18 of 26 for 270 yards, a touchdown, an interception and a 161.5 QB rating.
That's John O'Korn's stat line from the Purdue game weeks ago.
It's not fake or exaggerated. HE did that. He IS capable of that kind of play.
The question is, what has been different over the last two games since he had that good one against Purdue? The easy button answer is that he played better defenses, but he threw for 198 against MSU, statistically #4 in the nation in total defense that gives up 161 yards in the air per game. 3 INT's yes, but to act like the rain had nothing to do with that at all is just being silly.
If it's a case of not making all of his progressions and getting tunnel vision on the first guy he sees, what was different about Purdue? That their defense wasn't able to capitalize on that? The same Purdue defense that held Wisky QB Alex Hornibrook to 199 yards passing and 2 INT's at Camp Randall?
Against Sparty, O'Korn was all over the place, as was the offense as a whole. Against Indiana, he was exactly 50% at 10 of 20 passing, and since Michigan allowed no sacks in the game, clearly there was a dedicated emphasis on running the football. Is that solely because of lack of trust in O'Korn or because the running game is getting better? 271 yards rushing and 6.2 yards per carry says the latter.
So then how misleading is 58 yards passing? If you have a young offense that needs simplicity to build confidence, why not go to the ground game if you know it is working? Everyone talks about having a balanced offense and that's the prettiest option to look at, but if you have something that is starting to work and it will help you win, why wouldn't you go to that more often? How many people screamed that during the MSU game? How many suggested that exact course of action leading up to Indiana? Now that Michigan actually did it, it's a huge problem? That dog don't hunt.
Look, O'Korn wasn't good against the Hoosiers and he needs to improve but he didn't turn the ball over and it wasn't necessary for him to air it out for them to win. That's football. You go with what works. Today the running game worked. Really well. Michigan shouldn't be crucified for going to it so much.
Against Purdue, O'Korn was on target, cool, calm and collected for the rest of the game. An argument can be made that Michigan doesn't win that game without him playing as well as he did that day. The best course of action now is to figure out what he did in that game and get him back to that, because that John O'Korn DOES exist, we have seen it and getting him back to that level combined with a seemingly improving running game with a possible feature back in Higdon is what this offense needs to optimally succeed......and calm most of you down. Maybe.