Friday, September 11, 2009

GBMW: Notre Dame at Michigan -- MAIZE OUT -- Preview and Predictions

Notre Dame at Michigan

Go Blue Michigan Wolverine -- Preview

Michigan Football: Notre Dame at Michigan -- MAIZE OUT -- Go Blue Michigan Wolverine -- Preview

This week is a huge game for both Michigan and Notre Dame. Last week both teams beat inferior opponents, as expected. Last week demonstrated no clear, or even minute, advantage for either team heading into this week’s early year showdown. Also, in conditions as described above, it is very hard to judge how both teams will come out and play this Saturday. Is Nevada really as bad as they played last week, even though the expectations were that Nevada was pretty decent? Or is Notre Dame finally meeting expectations and is truly a high level team?

Saturday will go a long way in answering the above basic questions. The biggest advantage Notre Dame has is veteran quarterback. In big games, and this is a big game, play at this most important position is crucial.

A second advantage for Notre Dame is size; this is a fairly big team, especially on offense.

Michigan's biggest advantage is home field, if the team plays well the fans will keep the excitement up and keep the fire fueled.

A second advantage is UM’s athletic ability and quickness. As a result, tempo could become a big key to Michigan’s success
If Michigan can speed the game up and use its quickness and athletic ability to wear down Notre Dame, we really like UM’s chances.

If Notre Dame can slow the game down and use that big offensive line to control field position and shorten the game they increase their chances.

Several keys to this game are discussed below:

When taking a look at the UM/ND matchups, we have to wonder if Michigan has anyone who truly scares Notre Dame. The answer is probably not. Michigan had a great week last week against an inferior opponent in Western Michigan, no doubt about that. Tate really exceeded our expectations for running the offense and controlling the game in the first half.

All of us think it will be a close game this Saturday. Michigan will again attempt to have a balanced offense and will probably score somewhere around 20-27 points.

We have no doubt that Michigan can and will move the ball against this Irish defense. The Michigan coaches will coach up the offensive line to protect Tate.

Tenuta tried to stunt Michigan all game last year but Michigan had very little trouble moving the ball. Tentuta generally likes to use blitzes as much to dictate what the offense does instead of just applying pressure. Coach Tenuta likes to bring the safeties and nickel to influence the quarterback to check down and hit hot receivers or hot routes. That is what he did last season when the defense blitzed off the edge and had Michigan quarterback's checking to the bubble series that Notre Dame was able to stop.

Our biggest concern occurs when Notre Dame has the ball. Golden Tate and Michael Floyd are the real deal and if you give Clausen time he will hurt you. How will Michigan's defensive backs play against these receivers? Can the defensive line put enough pressure on Clausen to help the defensive backs out?

Here are the big questions for Saturday that may determine the outcome:

Can Michigan get to Clausen?
Can Michigan move the ball through a balanced offense?
Can Michigan limit the big plays?
Can Michigan gain win the turnover battle?

Last week, Western Michigan used a short controlled passing game because the WMU offensive line could not handle Michigan's defensive line. The above factor, as much as Hiller’s quick release, helped WMU avoid additional sacks.

Notre Dame is more of vertical down the field passing team than was Western Michigan, which in theory should give pass rushers like M. Martin and B. Graham an opportunity to split Clausen's head from the rest of his body.

Clausen does have a decent release; his throwing motion is compact and smooth. His arm strength is strong.

Western Michigan never generated any type of meaningful running game. When defensive linemen can simply pin their ears back and get up the field, offensive linemen are in a bind. If Michigan can keep Notre Dame's running game in check, it will be a huge step to slowing the passing game.

We hope everybody is fired up and comes to Michigan Stadium ready to battle Notre Dame. Reminder wear Maize and support your team ... Not your *ss!

Go Blue Michigan Wolverine -- Predictions

***With our predictions doesn't mean we do not like this Michigan team. We think they are drastically better, but the bottom line for us is Michigan needs some Notre Dame turnovers to win or a lot of mistakes for Michigan to win this game.

If Turnover margin is 0 Notre Dame in our opinion wins.
If Michigan is 2 + in the turnover margin then we believe Michigan will have a chance.

Notre Dame 31
Michigan 21

Coach Webb:
Notre Dame 27
Michigan 24

Notre Dame 38
Michigan 21

Notre Dame 24
Michigan 17

Notre Dame 24
Michigan 35

Notre Dame 34
Michigan 24

Special guest this week -- SuperFan:
Notre Dame 17
Michigan 38

The Michigan Masked Man who has his own site at Michigan SuperFan

Thanks for stopping by Go Blue Michigan Wolverine
If you have any questions please E-Mail

Written by CoachBt, Coach Webb, ErocWolverine, and Doc4Blu


Anonymous said...

with a prognostication like you guys have posted, maybe Michigan should just forfeit the game and preclude any injuries.

Eric said...

I'd like to see superfan fan be right, but his score reminds me of the SNL skit with Mike Ditka, just replace Ditka with Michigan...

Da Wolverines 38, Pittsburgh Steelers 2...only because Tate flew out of his own endzone during the end of the game celebration...homers of the world rejoice!

Anonymous said...

This link to a Youtube ND blogger supports their own feeling of how they measure their victory of Nevada. Navada was not a test for a BCS team and certainly not even for ND.

ND was smoked last year by the strong teams, and struggled with the good or midland teams. I don't see where ND has made the big improvements where we can expect them to scare Michigan this week.

They have talent but a poor coach. Michigan should take this game even in our weakened state.

ErocWolverine said...

What is funny is people were worried about Western Michigan last week and now that we beat them we are going to go undefeated now?

Most people or a lot I have seen was hoping for a 6-6 or 7-5 record this year ... so where are those loses coming from?

Eric said...

These guys are just being realistic, just because you're a UofM fan doesn't mean that you think Michigan should win every close game...

Potentially our top WR Jr and argueably are top CB Boo Boo could be out. Add in that we have no defensive depth and its reasonable to believe we could lose. Personally I hope Superfan is right and they are wrong, but how many of us expected to win this game before the WMU game? Why should beating up on a MAC team who lost 8 defensive starters change our expectations?

I hope I come back from the game and get to announce on this board that I was wrong...

Anonymous said...


Certainly Penn State and Ohio State concern most fans this season. For those who said Michigan will lose 6-6 or 7-5 I'm sure they figured ND to be one of them, or maybe not. I don't figure ND to be one of them. Of course there could be a number of reasons why Michigan or any team could lose a game, but as long as Michigan doesn't beat Michigan, ND won't do it. For the record I expected Michigan to smoke WMU before the game.

Anonymous said...

Typical cold feet form M fans....whatever, we are not playing USC here.

M 28
ND 21

Anonymous said...


My apologies to you, I've just seen the game and ND is better than I thought. This is not to say that Michigan is a lot better than ND this year, I just didn't have any love for ND based upon their last two years of play.

ErocWolverine said...

Well we are all happy to eat crow tonight ... GREAT GAME, GREAT ATMOSPHERE and yes my voice is scratchy from yelling so much at the game.

As every coach says now: "one game at a time".

Anonymous said...

I see, PSU, @ Iowa and tOSU as the only potential stumbling blocks. Maybe @ Illinois too, would like to see how IL plays for at least a couple of weeks before being sure.

9-3 looks very good now, if we are not devastated by injuries!!

Wolverine Mom said...

What a game... a real nail biter but a great win. Check out this link.. you can make your own free Michigan Ohio State Countdown clock to post on your blog, website or Facebook. It is great!
Show your spirit and GO BLUE!

Anonymous said...

Glad to still be crowless :) But, there are some concerns even after the win - DBs as suggested. Was ND O-line so outta sync or UM Dline that quick which caused all the holding?

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