kent because the offense could sure use something “super” right now. In my opinion, Evans gives this offense its best chance to score against the Bucks next week. I say put him everywhere: tailback, wildcat QB, wingback, slotback, H-Back…any back – just get the ball to #12!
DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – On the defensive side of the ball, Khaleke Hudson is still THE GUY who can give the D its best chance to not only prevent points from being scored, but also being responsible for scoring points. He had another great game in a losing cause against the Badgers, but he is a game-changer. In order to beat OSU next week, at least one TD will need to be scored by the defense. Look for #7 to do that next Saturday.
SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – It was quite apparent early on that the game in Madison was going to be all about field position. That put a big burden on punter, Brad Robbins. He was up to the task on Saturday as he consistently pinned the Badgers deep in their own territory. Hitting the coffin-corner on his punts like he did against Wisconsin is critical when playing the field-position game. When opponents start drives inside their own 20-yard line, the playbook shrinks in size and the defense can pin their collective ears back and bring the heat. It rattled the Badger QB on several occasions and it will need to happen next week against that-team-from-down-south.
COACHING CHAMPION – From one doctor to another, I gotta tip my hat & credit Dr. Blitz for all the schemes and stunts he employed against Wisconsin. His defense was the reason Michigan was in the game for as long as they were on Saturday. The last time I saw a Michigan Defense be so dominant and almost win games on its own was in 1997. Hopefully Don Brown and his dudes have something special planned for the Buckeyes.
UNIFORM CHAMPION – I don’t know about you, but I thought the Michigan helmets looked pretty darn good with all those helmet stickers on them Saturday. The decals didn’t look too big, there didn’t seem to be too many stickers on the helmets, and more importantly, no stickers were being placed between the stripes. So ya, I like the look, and I think they finally got it right!
Week by Week Champions (O = Offense, D = Defense, T = Special Teams, C = Coaching, U = Uniform, E = Editor’s pick)
Week 1 vs. Florida: Ty Issac (O), Devin Bush (D), Quinn Nordin (T), Don Brown, Greg Mattison (C), all-maize unis (U), Camaron Cheeseman (E)
Week 2 vs. Cincinnati: Ty Issac (O), Tyree Kinnel (D), Grant Perry (T), Greg Mattison (C), refined helmet decals (U).
Week 3 vs. Air Force: N/A (O), Chase Winovich (D), Quinn Nordin & Donovan Peoples-Jones (T), Jim Harbaugh (C), full on maize and blue uniforms (U)
Week 4 vs. Purdue: John O’Korn (O), Devin Bush (D), Brad Robbins (T), Don Brown (C), white-arm-sleeves-on-shins (U)
Week 5 vs. Michigan State: N/A
Week 6 vs. Indiana: Karan Higdon (O), Maurice Hurst (D) and (T), Tim Drevno (C)
Week 7 vs. Penn State: N/A
Week 8 vs. Rutgers: Brandon Peters (O), Maurice Hurst (D), Garrett Moores (T), Jimmy Harbaugh (C), Helmet sticker numbers (U)
Week 9 vs. Minnesota: Karan Higdon & Chris Evans (O), Khaleke Hudson (D), Donovan Peoples-Jones (T), Tim Drevno (C), Jordan Skullcap (U), -1 decal –> Chase Winovich (E)
Week 10 vs. Maryland: N/A
Week 11 vs. Wisconsin:
Week 12 vs. Ohio State: