Friday, September 23, 2011

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: San Diego State

I really enjoy it when weird things like this happen in sports. Michigan probably scheduled SDST a few years ago and just last year went and stole their head coach and offensive coordinator. It's almost as if Dave Brandon wrote this whole thing out just to drum up some ratings.



Enough of the drama, let's talk football. I would have to say at this point in the season the Aztecs look like the better team. They are 3-0 with wins over a PAC-12 team (albeit WSU), a team that just beat Northwestern (Army) and a baby seal. They are 41 in total offense, which puts them 22 spots ahead to Michigan, and are averaging 38 ppg (26th). Offensively they rank higher than Michigan.

What's still is somewhat strange to me, as I adjust from the past two seasons, is Michigan's defense is out performing the Aztec defense. Giving up less yards and points per game Michigan is ranked 24th in scoring defense and 53rd in total defense to SDST 49 and 80 respectively.

I also believe that the Aztecs are going to be very motivated. I'm sure they feel slighted that Hoke left them for maize and blue pastures and are all tore up about it. It's funny what motivation can do to kids this age. This is probably the biggest thing that worries me this week. On the flip side, Hoke does not want to lose this game. He will have them ready, I'm sure.

The keys:

Offense
They just need to be more fluid. I think Borges has spend that last three games just figuring the damn thing out. I think he's realizing the MANBALL transition isn't going to happen right away and that running more shotgun and zone blocking stuff will make this offense most successful. I expect we'll see a little more Denard running earlier and not as a bail out as Borges looks to get ahead early.

Defense
Keep doing what they've been doing. A couple of turn overs and don't get burned deep. The defensive line seems to be coming to life a bit and I think they're going to need to see some pressure from the front four this game as they Aztecs will be spreading us out. If they can't get to Lindly, it could be a long day defensively.

Special Teams
Coverage just needs to get better. Only seeing the FG unit once this season has been a blessing. Let's hope that trend continues.

All in all I think Michigan escapes this game with a win. But I think it'll be close. Unless for some reason Borges has been holding back, but I doubt it. Michigan wins but SDST covers.

And here are the real previews:

BWS predicts a close games and says it comes down to defense.

Go Blue Michigan Wolverine hands out their predictions.

Holdin' The Rope tells us a little about the Aztecs and why we should care.

Maize and Blue Nation gives us a delicious statistical chart and says the running game is the key to victory.

Maize and Go Blue does a great position by position break down and calls for a close win.

Brain at MGoBlog says freaking run dammit! And predicts a close win.

The Big House Blog gives us the tale of the tape and says Michigan is better.

The M Zone with everything you ever wanted to know about SDST!

The Wolverine Blog has a couple of side by sides and says pound the ball man!

Touch The Banner has Aztec girls!

WLA has it's weekly round table.

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