Brandon Peters is currently under NCAA-mandated concussion protocol following a third-quarter hit last Saturday against the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison. He will be allowed to exercise today, and if he shows no continued signs of a concussion while going through his cardio and weight lifting routines, he will be allowed to rejoin the team for practice on Thursday.
Michigan’s remote chances of winning “The Game” against Ohio State hinges on that if. If Peters can play, Michigan has hope, a desperate one at that. However, without Peters, Saturday’s contest will be more about how much Michigan loses by.
Throughout his first three career starts, Peters has completed approximately 57 percent of his passes for 486 yards and four touchdowns. He has not been the flamethrowing, electrifying leader that the Michigan faithful was hoping against all odds that he would be, but he has been the Wolverines best option at quarterback by a long ways.
He has been cool, calm, and collected, looking impressively polished for a mere redshirt sophomore. Don’t just take it from me, Michigan’s assistant head coach and passing-game coordinator Pep Hamilton praised Peters as well.
“Because his facial expressions, they won’t change,” Hamilton said during the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show on Monday, “The one thing that we recognize is that he has tremendous poise.”
Senior quarterback John O’Korn was Harbaugh’s original choice to start after Wilton Speight suffered three broken vertebrae against the Purdue Boilermakers. But, instead of picking up where Speight left off, he instead displayed sometimes horrific decision-making and inability to progress through his reads to find an open receiver. Up to this point in the season, he has completed 53 percent of his passes for 761 yards, one touchdown, and five interceptions. A 1:5 touchdown to interception ratio is never a positive thing, and when O’Korn’s has started, that ratio has cost Michigan winnable games.
So, where does all of this leave us? At the moment, there is a young quarterback that could possibly play against Ohio State, but there is also a more seasoned (less talented) quarterback that will certainly be available to play if called upon. Will the three days of practice that Peters has missed impact his ability to lead to offense, potentially putting him behind O’Korn? Nobody outside of the Michigan football team and their staff will know the answer to that until Harbaugh announces his starting roster for “The Game”. My money is on Peters making a full recovery and returning to his role as leader of the offense, giving Michigan a fighting chance against a very good Ohio State squad on Saturday in Ann Arbor.
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