Hey, everyone: Dust off all the praise you had planned to use for Jabrill Peppers, and heap it upon Khaleke Hudson. There’s a new viper in town, and he feeds on tackles for loss.
Hudson – a true sophomore – had a game for the record books Saturday night, racking up 15 tackles including 8 for loss, a new Michigan record for tackles for loss in a single-game. The record was previously held by Larry Foote who had 7 TFL against Iowa in 2001. These stats come from Jim Harbaugh, as the statistics after the game reflected a different number.
(Editor’s Note: Michigan’s official Twitter account said Hudson forced 7.5 TFL. Harbaugh said he forced 8. So, we really have no official count – regardless, both are a record.)
But, wait … there’s more: Hudson tallied 2 sacks and forced a fumble on the hit pictured below.
Elite performance by one of McKeesport's finest! Khaleke Hudson: 15 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 8 TFL & 1 Forced Fumble! That don't happen everyday! pic.twitter.com/dRLnRN0wLZ
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) November 5, 2017
When you break records set by a guy named “Foote,” you’re probably tough. And when the opposing team’s running back is willing to say something positive about you after getting embarrassed, you’re definitely tough.
“He did his job, made plays all over the field,” Minnesota running back Rodney Smith, who was held to 38 yards on 13 carries, said.
Jim Harbaugh knows good space-backing play when he sees it:
“Spectacular performance by Khaleke Hudson,” Harbaugh said. “He was everywhere he was supposed to be.”
Everywhere he was supposed to be according to Michigan. Everywhere you didn’t want him if you were a Gopher.
Like in Minnesota QB Demry Croft’s grill:
— tR. (@_TyRogers_) November 6, 2017
Big Ten players of the week are usually released on Monday, and it would be a shock if Hudson wasn’t one of them, but it’s not like Hudson will care, as his post-game comments reinforce:
“I just didn?t do this by myself. My teammates helped me in every way, working hard every day in practice to prepare for games like this, to have performances like this. All this accomplishment? It goes to my teammates,” Hudson said.
He’s smart to give credit to his teammates. Every good linebacker knows their job is much easier with a d-line that keeps them clean.
Don’t get me wrong, Hudson deserves all the praise he gets, as 8 TFL is a feat no matter how great your d-line is. Regardless, having maulers like Rashan Gary and Maurice Hurst up front makes it a lot easier.
On to Maryland, whose rushing yards per game are similar to Minnesota’s, but give up many more sacks. Which leads one to believe that Hudson’s impressive play will continue.
Beating up on the Gophers and Terps of the world can write you into the Michigan record book until someone comes along and breaks your record. A performance against Wisconsin or Ohio State can write you onto the hard drive of collective Wolverine fan memory forever.