UM's Peters getting more comfortable as starter

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

College Park, Md. — Michigan redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters is now 2-0 in starts as he helped lead the Wolverines to a 35-10 victory at Maryland, his first road start.

Peters was 9-of-18 for 145 yards and two touchdowns, including a 33-yard pass to tight end Zach Gentry.

“He made the big play,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “He was very accurate. Took a big shot early in the game, got hit in the chest and knocked the wind out of him a little bit. He stayed in the ballgame, played tough. No turnovers since he’s been in the game. He made some big third-down conversions in the fourth quarter. He’s doing a heck of a job.”

Peters, who took over the Michigan offense against Rutgers, is starting to feel more in sync.

“Each game has helped me along the way get more comfortable,” he said.

He missed some deep throws against the Terrapins, but he had more of an opportunity to throw than he did the previous week when Michigan relied on the run.

“The last two weeks we still had an emphasis to throw the ball,” Peters said. “Last week obviously we didn’t really need to throw the ball that much. Our run game was really rolling. This week, they stopped our run a little bit early, so we opened up the pass game.

“All week we knew they liked to play eight in the box. I think that’s why the tight ends were really having a good game today. Playing eight in the box, it opened them up. We saw it all week, so we really schemed around that.”

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Gentry led the receivers with three catches for 63 yards and tight end Sean McKeon had a 3-yard catch for a touchdown. Running backs Karan Higdon and Chris Evans each caught two passes, and Eddie McDoom was the only receiver with a reception.

“Brandon looked good,” Gentry said. “The maturation he’s made over the last three weeks has been tremendous just because he’s been able to hit his second or third read, hit the checkdown. He’s got more of a vocal presence. He seems more calm and collected. He’s making good decisions. He’s reading the defense well.”

Harbaugh said what has stood out is the way Peters goes through his progressions.

“He’s really going through progressions well, calmly, cool, collected,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got the arm talent to make all the throws. He’s got a real good game demeanor. Real bright guy. Has the ability to execute in any situation. Probably the thing that’s most impressive is the way he gets through the reads, the first read, the second, all the way to the third, sometimes even the fourth. Very impressive for a young quarterback and makes the right decisions. Real good at decision-making and when not to throw the ball.”

Peters benefited from playing the last two games at Michigan Stadium and needed to go on the road to experience what that can be like. The crowd at the Maryland game, though, had a heavy Michigan presence.

“It was very important even though Maryland is a smaller stadium. Felt there were a lot of Michigan fans in the stands today,” Peters said. “Playing on the road is always different. Away from the home crowd, I thought it was really important.”

Michigan next plays at No. 4 Wisconsin.