College Football 2011: Michigan's 2011 Schedule, Game by Game

Joey HnathCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2011

College Football 2011: Michigan's 2011 Schedule, Game by Game

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    The 2011 Michigan Wolverines football team will be the center of attention in the Big Ten this year.

    First-year head coach Brady Hoke hopes to bring the Wolverines back to national prominence.

    Star quarterback Denard Robinson is returning, and the defense is revamped under new defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.

    The 2011 schedule sets up very favorably for the Wolverines.  Both Penn State and Wisconsin are off the schedule, and they play Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State at the Big House.

    Here is a game-by-game breakdown of the Michigan football schedule in 2011.

Sept. 3: Western Michigan

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    The season-opener against Western Michigan will be nothing more than a formality for the Wolverines.

    Look for Denard and company to put up huge numbers and sit for the fourth quarter.

Sept. 10: Notre Dame

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    The first night game at the Big House will be a great one.

    Notre Dame comes in as a much improved team, and just like the past two years, it will be a hard-fought battle 'til the end.

    Dayne Crist and the offense will do some damage, so Troy Woolfolk and the defense will have to mature in a hurry for the Wolverines to win a third straight against the Irish.

Sept. 17: Eastern Michigan

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    This game will be just like the Western Michigan game.

    Huge numbers for Denard, starters rest in the fourthquarter.

     

Sept. 24: San Diego State

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    This game could get interesting.

    The San Diego State players will try to show their former coach that they weren’t just a one-year wonder, and their tenacity and heart will get them out to an early lead.

    Michigan will come back in the second half to win, but it will be closer than people think.

Oct. 1: Minnesota

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    Minnesota has too many questions surrounding their team to put up that big of a fight against the Wolverines.

    Michigan will have no problem dispatching of the Golden Gophers.

Oct. 8: Northwestern

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    Michigan’s first away game is at Northwestern, and the Wildcats will be poised to strike.

    Dan Persa will be back from injury, and coach Pat Fitzgerald will be ready for the Wolverines.

    Northwestern is a contender in the Big Ten in 2011, and the Wildcats' offense will give the Michigan defense all they can handle.

    This one may turn out to be a shootout, and whether Persa or Robinson has the ball in his hands last, may decide the game.

Oct. 15: Michigan State

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    This game had a lot of hype in 2010 and was predicted to be a close contest.  Instead, the Spartans spanked the Wolverines.

    2011 will be different though.

    The Spartans and Wolverines will be a very close game this year.  Don’t be shocked if Hoke does in his first year what Rich Rodriguez couldn’t do his entire stay in Ann Arbor, and that's beat the “little brother.”

Oct. 29: Purdue

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    Homecoming will be sweet for the Wolverines.

    Aside from quarterback Robert Marve, there is not much to the Boilermakers in 2011.

    Michigan should cruise to a victory against Purdue.

Nov. 5: Iowa

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    Michigan will win this game—not because of how good they will be in 2011, but how bad Iowa will be.

    The Hawkeyes will have to replace their quarterback and top two running backs, among other positions, and they will not contend for the Big Ten title.

    Even though Kinnick Stadium is one of the toughest venues for a visitor to play, the Wolverines will be able to get the job done.

Nov. 12: Illinois

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    Though the score won’t be 67-65 again, the 2011 version of this game will be another high-scoring affair.

    Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase will match Denard Robinson drive-for-drive, and Illinois will give the Wolverines everything they’ve got.

    Michigan's defense might be called upon to halt a last-minute Illini drive.

Nov. 19: Nebraska

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    Nebraska will give Michigan a tough match.

    The Wolverines' defense doesn’t usually fair too well against dual-threat quarterbacks, so look for Taylor Martinez to fill up the stat sheet.

    For Michigan to win, they will need to correct the issues they have against running quarterbacks, and they’ll need Denard Robinson to have a great day throwing the ball.

Nov. 26: Ohio State

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    Despite Ohio State’s recent run of success, anything is possible in this game.

    The 2011 Buckeyes will be under a microscope after the suspensions of coach Jim Tressel and five of his players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

    The turmoil will impact the Buckeyes this season; they won’t be a cohesive unit, and their chemistry will be affected by the suspensions.

    The defense will hold strong, and by game 12, Hoke will have figured out how to best utilize Denard Robinson’s talents.

    The Wolverines will pull off the upset over a demoralized Buckeyes' squad in 2011.