Friday, September 11, 2015

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Oregon State

My original plan was to swing by Corvallis and pee on something, but ran out of time. 

It is probably fitting the Jim Harbaugh opens his return to the college sidelines with back-to-back Pac-12 teams. Let's hope last week we saw one of the conference’s best in Utah and this week, one of the worst. Getting a “W” would be nice. 

Let's get to the first of two Michigan vs Oregon battle for state supremacy games!

Oregon State Beavers (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12) @ Michigan Wolverines (0-1, 0-0 B1G)
Michigan Stadium, Saturday, 9/12, Noon ET

For starters, eliminate the turnovers.

If Rudock doesn't toss that pick-six, Michigan may have beaten Utah. I really don't think we'll see a performance like that from Rudock again this season and he's had another week to strengthen the connection with his receivers, who looked really good last week. If he can hit Chesson once or twice with one of those long balls it will open up the entire offense.

The big question is, "when Drake Johnson will return?" Clearly Michigan's best runner, he suited up last week but wasn't quite ready to go. Maybe Harbaugh is keeping him on the shelf until B1G play? Let's hope Smith and Isaac can get their shit together and produce while filling in. Of course, better guard play will certainly help.

Tackle better.

Last week the Beavers ran all over Weber State. I know, I know, "Weber State," but, their QB can really go. The good news is this defense is solid against the run. in my opinion, last week they were focused on Booker which allowed Wilson to have success running the ball. I don't expect to see that repeated this week. Look to see more Ross this game if Bolden misses an assignment early.

Michigan's secondary shouldn't have any trouble with Oregon State's receiver. Maybe their ground success didn't require them to throw last week; Collins only amassed 92 yards through the air. Either way, look for Michigan to stack the box and challenge the Beavers to throw. Lewis and Pepper could have an impact on this game.

Special Teams
The spread punts looked so beautiful last week.

Overall special teams looked solid. Let's hope Peppers gets a chance to return a kick or a punt this week. Mark my words, he's going to change a game on special teams more than once this year.

Currently, Michigan is a 16 point favorite, and despite last week's result, I think that's fair. Over the past couple years the defense has been good stopping one dimensional offenses and both Oregon State's QB's are freshmen.

Expect better offensive execution which will lead to something resembling an actual run game. The defense does its job, but allows Collins to get loose once or twice.

Most importantly, Michigan gets a "W" in its home opener.

Michigan 31 - 13

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