Friday, September 25, 2015

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: BYU

Let's hope I'm not screaming Hasa Diga Eebowai in the 4th quarter.

We are back in action this week and this time with a real opponent.

The BYU Cougars come to town for the final game of the Wolverines’ West Coast pre-B1G tour.

(22) BYU Cougars (2-1) @ Michigan Wolverines (2-1, 0-0 B1G)
Michigan Stadium Saturday, 9/25 Noon ET, ABC

Offense
I don’t think there is anything else to say other than: “don’t turn the damn ball over”.

Rudock has been less than stellar these first three games, and the BYU faithful are counting on it continuing. BYU is 16th in the nation in turnover margin with 7 picks in their favor. Rudock needs to have a clean game.

For that to happen the run game has to be successful. That success will depend on whether BYU’s nose tackle, Travis Tuiloma, plays and is healthy enough to play well. He’s a NFL caliber guy that gives the opposing guard fits. The good news is that BYU has exclusively played spread-based teams thus far. We’ll see how their 3-3-5 holds up against Michigan’s power run game.

If the line can do its job and get Smith one on one with a safety or linebacker, things will look good.

Defense
I love this defense.

Although overshadowed by the play of the defensive line, Michigan’s corner play this year has been spectacular.

Yet again, Michigan will be facing a freshman quarterback in Hail Mary maven, Tanner Mangum. The 22 year old (he spent two years spreading the good word of Joseph Smith) has three talented wide receivers to toss the rock to, which they rely on to get them down the field. The good news is Michigan’s tall and talented corners can erase the height advantage of these gentlemen.

BYU’s offense doesn’t strike fear in anyone’s heart, they look to their defense to win them games.

Special Teams
The contrast in special teams between this year and last year is striking as this year’s special teams is a treat to watch.

Which is good because this game is going to come down to field position and field goals.

Prediction
This game will be bruising on both sides. Two solid defenses playing a game of chicken and whichever defense breaks first probably loses.

Can Michigan’s secondary get some turnovers or hold up against Sir Chucks-it-Deep enough to stall the BYU offense? And conversely, can Rudock play like Iowa Rudock and not turn the damn ball over? These are your keys, my friends.

I believe both will happen.

Michigan has shown they can beat you running inside and outside. Expect a good blend of Smith and Isaac with a dash of Rudock to Chesson/Johnson deep to keep the safeties out of the box.

Lewis and/or Stribling get a pick and keep Michigan ahead in the turnover column.

Wolverines win a bruising defensive slobber-knocker.


Michigan 24 - 19

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