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As long as Denard Robinson is playing quarterback for Michigan, people aren't going to like the chances of this passing attack going up against most defenses. That's just simply the way it is.
Big plays are certainly bound to happen, but the inconsistency and ugliness at times makes this passing attack so unpredictable. As we saw on Saturday night, it was even worse when Bellomy came in.
Combine that with the fact that Minnesota's pass defense ranks seventh nationally, and the odds do not look too good for Michigan.
In fact, the Gophers' numbers against the pass are remarkable. Only two teams all season have thrown for over 200 yards against them, and three different teams have been held to less than 120 yards through the air.
The Gopher secondary is intercepting a lot of balls as well. The defense has eight picks, with Michael Carter and Derrick Wells each leading the way with two.
Carter, Troy Stoudermire and JUCO transfer Jeremy Baltazar will be the primary corners that Michigan's receivers will face.
At safety, Minnesota is very young, but that hasn't been an issue.
Brock Vereen is a junior, while Cedric Thompson and Derrick Wells are only sophomores. All three of them will see plenty of time.
A big reason the secondary has played so well is because of the way the defenders react to the football in the air. For example, Carter has broken up 13 passes, while Wells has broken up eight. Both of those numbers are near the top of the conference.
Michigan's receivers, on the other hand, have big-play ability but have lacked consistency. In fact, Gardner and Funchess are the only players on the team with more than one touchdown catch.
The big-play ability is proven by the fact that Michigan's top five receivers are all averaging more than 12 yards a catch. However, after a number of dropped balls last week against Nebraska, I don't have much confidence in this receiving core.
With that being said, Michigan isn't likely to test this Minnesota secondary a whole lot. It should be able to pound the ball and grind out yards on the ground.
Although Minnesota's secondary may be solid, these numbers are extremely skewed because of the lack of passing attacks in the Big Ten. This matchup between Michigan's receivers and Minnesota's secondary is basically a tossup.