With constant talk of Jabrill Peppers this and Jim Harbaugh that, some may fall into the trap of overlooking just how complete of a team Michigan really is. And yes, yours truly was part of that sum before sitting down and really watching the Wolverines..
With that said, this week’s Player to Watch, wideout Amara Darboh, may fly under the radar when looking at what the Wolverines do well. And if he doesn’t, it’s because you may have seen him play at Dowling Catholic back in the day. Or because he’s second in the Big Ten in receiving. Either or.
The 6-2, 211 pound receiver can fly, has crazy hands, and is the beneficiary of a Michigan passing scheme that doesn’t do anything overly fancy — it just executes well.
The first play on this reel is so simple, you’ve probably run it in NCAA or Madden 100 times. The defense is in a two-high look, concerned with covering the flat. Darboh is on the bottom of your screen and runs a deep post as the tight end breaks his out just beyond the linebackers, pulling the safety towards the sideline with them.
Darboh burns his guy, and quarterback Wilton Speight (that name is so Michigan quarterback it hurts) throws a beautiful deep ball. Six points.
As you’ll see from the remainder of that video, the Wolverines enjoy dialing up a a lot of underneath stuff for Darboh and fellow receiver Jehu Chesson — who led the squad in receiving last year — to keep defenses honest before going deep. Again, it’s the classic wear ‘em down strategy. Effective offenses constantly defenses on their heels, doing so with a strong intermediate passing game is a great way to do so.
This is infuriating to think about given the current state of affairs in Iowa City.
Here’s an awesome catch against Sparty a few weeks back to demonstrate Darboh’s talent.
That’s just flat out beating your guy, ladies and gentlemen.
One more video before you get on with your day — the call-outs being execution and playmaking.
It looks like most every Michigan blocker gets the guy he’s supposed to, though no one kills two birds with one stone or anything of the like. Instead, they give Darboh just enough space to do his thing.
Sure, the Colorado defense isn’t going to light the world on fire, but this play is very fun to watch, regardless. The lanky pass-catcher finds a hole and hits it hard.
Take all of this into account with a totally nasty defense and an effective running game, and it’s easy to see why the Fightin’ Harbaughs are one of the nation’s best teams.
A bonus, because we love you, readers: If you were expecting to read about the Michigan defense, no worries, we called up ESPN and had them take care of that for us this week. C.J. Beathard could be in for a long day.