Friday, August 31, 2012

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide

Team #133 welcome to your time.

Magnum 357, Ya'll!!!

(8) Michigan Wolverines (0-0, 0-0 B1G) vs (2) Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0, 0-0 SEC)
Saturday 9/1, 8:00 ET, Cowboys Stadium, ABC

Tomorrow, the Wolverines will strap it up against the defending National Champions. As far as opening games go, it really doesn't get much bigger. Hell, for mid-season it wouldn't be anything to shake a stick at. The Big Ten vs SEC. Two of college football's most storied programs. Nick Saban. Story line after story line. This isn't the first, and probably won't be the last, thing you read about this game leading up to kick off Saturday night in Prime Time. That said, let's look at the keys for a Wolverines' victory.

No surprise here; it's Denard. I talked about it in my GOTW prediciton, but how well Denard has progressed in the passing game is the key for the offense. If Denard makes good decisions and completes some balls down field, it's will open up the running game. Otherwise, Saban will be happy to put 8 guys in the box and rely on his talented secondary to cover one on one. That is really the only wildcard that Saban can't prepare for. He has a great defensive mind and as multiple as Borges wants to be, Saban is just as multiple on defense. Denard is certain to be confused at a few points during this game, but if he can use his legs or his check downs effectively, and not turn the ball over, the Wolverines have a chance.

The Wolverines lost three key defensive lineman who were the heart and soul of last year's defense. Can the new guys step up and fill their shoes? They may mature into it, but that is a tall order to fill for game one of the season. However, if they can manage to be huge space eaters that take on double teams in the middle and the outside guys disrupt the backfield a bit, it'll give the returning linebackers a chance to make plays. McCarron returns and runs a steady ship. He's like Kurt Cousins who, for the last three years, had great games against Michigan. The good thing is we finally have a decent and experience secondary. As long as McCarron doesn't have a cozy pocket to throw from, I hold confidence in the Wolverines pass defense. Stopping the run, on the other hand, could prove challenging. Which brings me back to the D line. If they play well, the defense plays well.

Special Teams
Brunette Girls, man. If Michigan is going to win this thing, it's going to come down to a kick. And Gibbons, think of the girls man. Think of the girls!

Hopefully in the off season Hagerup found his muse and will return to his Freshman form, because if he can flip field position on one or two possessions that would be huge for the Wolverines.

The prediction
Two touchdowns is a hard mountain to climb. That said, it's the first game of the season. Handicappers don't know much more than you or me. Especially since FT. Schembechler is back in full effect. But, it'll take mistakes from Alabama (which don't usually happen) and a perfect game from Michigan (they are focused) for the Wolverines to pull this off. With remorse, I don't see it happening. As I said in my GOTW post, I think the undertow will suck the Wolverines down and the Tide take the day. Alabama 24 Michigan 20.

What does the rest of the Michigan Blogosphere think? Let's see:

Burgeoning Wolverine Star says logic dictates there is no way UM pulls it off.

Holdin The Rope goes deeeeeeep with both offense and defense and shares a familiar prediction.

Brad at Maize and Blue Nation says if we know Bama's punter by name before half and Denard and Heisman are spouted together multiple time, Wolverines win.

Maize and Go Blue says Michigan needs an early touchdown to stand a chance.

My favorite of all previews is the Know Your Foe segment from The M Zone. Always quality!

UMGoBlog thinks Bama's O-Line will just be too much.

The WLA is the only site that has writers to have the balls to pick UM. Gotta love em!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha thought michigan had a chance...