This Saturday marks the first full slate of games for the 2010 college football season. It also marks the first hurdle for a rebuilding Michigan team. Their first opponent is no pushover, as the Connecticu Huskies come into the Big House. Rich Rodriguez needs this team to get off to a hot start to quiet the naysayers in Ann Arbor and around the country
The Huskies will bring a ground control offense that will look to use the run to set up the pass against a very suspect Michigan defense. Can the Michigan defense answer the bell? After struggling mightily last year against the pass and the run, Michigan is switching to a 3-3-5 defense. This will utilize speed over size and Michigan has the athletes to run this type of defense. The question is whether or not this young defense will be able to adapt to this new scheme quickly enough to make it work. UConn will attack Michigan with solid running back Jordan Todman and second year starting quaterback Zach Frazer. If given the time to throw, Frazer has the ability to make big plays downfield.
Michigan will likely have to win this game, and most games this year, with its offense. While there is no clear cut starter at running back or quarterback, Rich Rod feels that he has enough talent at these positions for his spread offense to put points on the board. Whoever lines up at QB for the Wolverines will have talented wide receiver Roy Roundtree to throw to. Roundtree can be an explosive force on the field, but he needs a QB to get him the ball. Tate Forcier hates class and that doesn’t make Rich Rod a happy camper. Therefore, Denard Robinson will likely get the nod to start. While Robinson had a strong spring, he still lacks the accuracy and poise that is necessary in a starting quarterback. Don’t be surprised to see some action for true fresman QB Devin Gardener, as well. Coach Rodriguez loves this kid and will likely get him on the field Saturday.
All in all, this is a formidable test for the Wolverines. UConn is picked by most to finish near the top of the Big East. Remember, this team played Cincinnati tough last year and beat Notre Dame in South Bend. They will come ready to play. Michigan’s defense has to show up and at least slow down UConn. If they don’t, UM has no chance to win this game. Michigan is favored by 3. I actually think UM shows up and beats UConn by a score of 31-27 and covers that spread. The Over/Under is 54, so take the over watch the points pile up.
There are a few other games out there this week that have some betting interest. Here are my picks for the weekend.
Pitt +3 @ Utah: Take Pitt and the points. Utah will have no answer for Dion Lewis. Pitt wins by 6.
Texas -30.5 @ Rice(Neutral field): Take the Longhorns. Mack Brown loves to run up the score and he will want to showcase his new QB.
USC -21.5 @ Hawaii: Another guy who won’t be afraid to run it up is Lane Kiffin. Trojans by at least 30.
Boise St @ Virgina Tech +2: Take the points and VT. Boise is overrated and won’t be able to hang.
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Written by Nick English