Matt and Zac Snyder of Bleacher Report and mittensportsreport.com break down this week's University of Michigan football matchup.
When Michigan Has the Ball ...
Michigan's passing attack vs. Delaware state's secondary
Zac says: The Michigan Wolverines should be able to pass the ball effectively against a team like Delaware State no matter who is under center. It will be important for guys like Greg Mathews to step up and prove what they can bring to the table. Michigan's receivers have been fairly unimpressive thus far. Kevin Koger has looked like the best receiving option and should get plenty of looks this week. The way Big Blue has been able to run the ball this year might make this match-up irrelevant. Advantage: Michigan
Matt says: There were reports early in the week that Tate Forcier would be unable to play this weekend after suffering a concussion last week against Iowa, but it appears that Tate should be healthy enough to play (and start) Saturday. Even if Tate is able to go, expect to see a Denard Robinson in the game quite a bit. Forcier is still the starting quarterback, but Robinson showed that he needs more experience in order to be a viable option should something happen to Tate. Delaware State should be a perfect opponent for Denard to gain some confidence against. Advantage: Michigan
Michigan's running game vs. Delaware State's front seven
Zac says: Considering the Wolverines put up three rushing touchdowns against an Iowa defense that hadn't allowed a TD on the ground in 33 quarters, this match-up should be complete domination. Florida A&M ran over Delaware State for 328 rushing yards. Michigan has the kind of depth at running back that allows for free and easy substitutions without missing a beat. Advantage: Michigan
Matt says: Michigan's running game bounced back after a poor performance against the Spartans to shred the Hawkeyes last week to the tune of 195 yards and three touchdowns. A (finally) healthy Brandon Minor gave the squad a huge boost. Michigan should be able to have its way on the ground against Delaware state; the Hornets have given up over 200 yards per game against FCS opponents. Advantage: Michigan
When Delaware State Has the Ball ...
Delaware State's passing attack vs. Michigan's secondary
Zac says: Delaware State has only cracked 200 yards through the air once this season. Anthony Glaud was replaced by Nick Elko after suffering a first half injury. Elko was just 5-of-15 for 39 yards. Glaud has completed 57.5 percent of his passes but has not lead an explosive offensive attack, as shown in the numbers. Michigan's secondary is still trying to find itself and needs to focus on avoiding the big play. Brandon Graham's pass rush was big against Iowa. Similar efforts will help the secondary tremendously. Advantage: Michigan
Matt says: The Hornets have only scored twice through the air this season, so the Wolverine secondary may catch a break this week. Maybe this is the week that the Michigan secondary finally wins the battle of the passing game. Advantage: Michigan
Delaware State's running game vs. Michigan's front seven
Zac says: The Hornets have a couple running backs with nice averages on the ground. Tahree McQueen, Jason Randall and Jaashawn Jones each average over four yards per carry. Of course, those numbers weren't put up against big time defenses. Expect Michigan's run defense to remain stout on Saturday. It would be a great sign to see them force a few fumbles as the defense hasn't made many big plays as of yet. Advantage:
Matt says: With the weakness of the secondary, the Wolverines really need to rely on the run defense to be effective. The Michigan front has been very good, at times, but moments of inconsistency have hurt this group. Michigan has done the best in run defense when the linebackers are actively seeking out the ball carrier. Advantage: Michigan
Bottom Line ...
Zac (4-2) says: The Wolverines have too much talent for the Hornets. They should have no problem putting up points against an FCS opponent, even in year two of the Rich Rodriguez spread. The defense will get a chance to run wild and make some plays in hopes of building momentum for the Penn State game next week. The goal for this week is to emerge healthy. Final Score: Michigan 42, Delaware State 0
Matt (3-3) says: We all remember what happened the last time Michigan took an FCS opponent lightly (hint: Appalachian State), but I can assure you that won't happen this time. Appalachian State was the class of the FCS (back-to-back national titles) at the time, but Delaware State has struggled to win games in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Final Score: Michigan 38, Delaware State 3