Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Brady Hoke after the loss to Ohio State noted how much red was in the crowd at Michigan Stadium.
Michigan doesn’t want to be here. After entering the final month of the season with sights set on the Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl berth, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is a disappointment.
Despite Michigan’s November collapse, David Brandon has publicly endorsed Brady Hoke, but make no mistake: Next season begins now. Hoke and his coaching staff are under intense scrutiny by a fanbase dismayed by the success of arch rival Ohio State and Big Ten champion Michigan State.
Hoke and crew need to set the stage for next season with a convincing win over Kansas State.
Dominate the game
Michigan showed that it has the talent to play with the top teams in the nation, but only when its offensive line steps up. In a blowout loss against against Michigan State, the offensive line was shredded; versus Ohio State the offensive line played better and Michigan nearly won.
Michigan needs to dominate with its superior talent. No sleepwalking or daydreaming about what could have been—early-season scares versus Akron and UConn have shown that Michigan can play down to anyone.
Pressure Kansas State offense
The Kansas State offense got on a roll in winning five out of its last six games and averaging 37 points point per game. Michigan can’t get into a shootout with Kansas State—it needs to put the pressure on early and never let up.
Turnovers by quarterback Devin Gardner killed Michigan’s chances to beat Ohio State and Iowa. Turnovers against Kansas State could lead to more chances for the Wildcat offense to put up points. Michigan should win this game unless Kansas State can convert turnovers to points.