‘Game­Day’ crew rave about UM’s Pat­ter­son

Trans­fer quar­ter­back flashes abil­ity to make big plays in Big Ten

The Detroit News - - College Football - BY ANGELIQUE S. CHENGELIS The De­troit News

Ann Ar­bor — ESPN col­lege foot­ball an­a­lyst David Pol­lack saw Shea Pat­ter­son run­ning the of­fense at Ole Miss, and sees a dif­fer­ent Shea Pat­ter­son as Michi­gan’s quar­ter­back.

Pol­lack and the ESPN “Col­lege Game­Day” crew are here for tonight’s Michi­gan-Wis­con­sin game at Michi­gan Sta­dium.

“It’s a to­tally dif­fer­ent sys­tem (at Michi­gan),” Pol­lack said Fri­day near the “Game­Day” set on In­galls Mall. “It’s like Chi­nese ver­sus English. It’s just not as easy. You’re go­ing to have grow­ing pains in a sys­tem like this, be­cause it’s a pro­gres­sion. He ran an RPO (at Ole Miss) where you’re read­ing one guy. It’s very sim­ple, and that you’re do­ing at warp speed and it makes it even eas­ier.

“He’s not the same play­maker I think that he was at Ole Miss. He also was driv­ing a Fer­rari, too, at Ole Miss — he had the best re­ceiv­ing corp in the coun­try and Tarik (Black) get­ting hurt be­fore the sea­son doesn’t help the play­mak­ers at Michi­gan.

“I don’t think he’s been con­sis­tent by any stretch. I would like to see the of­fense take more shots. I’m sure ev­ery Michi­gan fan would be­cause when you take shots, they’ve been suc­cess­ful. A lot of deep balls have been very suc­cess­ful. Shea has got good ath­leti­cism. You’ll con­tinue to see him use that be­cause you have to use that in this of­fense. I don’t think this of­fen­sive line is dom­i­nant by any stretch of the imag­i­na­tion. I think they run the ball pretty ef­fi­ciently, but you’re go­ing to need Shea Pat­ter­son’s wheels. To win games like this, you’ ll need Shea Pat­ter­son to run the foot­ball.”

Des­mond Howard, Michi­gan’s 1991 Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner and an­other “Col­lege Game­Day” an­a­lyst, said he likes how com­fort­able Pat­ter­son looks in this of­fense six games into the reg­u­lar sea­son.

“Shea is a guy, I believe, who’s ben­e­fit­ing now from the of­fen­sive line play­ing bet­ter,” Howard said. “He’s get­ting more com­fort­able. He’s com­plet­ing like 68 per­cent of his passes, but just watch­ing him, things that num­bers can’t tell you, he’s look­ing more com­fort­able, he’s look­ing like he’s get­ting into a rhythm. He’s look­ing like the Shea Pat­ter­son that peo­ple an­tic­i­pated who came from Ole Miss.

“When he said he was go­ing to trans­fer to Michi­gan, peo­ple were like, ‘OK, this is what this kid brings to an of­fense.’ I think now he’s start­ing to look like that kid.”

Michi­gan coach Jim Har­baugh is in his fourth sea­son coach­ing the Wolver­ines, and Pat­ter­son is the most ath­letic quar­ter­back dur­ing that time, Howard said.

“He is able to ex­tend plays, keeps the chains mov­ing,” Howard said. “We’ll tell to­mor­row night. It’s a huge test for the of­fense, Shea Pat­ter­son. That would be the first thing I look at is the play of the quar­ter­back.

“He’s a gamer. Shea is a guy who is very ath­letic, very com­pet­i­tive. His team­mates re­ally like him a lot. They took to him in­stantly when he started prac­tic­ing with them. It’s just nat­u­ral for a guy like that to make the play and make the dif­fer­ence. You’ve got Pep Hamil­ton, you’ve got Coach Har­baugh who are pretty good with quar­ter­backs. They had to try to help him un­der­stand, you don’t have to do ev­ery­thing on your own, just rely on these guys and then the big play will come.

“As a com­peti­tor and an ath­lete you want to go out there and make the big play, but some­times you’ve got to let the game come to you. That’s prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant mes­sage they’ve been able to get across to Shea Pat­ter­son.”

Here are a few other high­lights from the “Game­Day” me­dia ses­sion Fri­day:

Pol­lack called the Michi­gan-Wis­con­sin matchup an “elim­i­na­tion game” as far as the na­tional play­off scene: “You lose, you’re out. I don’t think there’s any other way for them to get to the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off un­less they win this game. It’s the

Oct. 21, 2017: at Penn State, L


Nov. 18, 2017: at Wis­con­sin, L 24-10 Sept. 1, 2018: at Notre Dame, L 24-17 same story. I’m sure Michi­gan fans feel ex­actly like I do. I watch the games, I watch the tape, and the de­fense is filthy again, and the of­fense is sput­ter­ing and kind of finds it­self some­times, but a lot of times you don’t have a clue if they’re any good or not. Like Ok­la­homa for the last cou­ple of years has wasted cham­pi­onship of­fenses, Michi­gan has wasted cham­pi­onship de­fenses the last cou­ple years. I just think if the of­fense finds its way and starts to be­come more con­sis­tent, this is go­ing to be a team to be reck­oned with. Oth­er­wise, it’s go­ing to be an­other dis­ap­point­ing year for Michi­gan.”

Howard on re­turn­ing to Michi­gan cam­pus:

David Gu­ral­nick/De­troit News

Michi­gan’s Shea Pat­ter­son has com­pleted 68.8 per­cent (95-of-138) of his passes for 1,187 yards and 10 TDs.

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