CLOSING

Hassan Haskins, Shea Patterson and Josh Methel of Michigan discuss a 45-14 hole win over Notre Dame, October 26, 2019.
Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press

Assessing Which Michigan Players Players Improved their Stocks in Saturday's 45-14 Win over No. 7 Notre Dame:

5 Up

Offensive Line : There is rarely a viral block, but Steven Spanelis, a backup offensive liner, had one in the fourth quarter . It was the exclamation point that was the dominant performance from the U-M offensive line. The werewolves won because they controlled the line of battle and overtook Notre Dame on earth, 303-47. The line opened holes in three consecutive early possessions, giving the running backs plenty of room to run and helped win 163 rushing yards from the first half. There was a brief lull when Notre Dame forced three straight three-run outs early in the third quarter, but Michigan responded with a 49-yard dash over the middle – and then 28 consecutive points. Last week, center Cesar Ruiz said the offensive line played its best game of the season at Penn State. The device was just a week later.

[ Why’d it take so long for U-M to look this good? ]

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Cam McGrone: McGrone made an early mistake when he came across a special teams striker, giving Notre a hit 15 yards and first down. But he more than compensates. It became clear that Michigan has a thriving star in the middle line. McGroun was everywhere Saturday night, leading the team with 12 games. Once again he flashed his speed; just two games after his punishment, McGrown is racing to stop the game on the screen with minimal profit. Former startup Josh Ross, who can play, makes it even more clear that McGrown has a similar startup grip on the middle link.

More from Windsor: Harbaugh has kept his promise as UM reveals his identity [19659012] Hasan Haskins: Haskins exploded on the scene two weeks ago with a 100-plus yard in Illinois. He was just as good Saturday night against a much tougher opponent. He had a game-high 20 carries for 149 yards and had some explosive runs. Haskins, who was briefly converted to linear, is usually difficult to break – Jim Harbaugh praised his ability to get yards after contact. He also showed solid vision and cutting ability, and on Saturday night showed a new skill: obstacle. Haskins wasn't very productive in his time with Zach Charbonnett, the team's No. 1 team last week, but he returned on the road against Notre Dame, proving he deserves a share of the carry.

Mike Sainristil: the abundance of the off-season after winning the starting position of slot receiver in the spring. Then Ronnie Bell took over. Harbaugh revealed on Saturday that Sainristil was struggling to catch the ball in practice. And he dropped an early conversion to third down. But he had his best game of his career: three catches for 73 yards and one touchdown. Senristil showed his explosiveness later when he caught a short pass through the middle, bent out of the bundle and into the end zone. After the game, he received praise from Harbaugh for his growth.

Michigan Wolverines Lynch Cameron McGroun tackles Notre Dame, who brought back Tony Jones, Jr. on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at the Michigan Stadium. (Photo: Kirtmon F. Dozier, Detroit, Free Press)

Daxton Hill: The recommended safety of U-M freshmen was everywhere in the field Saturday night. He had two influential effects early on; on an early third down, Hill hit receiver Chase Claypool to get the incompleteness down a short crossing route. On the next possession, Hill – who opted for special teams – regained the win after Notre Dame blocked a point, giving Michigan's offense a new set of fallouts. It regained its fourth stage in the fourth quarter. There is an element of luck when it comes to recovering money, but Hill has also shown a tendency to be in the right place at the right time. And his ability to cover continues to draw near.

Contact Orion Sang at osang@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang . Read more about Michigan Wolverines and sign up for our Wolverines Newsletter.