Friday, September 11, 2009
GBMW: Notre Dame at Michigan -- MAIZE OUT -- Preview and Predictions
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
Notre Dame 27
Notre Dame 38
Notre Dame 24
Notre Dame 24
Notre Dame 34
Special guest this week -- SuperFan:
Notre Dame 17
The Michigan Masked Man who has his own site at Michigan SuperFan
Thanks for stopping by Go Blue Michigan Wolverine
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Written by CoachBt, Coach Webb, ErocWolverine, and Doc4Blu