A Michigan Prediction: Wolverines Gear Up For Penn State With Win

Adam BoutonCorrespondent IOctober 15, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines throws a pass against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

After two close road losses to Michigan State and Iowa, the Michigan Wolverines get a breather this weekend.

That's a huge understatement.

This is more like David against three Goliaths.

The Maize and Blue get its easiest assignment of the season as they welcome the Delaware State Hornets (1-3) to the Big House.

The Hornets have scored just 57 points in its four games this season and will be overwhelmed playing in the Big House this weekend. The largest crowd they've played in front of this season was a little over 20,000 against Delaware.

This weekend isn't about the opponent for Michigan, it is getting the team clicking and gearing up for the second half of the season and stretch run of Big Ten games.

The team needs to make sure a couple of things happen this weekend.

First, it would be terrible if someone went down with an injury this weekend against a much inferior opponent. However, starting freshman quarterback Tate Forcier is the right thing to do to get him ready for Penn State, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the rest of the second half foes.

Injuries need to be avoided at all costs. If up three or four touchdowns early, most of the starters need to be out of there and on the sideline watching as spectators.

Secondly, Michigan should play the first half like they would any other game. Run the plays that you would in any other game and try and perfect them so that the personnel groups will be prepared down the road. Run plays that will be used against Penn State, a game that is just the next weekend.

In essense, Saturday could end up being a glorified practice.

Yes, we've all seen what happens when the Wolverines have overlooked opponents in the past. But, believe me, Appalachian State is much much better than this Delaware State squad.

And Michigan is much better than they were two years ago.

Hopefully Saturday's game will also show everyone and the media in particular, that the riff between Forcier and head coach Rich Rodriguez is anything but and that all is well between the two. It should also showcase that Denard Robinson's great effort last week won't go undermined as he'll run all over the Hornets.

Playing Delaware State also gives them a reason to gear up at home for the big showdown that occurs the week after against Penn State. It could also give some backup players playing time that could be beneficial down the road should injuries or lackluster play call for a switch.

The Hornets should feel fortunate enough to be playing a talent of Michigan's caliber, because it may gain them a few more wins down the stretch.


Prediction: Forcier starts, plays a few series and then takes the rest of the game off. Robinson gets a lot of playing time and runs for a couple touchdowns while also throwing for another. Several backups have their number called to play on offense and defense in the second half. The Wolverines improve to 5-2 and gear up for the Nittany Lions.

Michigan 56, Delaware State 3