Friday, October 11, 2013

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Penn State


So last week, happened. It wasn't particularly fun to watch despite the fact that Michigan won. They looked better than the two previous showings. So I'll take it.

The question now is, who shows up in Happy Valley?

(18) Michigan Wolverines (5-0, 1-0 B1G) @ Penn State Nittany Lions (3-2, 0-1 B1G)
Saturday, 10/12 5:00 pm ET Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

The Wolverines hit the road for the second time this season and first in B1G play. Things in Happy Valley aren't super great. They're not super bad either. They just kind of are. Let's see what's in store for us.

Offense
Zero turnovers last week. It's the first time that's happened in the Gardner era. Borges didn't ask Devin to do much and I think that should continue this week. Funchess looked great in his debut as a wide receiver, so I expect that to remain as well. PSU's defense is decent. They're not giving up a ton of yards (17th nationally) or points (20.6 ppg). That said they did give up 34 and 44 to the only two teams with winning records they've faced (UCF, IU). I don't see the Lions stopping this offense. Expect some big plays and the offense chewing up chunks of yards at a time.

Defense
JMFR!

Jake Ryan makes his return from blowing out his ACL in spring ball. Not sure how ready he's going to be, but it's huge plus for this defense to get it's number one playmaker back. Last week the defense was solid. And the interior backers proved they are more than capable of stopping the run. What Michigan has to be afraid of is how Penn State uses it's tight ends. Wilson had some trouble last week with the Gopher tight end. And Hackenberg is coming along as a QB. He's still a year away, but he's solid enough. Expect more bend but don't break and a few Nittany Lion field goals.

Speical Teams
It seemed the bye week was good for Matt Wile as well. He punted really well. My man, Dileo seems to have locked up punt return duty. Which is fine by me. A secured punt return is a successful punt return. I don't think this game is going to allow for a major special teams impact. Don't make mistakes and all will be fine.

Prediction
An OSU fan in my office asked me how I felt about the Lions this week. And when I thought about it, I wasn't really all that worried. Hearing Penn State, initially, makes me a bit nervous. But then I remember how "We Own Penn State" used to be a thing in Michigan blogdom. And I think Michigan is close to being all the way back. Devin improves again this game. Jake Ryan does something Jake Ryany. And the Wolverines slip out of Happy Valley without so much as a whimper.

Michigan 33 - 16


The last two times I didn't do this part where Akron and UConn. I won't make that mistake again.

Big House Blog has the tale of the tape and sees things like I see things.

Holdin the Rope has Breaking Points and feels a turnover free close one.

Maize and Blue Nation plans to be tweet obnoxiously.

Maize N Brew is where I am about this game too; Not as worried as maybe we should be.

Maize and Go Blue sees a whispering Michigan win.

Touch The Banner calls for the elusive Norfleet TD and a squeaker on the road.

MGoBlog has gone anti-jinx in all predictions

Hokeamaniac is new. I don't know if they'll have a preview, but you should check it out anyway.


A View From The "Other Side"
Figured I'd try something new this week and give you a link to one of the blogs from the "other side".

Black Shoe Diaries, despite calling Gardner, Gardener (I don't know maybe it's a "thing") sees thing very similar to what the rest of Michigan blogdom does.

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