‘GameDay’ crew rave about UM’s Patterson
Transfer quarterback flashes ability to make big plays in Big Ten
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:
Michigan’s Shea Patterson has completed 68.8 percent (95-of-138) of his passes for 1,187 yards and 10 TDs.