Free Press sports writer Nick Baumgardner and columnist Jeff Seidel wrap up Michigan’s 35-10 win over Maryland on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in College Park, Md.
Aside from a long touchdown pass, Jim Harbaugh’s biggest reaction toward Brandon Peters on Saturday followed a simple decision.
Facing a third-and-12 in the fourth quarter, Michigan called a four deep routes concept with one safety valve underneath. We’ve seen this all season. Earlier in the year, in this exact spot, both Wilton Speight and John O’Korn – more than once – opted for the deep shot rather than the easy play.
Those shots usually hit the turf incomplete or went the other way for an interception.
On Saturday, Peters checked off his vertical routes, scanned down the middle of the field and put a ball right on Chris Evans’ hands. Evans did the rest, picking up a first down and effectively calming Michigan’s offense.
From the sideline, an animated Harbaugh pumped his fist and shouted.
“Hey Brandon, great job.”
Peters has not been perfect over the past three weeks. He wasn’t perfect Saturday at Maryland during a 9-for-18, 145-yard, two-touchdown day. But he’s done his job. He’s effectively and efficiently done what U-M has asked him to do.
For the second straight week, Michigan asked Peters to manage a situation throughout the second half. And for the second straight week, Harbaugh was excited about what he saw from his redshirt freshman quarterback.
“The first read, the second, all the way to the third, sometimes even the fourth,” Harbaugh said after U-M’s 35-10 win at Maryland on Saturday. “Very impressive for a young quarterback. And he makes the right decision. He’s been real good with decision making, when not to throw a ball, all of it has been good. He’s building on it.”
Of Peters’ nine incomplete passes Saturday, three of them were solely his fault.
One happened when Peters hesitated on third down and misses an open Evans across the middle on a throw that would’ve been good for a conversion. Instead, he flushes himself out of the pocket and into pressure and has to throw the ball away. The second was an overthrow on a screen pass…