Michigan Football: Keys to Wolverines Leaving Purdue with a Victory
The Michigan Wolverines have got off to a less than ideal start to the year, but there is still plenty of time to salvage the season.
Brady Hoke's squad came into the year with high hopes, and while a 2-2 record isn't the end of the world, especially considering the Wolverines' early schedule, what's concerning is how they've looked in the process.
They were an FCS school compared to Alabama—although that's true for most schools—they almost suffered a catastrophic loss against Air Force and they committed six turnovers in a loss at Notre Dame.
This week's bye couldn't come at a better time.
Let's take a look at what Michigan needs to do to get the arrow pointing back up in two weeks at Purdue.
Don't Hold Back
How many times should Robinson air it out against Purude? (He's gone 26, 25, 24, 24)
There is something clearly wrong with Denard Robinson and that pesky throwing arm of his. While the solution of turning to his legs—that sounds odd—makes sense on the surface, it won't quite work like that.
If Robinson is going to continue to be effective on the ground, where he's most dangerous, the Wolverines can't get predictable.
Considering he's on his way to easily having his worst season through the air, this is a scary thought. With that being said, it has to get better at some point, right?
Purdue has a good pass rush, but it has still been much worse against the pass than against the run (20th in the nation against the run, 51st against the pass). Despite Robinson's struggles, the Wolverines need to keep letting him put it in the air.
That being said, it makes sense to be somewhat conservative. I'm on board with Robinson dropping back as many times as usual, and I'm on board with keeping the game plan the same, but I'm also all right with shortening the routes and giving the QB some easy throws to make.
Why? Michigan's problems in the giveaway department—which are by now painfully obvious—that's why.
The Wolverines have given the ball away 2.8 times per game, which ranks this team 109th worst in the country in that department.
This is especially important against Purdue. The Boilermakers are averaging 2.0 takeaways per contest, which is good enough for 35th best in the country.
Use the Bye
This is simple. Get some rest.
Michigan is one of the most scrutinized teams in the nation right now, and rightfully so after last week's debacle.
A week off really couldn't come at a better time. Getting out of the spotlight should do this team a lot of good. The Wolverines have immense talent, and if they come back next week with clear heads, they will be just fine in West Lafayette.
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