The Brady Hoke Era finally begins today at Michigan, but don't expect Western Michigan to roll over for the Wolverines.
Broncos junior QB Alex Carder leads a wide-open passing offense that will test the schemes of new Michigan DC Greg Mattison. The plan is to return Michigan's defense to a traditional 4-3 look, but the Wolverines will need plenty of extra DBs against WMU.
Though the pipeline of MAC quarterbacks jumping to the NFL has slowed in recent years, Carder might be the player who starts it flowing again. At 6'2" and 224 pounds, he has NFL-caliber size to go with a very strong arm. He's not a great runner but has enough mobility to extend a few plays and scramble for the occasional first down.
Michigan will have to use their size and strength advantage on the defensive line to overpower the Broncos upfront and get in Carder's face. If he gets time to throw, he has the ability to pick apart Michigan's developing secondary.
Even so, it's unlikely that Carder will be able to match the output of his counterpart, Denard Robinson.
Robinson will struggle initially as he transitions from Rich Rodriguez' spread to Brady Hoke's pro-style offense, but his athleticism will shine through against a poor WMU defense.
Michigan will score early and often and grab a win in their opener.
Prediction: Michigan 41 Western Michigan 27
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