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. Purdue's Secondary
Zac says: Wolverine quarterbacks completed just 14 passes last week. Martavious Odoms will miss this week's game against Purdue, another blow to the Michigan passing game. Roy Roundtree and Junior Hemingway were able to manage a couple big gains against Illinois but big blue's air attack has lacked a down field threat for much of the season. Advantage: Even
Matt says: Tate Forcier's coronation appears to be on hold as the struggles begin to mount. He's only been average at best since the Notre Dame game, and it seems that sacks, fumbles, throwaways, and injuries are becoming the norm. There is no down field threat on this team but UM can be successful if they stick to the screens, slants, and quick hitters. Advantage: Michigan
Michigan's Running game vs. Purdue's Front Seven
Zac says: Brandon Minor is finally healthy enough to bring his down hill running style at full speed. Adding this dimension to the Big Ten's best rushing offense makes for a scary match up for the Boilermaker defense; Purdue ranks tenth against the run in the Big Ten. Advantage: Michigan
Matt says: Brandon Minor had a huge game against Purdue last season (155 yards, three touchdowns) and Michigan sorely needs him to repeat that performance this week. The good news is that no one has had success stopping Minor when he's been healthy (or near-healthy) this season. Advantage: Michigan
When Purdue Has the Ball...
Purdue's Passing Attack vs. Michigan's Secondary
Zac says: Joey Elliott has done a nice job of leading the Purdue passing game. Not much was expected out of the Boilermakers this year but Elliott has managed to put the passing offense in the top half of the Big Ten. Michigan would make things easy on themselves by coming up with a few turnovers. Advantage: Even
Matt says: Joey Elliot has done a good but not great job with the passing game, but Michigan's struggles in the secondary have been well documented. I'm way past hoping Michigan can win the passing battle on defense, so now I just hope the damage is limited. Advantage: Purdue
Purdue's Running Game vs. Michigan's Front Seven
Zac says: Illinois torched the Michigan defense for 377 rushing yards last week. If the Michigan defense has any character whatsoever they will step up and keep Ralph Bolden and the Purdue rushing game in check. Greg Robinson has shown the ability to make adjustments and a big one is in order this week. Advantage: Even
Matt says: The Michigan run defense has been a mystery to me. At times, they've been a brick wall to opposing runners, but they haven't found consistency. A stiffened run defense could help the pass defense tremendously. Advantage: Michigan
Zac (6-3) says: Michigan needs just one win to gain bowl eligibility and needs to go out and grab it this week rather than taking another relatively weak opponent for granted. I expect the Wolverines will learn a lot from their debacle against Illinois and respond with a win. Final Score: Michigan 30, Purdue 20
Matt (4-4) says: If Michigan doesn't get a win this week, bowl eligibility may slip through their fingers. Purdue simply isn't a good team, but as Ohio State found out they can bite you if you're not ready for them. I'm betting on RichRod to have the boys prepared for this one. If the Wolverines can take care of the ball and limit turnovers (especially in the red zone!) they shouldn't have a problem.
Final Score: Michigan 35, Purdue 17