Saturday, August 23, 2008

A New Era Begins...

The University of Michigan football season begins soon. This Saturday soon. They open up with Utah. Will Rich Rodriguez be able to take Michigan football to the next level in 2008? Will the Michigan quarterbacks be as bad as everyone says? No one knows. One thing's for sure though: those warriors in winged helmets will come roaring out of the gate in the Big House and be ready for the Utes. It should be a tough opening test for an inexperienced team, but here's what you need to know about RichRod's debut on August 30th.
  • The AP Poll has Utah ranked 29th, Michigan 32nd. The USA Today Poll has Michigan 24th and Utah 28th. Not that preseason polls have ever been a good indicator of a team's talent, but it's safe to assume that these two teams are pretty evenly matched. Whatever Michigan lacks in experience, Utah lacks in recruiting talent. So, overall the two teams balance out pretty well.
  • Michigan's offense is a total question mark. Untested quarterbacks, injury-prone running backs, decent wide receivers, and the offensive line is a complete mystery. The defense is solid, with plenty of returning starters from last year's squad. As long as they can get off to a good start, they should be able to keep the offense in the game.
  • Utah has a good quarterback/running back tandem and a decent defense. They will test Michigan both offensively and defensively and create problems throughout the game with excellent play from their special teams. Utah also runs a version of the spread offense so be prepared to see plenty of option run plays and weird offensive formations on both sides of the ball.
  • The last time these two teams played, Michigan won 10-7 at home in 2002. This stat has absolutely no bearing on Saturday's game and really shouldn't be included in this post but I looked it up because I was bored and it's the middle of the night. So, now that little piece of useless knowledge is taking up some of your brain space too. Ha.
Prediction: Michigan starts off slow and falls behind early. Utah is a tough team and they will have something to prove to their conference because everyone is talking about BYU in the Mountain West; and there's nothing like beating the Wolverines in the Big House to send that message. Don't get me wrong though: I don't see Utah winning the game. I have however, seen enough Michigan openers in my life that I know Michigan hardly ever starts out as good as they should so I see them down by about three at halftime. I think the defense will step it up in the second half and Michigan will pull ahead by the start of the fourth quarter and never relinquish the lead. Let's Go Blue! Michigan 23, Utah 17.

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