Why Blake Corum says running the ball gives the offense momentum

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Why Blake Corum says running the ball gives the offense momentum
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Michigan started its season 1-0 on Saturday when it defeated Western Michigan 47-14.

Hearing from the coaching staff and players in weeks leading up to the first game, we knew they wanted to install more of a run-first offense. They wanted to get back to the old school ways of Michigan football — ground and pound.

It was a very successful day on the ground for the Wolverines since they rushed for 335 yards and had 3 rushing touchdowns as well. If the maize and blue wanted this to be their identity, then it sure is looking good after one game.

Though there hasn’t been an MVP named after the first game, it would be hard to argue that it isn’t Blake Corum — who rushed for 111 yards on 14 carries and a score. He also caught 2 passes for 22 yards and a score. We can’t forget that he also had an electric kick return for 79 yards that set the Wolverines up in great field position. In fact, Corum had a career day — he rushed for yards today than he did all of last season combined (77 total rushing yards in 2020).

After the game was over, Corum met the media to answer some questions, but he didn’t want to take all of the credit, giving his offensive lineman plenty of praise blocking for him against Western Michigan.

“All week, really all camp, our O-line has been putting work in at the weight room,” Corum said. “That’s what we saw today, they were physical upfront. It made Cade’s job, my job, and the running backs job so much easier today”

Corum may have been the leader statistically on Saturday but we can’t forget about the starter, Hassan Haskins. Haskins played admirably running the ball 13 times for 70 yards and a score. Corum likes to refer to the tandem as ‘Thunder and Lightning.’

“Me and Hassan — Hassan is a strong dude. It’s hard to tackle him, so he will run through you,” Corum said. “Me, I’m more of a finesse guy, so I might make you fall. We’re a good 1-2 punch when we get to the next level, it’s like thunder and lightning.”

With running the ball more, it felt that it created more momentum for the team, especially since Western Michigan couldn’t stop it. Corum went on talking about how running the ball creates momentum for the offense.

“I think it brings a ton of momentum, because if we’re running the ball then they have to do something defensively to stop it,” Corum said. “Then that will open up the pass, then the QB1 (he says while looking at McNamara) will sling that thing.”

Cade McNamara had similar sentiments when talking about Blake Corum and the running game. McNamara only had to attempt 11 total passes on Saturday — he completed nine of them. So how did the starting quarterback feel about attempting such a low number?

“The playcalling today was fine, or it was perfect, we got the job done,” said McNamara. “If running the ball gets the job done, then that makes my job easier”

Overall, you really couldn’t have asked for much more from the Wolverines offense. They blocked well, created holes for the running backs, and we saw today how ‘speed and space’ works.

Things will get a little harder for Michigan next week, however, when it hosts Washington during primetime.

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3 things we learned about Michigan football after defeating WMU