De’Veon Smith ran very hard Saturday, gaining 126 yards on 23 carries. He’s turning into the prototype smash- mouth ball carrier Coach Jim Harbaugh’s offense requires.
Derrick Green and Ty Isaac are similar type backs, so its also nice to have a speedy change-of-pace ball carrier on the roster who excels in space.
Drake Johnson, who was Michigan’s No. 1 back going into last year’s Ohio State game, suffered his second career ACL tear as he crossed the Buckeye goal line for his second touchdown of the game. Michigan lost the game and Johnson went on to have his second knee operation in two seasons.
Johnson is healthy again, and carried the ball once against Oregon State. Harbaugh was asked about Johnson’s role in the near future.
"“…Just had a feeling that when you (Johnson) haven’t played in a while because of an injury your nervous system can really put your body in a position that you can’t recover from if you’re not—it feels almost like an iron fist. Your nervous system does that and your body just tightens it up. To be able to get acclimated to the feelings and emotions of playing a game, that’s what we were striving for, without putting him in a position to let his nervous system put his body in a position that it can’t recover from. So, I think we’ll be better for that this week and next.” “A bigger role? (for Johnson)? Yeah, I anticipate that.”"
Next: Will Shane Morris Redshirt?