No. 25 Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan: College Football Preview
Michigan's Passing Attack vs. Eastern's Secondary
Zac says: I expect Nick Sheriden to get some time under center this week. Settle down Michigan fans, it will be as the human victory cigar. Tate Forcier ought to slice his way through the Eastern Michigan defense in its first year under Ron English. The UM defense was susceptible to the spread attack under English, the same should follow for EMU with inferior talent. Denard Robinson hasn't shown much passing the ball but this week he should get the chance to air it out. Advantage: Michigan
Matt says: Michigan Freshman quarterback Tate Forcier has garnered national attention this week, including a debut on ESPN.com's Heisman Watch, after his rather impressive performance against Notre Dame. I would expect another strong performance from Tate, who continues to impress with the combination of escapability and passing accuracy, but I also expect to see a lot more of Denard Robinson at quarterback. I'll look for Michigan to use the opportunity to get Robinson engaged with the passing game. Advantage: Michigan
Michigan's Running game vs. Eastern's Front Seven
Zac says: Brandon Minor showed why he was the unquestioned starter in his return last week. Look for Minor to continue his hard running against a porous EMU run defense. When its all said and done, Michigan should have significant contributions from Minor, Denard Robinson, and Carlos Brown with some playing time for the younger backs. Advantage: Michigan
Matt says: Eastern Michigan allowed over five yards per carry to Northwestern's top two runners a week ago and over six yards per carry to Army two weeks ago. I expect Michigan to pound the ball with a myriad of runners until Eastern proves they can stop Michigan's running game (and that may not happen). Tate Forcier, Denard Robinson, Brandon Minor, Carlos Brown, Michael Shaw, and Vincent Smith should all see multiple carries, and all should see success. Advantage: Michigan
Eastern's Passing Attack vs. Michigan's Secondary
Zac says: It might be easy to overreact to Notre Dame's assault on the Michigan secondary. Michigan will not face a better receiver combo than Michael Floyd and Golden Tate, certainly not from Eastern Michigan. The Wolverine secondary should be back to the form they showed in shutting down Western Michigan's Tim Hiller for much of the opener. If the front seven can get pressure on Andy Schmitt, the pass coverage will be fine. Advantage: Michigan
Matt says: Michigan has gotten burned in the secondary this year, but they've played some pretty good passing teams. Eastern Michigan quarterback Andy Schmitt appears to have some trouble taking care of the ball with four interceptions to go with only two touchdowns on the year. Michigan's secondary hasn't proven that they can be counted on to stop anyone through the air yet, but a good game against the Eagles would be a step in the right direction. Advantage: Even
Eastern's Running Game vs. Michigan's Front Seven
Zac says: Dwayne Priest is averaging a healthy 5.8 yards per carry for the Eagles. That was done against Army and Northwestern, not a rejuvenated Wolverine defense looking for a little vindication following a lackluster performance against Notre Dame's rushing attack. Look for Michigan's linebackers to be more active in run support since EMU has nothing close to Jimmy Clausen. A stacked box spells trouble for Eastern Michigan. Advantage: Michigan
Matt says: Michigan got beat by Armando Allen and the Notre Dame offensive line last week but I expect the Wolverine front to win the battle in the trenches this week. Michigan will need to lock down the running game if they hope to challenge the top teams in the conference. Look for the Michigan defense to come out ready to make a statement against a far inferior Eagles team. Advantage: Michigan
Zac says: The hunger of this Michigan team will help them avoid any sort of let down following a big win. I'm sure the men wearing maize and blue saw what happened last Saturday in East Lansing and want none of that. The final score should be the only thing in doubt. Rich Rodriguez will have to decide how to balance playing time between his first teamers and "first timers". Either way, Michigan wins easily.
Matt says: Michigan will be able to put up "video game numbers" on Eastern if they chose to, even if they modify their substitution patterns to give the younger, less experienced guys some game time. I apologize to my mother-in-law, who I'm sure will be wearing her Eastern shirt in the stands on Saturday, but this one won't be pretty.
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