Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Utah


Are the Wolverines now as tough a Johnny Utah? We will see.

HARBAUGH!!

There really is no other way to begin LMMP this season other than with an unbridled: "HARBAUGH!"

Harbaugh was the guy everyone wanted. Harbaugh is the guy that has been dominating the news the entire college football off-season. Harbaugh is the guy. And now Harbaugh gets his chance to show us why.

Michigan Wolverines (0-0, 0-0 B1G) @ Utah Utes (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
Rice-Eccles Stadium, Thursday, 9/3, 8:30 ET FS1

Offense
Ruddock! Ruddock! He's our man. If he can't do it...Morris can?

Despite no official word on who's starting at QB, we all know it's fifth year senior transfer Jake Ruddock. He's the kind of smart, accurate, low-turnover guy that Harbaugh likes. The looming question, "Is Ruddock the check down machine he was at Iowa or does Iowa offense just really suck?"

For all of our sake's I hope the answer is the former.

Michigan's O-line should be improved from last year as they return almost everyone. They've each matured, grown and received an upgrade in coaching (which will be a theme here today).

If the line improves than it would lead one to believe that the running game will improve as well. If that happens, then the question marks at WR, outside of TE Jake Butt, shouldn't impact the team as much.

The only thing that worries me is Utah's attacking D. If Ruddock is feeling the pressure, it's going to be a long day for this offense. A long day for the offense means an even longer day for the D.

Harbaugh, help us.

Defense
This unit should also be an upgrade over last year's squad. Last year's coordinator is now the D-Line coach and they've upgraded at every other coaching position. Losing just two starters from last year, experience should be a strength of this team.

How new D coordinator, DJ Durkin, deploys hype monster Jabril Peppers is going to be at the forefront of every UM fan's mind.

Peppers is a special talent that should allow Durkin to be creative and aggressive. Even with the unique ability of Peppers, if the CB's can't lock down receivers, Durkin will be forced to back off a bit.

Harbaugh, free us.

Special Teams
Utah's kicker is awesome.

Michigan hasn't named it's starter.

Can the super nit-picky Harbaugh have an influence here? I think so. Michigan's coaching upgrade continued into the Special Teams group and they've actually spent time on it in Fall camp.

The days of sending 10 guys on the field are over.

Harbaugh, save us.

Prediction
Optimize is running wild in Ann Arbor. According to the recruiting sites, Michigan has the talent. It's no secret that Hoke and staff under-performed. But, how much is the key.

To me, this game is a toss up.

The right bounce will determine the outcome. Season predictions have these two teams sitting in similar spots in conference rankings. Which team out performs expectations? That's the question.

Ruddock is accurate and efficient. Michigan's offensive line gets some push and establishes a run game. Both defenses play lights out. This one comes down to a late Michigan stop.

Harbaugh gets his first Michigan W.

Michigan 24 - 19

Harbaugh, praise you.

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