Michigan heads into their home match-up with UMass this week fresh off of two impressive wins and with a new position in the national rankings. Michigan is ranked, 20th this week, for the first time since their hot start of a year ago. However, this year they hope to keep that hot start going well into the season and position themselves for a Big Ten title or, at worst, a reputable bowl game. They can’t do that unless they take care of business against an FCS opponent in UMass.
Michigan has been in the position of hosting an early season game against an FCS opponent and not coming ready to play. Anyone remember Appalachian State? Head coach Rich Rodriguez surely will not let his players forget. That, and the fact that a member of UMass’s conference went into Blacksburg and beat Virginia Tech last weekend. Surely, UMass will look at James Madison’s success against the Hokies last week as proof that giants can be slayed.
Everyone in the country is now aware that Denard Robinson is electrifying. His early season performances have put him on the Heisman radar, but he will have to continue that dominance in order to stay there. Overshadowed by Robinson’s heroics is the fact that Michigan’s defense is as bad as advertised. Already thin in the secondary because of transfers and injuries, Michigan now faces the likelihood of missing two top linebackers this Saturday. Mike Jones is out for the season with a broken leg and fellow linebacker Brandon Herron is likely to sit with an ankle injury. After allowing Notre Dame to rack up over 500 yards of offense last week, this defense can ill afford to continue to lose important players. The young Wolverine defense needs to come together fast and facing an FCS opponent in The Big House may give them the confidence they need as the Big Ten season openener looms.
Michigan’s best defense is their explosive offense. If the offense can continue to pile up yards and points, it has the ability to make opposing offenses one dimensional as they will have to go to the air to keep up on the scoreboard. This will help a young, banged up defense keep games close. Wolverine fans just hope that Robinson can keep the magic going this week and for weeks to come. If he doesn’t Michigan will struggle to beat anyone in the Big Ten.
No line for the Wolverines game this week since it is against an FCS opponent. However, I look for them to roll past UMass and go to 3-0. Final score will be 42-17.
2-1 last week on the picks. What happened to GT last week? Terrible performance that kept us from a perfect week and getting back to .500 for the year. Our record sits at 3-4-1 and we look to improve this week. Here are the picks:
Arkansas +2.5 @ Georgia: We’ll take former UM quarterback Ryan Mallet and the points against an overrated UGA team.
Nebraska -3 @ Washington: Love Nebraska here. UW is improved, but not enough to beat the blackshirts.
Texas -3 @ Texas Tech: I guess I love some roadies this week!
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Written by Nick English