We are getting down to it people. We are in the Top Ten of our college football preview. At #10 we have the Michigan Wolverines. In year two of the Brady Hoke era, the Wolverines feel like they can make a Big Ten Championship run.
We will know something about Michigan right out of the gate. They will open the season against Alabama in Dallas on Sept 1.
Denard Robinson is back for his senior season. He is a big time college football player. Unfortunately, since the departure of Rich Rodriquez and the return of “Michigan Football” he may be a round peg trying to fit into the square hole.
Michigan is returning to a more pro-style team with running the football and playing good defense. Robinson is at his best in a wide open, broken-field situation. How will this work together this year?
Last year it worked well. Michigan won 11 game including the Sugar Bowl. But last year the Wolverines snuck up on some people. Robinson also had a big target in big #21, a guy named Hemingway. He is no longer there.
The Wolverines schedule id going to be brutal. With Bama and Notre Dame and then the Big Ten schedule, winning 11 this year will be a tall order.
But the Wolverines have three really good linebackers returning in Desmond Morgan, Brandin Hawthorne and Kenny Demens this year. They anchor a defense that was much improved with new defensive coordinator Greg Mattison last year. If they continue to get better this season Michigan could be really tough to beat.
The secondary has a lot of talent with guys like J.T. Floyd, Marvin Robinson, Jordan Kovacs and Raymon Taylor. If the Wolverines can get some pressure on opposing QBs from the defensive line without having to blitz a lot, they could be very hard to pass on.
Michigan also has a returning thousand yard running back in Fitzgerald Tousant. This should take some of the pressure off of Robinson to beat teams through the air and with his legs if they can get Tousant established early in games. Last year Robinson took a lot of hits. They need to keep him upright if they want to have a chance to win the Big Ten.
The betting line in week one is an interesting one. Legends has Michigan at +12.5 against Alabama. That’s an awful lot of points to give a top ten team in week one. Alabama has nine new starters on defense playing in their first game. We like the Wolverines with 12.5.
Future games to keep an eye on are: at Notre Dame on 9/22, Michigan State on 10/20, at Nebraska on 10/27, Iowa on 11/17 and at Ohio State on 11/24