Friday, September 5, 2014

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Dirty Filthy Catholics

I'm sad this is the last scheduled meeting. 

What is always one of my favorite non-conference games of the year will cease to exist after tomorrow. Fear and money do strange things to a man. Yeah, I'm talking to you Jack!

Enough of that nonsense, let's see if the Wolverines can build off their hot start last week.

Michigan Wolverines (1-0, 0-0 B1G) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0)
Notre Dame Stadium, Saturday, 7:35 pm ET NBC

Offense
As far as we know the "Study Hall Cheaters", as I am now referring to them, are still suspended. Which means The Irish defense is missing key contributors. They did hold down Rice last week. But that not very good Rice did rush for 3.5 yd/carry. I think Michigan will have some opportunities on the edges in the running game. The Irish linebacking corps isn't all that impressive either, so look for Funchess and Norfleet to make a living in the middle of the field. I think that Nuss will try and neutralize the ND D-Line, so look for a series of screens for both backs and outside WRs.

Defense
Everett Golson is back for the Irish this season. He was mediocre in the opener last week. Again, Rice. The only question for the Defense from last week is the effectiveness of Jake Ryan as the middle linebacker. With Morgan out, he's really going to have to play well to keep this Irish offense down. I am excited to see how the secondary matches up with the Irish wide outs. Should be a good test for the talented secondary.

Special Teams
These games are always so close that a special teams play is going to matter. I'm interested to see if Peppers will be back to return punts again. I hope so. I see Hagerup flipping the field once or twice to make a huge difference in the game.

Prediction

Oh hell man, I don't know. Vegas thinks that Notre Dame is 4 points better than the Wolverines. But that number keeps falling. Has the Michigan offense progressed enough from last year to impact the game in a positive manor? Has the defense reached elite status? That's why this game is so great and why I will miss it when it's gone.

I think the answer to both those questions is yes. Notre Dame's defense isn't quite up to snuff and the Michigan offense does enough to assist an excellent defense effort. It'll be close and it will certainly be exciting.

Michigan 27 - 24

Normally I would link out to other Michigan blogs to see what they say. But, that seemingly delayed this post, so I'm going to forge on without it.

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