Friday, September 14, 2012

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: UMASS

See UMASS are the minutemen

Well the Air Force game went about as I expected it to. They run a quirky offense that our former NFL Defensive Coordinator isn't that familiar with. The good thing is Michigan won and Denard looked great. The bad thing is we still have no idea what this team is capable of after playing two teams didn't provide good measuring sticks.

Maybe week three will be diff...oh UMASS, nevermind.

University of Massachusetts Minutemen (0-2, 0-0 MAC) @ (19) Michigan Wolverines (1-1, 0-0 B1G) 
Saturday 9/15 Michigan Stadium, 3:30 ET, Big Ten Network

The Offense
Fitzgerald Toussant please stand up. Michigan must get the non-Denard running game going this week. UMASS is 110th in rush defense, so if the running backs can't get anything going in this game the alarms will be blaring all over Ann Arbor. I think the offensive line grows a little more with another week of practice and Michigan has no problem running the ball.

I would also like to see Russell Bellomy get a full quarter of work in this game. If this Gardner to WR thing is going to be permanent, then I'd like to see what our backup QB can do. That also means the game is over at halftime.

The Defense
Now that Michigan is not play immortals (Bama) or Merlin's Magical Offense (AF), let's get a look at what the defense can do. It's been hard to get a gauge on this group thus far, but I think this game will provide something of a glimpse. What we should be looking for is the line to dominate and the linebackers to make quick decisions.

I'm also interested to see who Mattison trots out there at the LB positions. The freshmen have see lots of minute thus far. I'm not sure if the staff is just trying to get the young guys experience before conference play or if the defense has issues at linebacker. Anything less than a shut out here will be disappointing.

Special Teams
Punt teams need to get it in gear here. Punt coverage has been pretty crappy. I know Hagerup has a big leg, but man Michigan needs to get better releases. And on the other side, Gallon needs to step up and catch the damn ball. He has been leaving too many yards on the field.

The Prediction
I have already made it public that I plan to bet against UMASS all year. And I would again in this game, but I don't bet on Michigan games. Nothing good can come of it. If I bet on them and they win but don't cover, I'm not as happy. If I bet against them and they lose, I won money but I'm pissed cause they lost. It's a no win situation. That said, this may be one of those times were I could get away with it. I'm not going to, but still.

I can't see the Wolverines not totally dominating this game. Fitz cracks 100 yards, Bellomy throws his first touchdown pass and Jake Ryan leads the team in tackles. Michigan roles 52 - 0

What say you Michigan cyber-space:

The Big House Blog calls this a confidence game.

BWS shows that a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Go Blue Michigan Wolverine takes a first look at UMass.

Holdin' The Rope tells us who UMass is.

Maize and Blue Nation goes Office Space in lieu of a preview.

Maize N Brew actually found a UMass football blog, which goes to show there is a blog for everything.

The M Zone and Know Your Foe tell us about Sam The Minuteman.

Touch the Banner has a picture of UMass alumnus Maria Menounos.

Brian at MGoBlog actually did a preview. Kudos for putting in any effort.

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