Friday, September 20, 2013

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: UConn

Last week, um happened. I’ve already made amends for invoking a certain year, which I have sworn to never bring up again. I guess “classic let down game” is exactly what took place. At least I hope.

Let’s move on to UConn

(15) Michigan Wolverines (3-0, 0-0 B1G) @ UConn Huskies (0-2, 0-0 AAC)
Saturday, September 21 8:00 pm ET, Rentschler Field ABC/ESPN3

Michigan goes on the road for the first time this season and will face the Huskies of UConn. Yes they are winless, but this is a young Michigan team and road games can be distracting for those young guys. UConn is 104 and 101 in total offense and defense, but, well Akron, man.

Devin Gardner has to make a statement in this game. If we see another set of bad decisions, it’s going to be a long season for Michigan fans everywhere. He is able to excite on both sides of the coin. Both Towson and Maryland had little trouble rushing or passing both going for almost 5 and 10 yards per play respectively. This game is really about decisions. Gardner needs to make better ones in the passing game. Toussaint needs to decide to follow Kerridge. The interior line needs to make quick ones on line calls. That’s the bottom line. If the decisions are better, things will go well.

UConn had some success through the air their first two games. Mostly because they couldn’t run at all. They averaged 3 ypc against Towson and 1.08 against Maryland. So expect to see more of the nickel that we know and love. Given lack of pass rush last week, I wonder if Mattison will dial it up a bit more this week. I don’t know if Michigan has been laying back to hide things or if they truly believe the front four can get pressure. Keys here are going to be how well whichever freshman corner is in the game opposite Taylor and if the front four can get pressure.

Special Teams
Let’s try not to be so special this week. Coach Hoke mentioned blocking better on punts in his post game speech. I expect this to be better this week.

I just don’t know. It’s obvious that this team is going to go as Devin Gardner goes. So who shows up this week? I really hope we see better decisions out of him. This team is talented, but those mistakes against a team with a pulse and trouble awaits. I am going to assume we see lots of power running this game and good safe passes. Nothing fancy, just straight forward MANBALL! Defensively I’m less worried, they will be fine. Michigan rights the ship on the road under the lights!

Michigan 45 - 10

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