The Michigan Wolverines play Brady Hoke's old team this week.
In a match-up of Brady Hoke's old team against his new team, the Michigan Wolverines host the San Diego State Aztecs at the Big House this weekend. Here are four things that should be on the to-do list for the Wolverines when the Aztecs come running into Michigan Stadium:
Michigan is currently 3-0 and has one more game on its non-conference schedule.
Win the game against San Diego State is the top priority on the Wolverines to-do list.
The Michigan Wolverines have the opportunity to go undefeated going into its Big Ten schedule. It needs to happen to have a shot at making the Big Ten title game.
Plus, it would only build their confidence and momentum. The Wolverines are still young, but are getting more experienced and playing better every game.
Brady Hoke might have a little extra fire, as he is playing his former team.
The Aztecs are a tough team to beat. If Denard Robinson can be on his game, and the defense can play like they did against Eastern Michigan, fans will be singing "Victors" on Saturday afternoon.
The Wolverines defense needs to be playing with confidence going into the Big Ten schedule.
The Michigan defense has been solid this year. They have made stops and came up with big plays when necessary.
It's all the more important that they hold the Aztecs to low scoring to build their confidence as they head into the Big Ten schedule.
The Wolverines held Eastern Michigan to three points and just 236 yards. The Wolverines' pass defense limited Eastern Michigan to 29 yards. However, their rush defense gave up 207 yards.
They forced two turnovers and played great on third down, giving up four third downs in 12 chances.
San Diego State can put up points on the ground and through the air, and it all starts with the Wolverines rush defense:
- The Aztecs have scored 49, 23, and 42 points respectively in their three games this season.
- They are averaging 220 yards rushing and 207 yards passing.
- They average 6.4 yards a play.
Those are big numbers. The Aztecs are no FCS team. They have a good quarterback in Ryan Lindley, who is accurate, and a good in running back in Ronnie Hillman, who can make you miss.
Hoke knows that. Let's hope Hoke gets the defense fired up and is ready to key on the Aztecs' tendencies so the Wolverines can have their offense on the field longer than the defense.
Denard Robinson has had a great last two games.
Denard Robinson has had two great games in a row. He brought the Wolverines back to an impressive victory over Notre Dame, and then he ran all over the Eastern Michigan Eagles.
Robinson had 198 yards rushing on 26 carries—a 7.6 yard per carry average—and scored a touchdown.
Robinson went 7-for-18 for 98 yards and two touchdowns passing. He also threw an interception.
A weakness that San Diego State has is they give up a ton of yards to opposing offenses.
- They average 383 total yards per game (5.4 yards per play) to opponents.
- They give up 197 yards rushing and 186 yards passing to opponents.
The Wolverines should be able to have a field day, especially with Robinson taking snaps and running the ball all over the field.
The Michigan running backs have played solid this season.
Unlike last year, the Michigan running backs have created their own running game.
It was pretty much Denard Robinson running last year.
This year, Vincent Smith, Fitzgerald Toussaint and Michael Shaw have all done a great job running the ball.
Last week against Eastern Michigan, the Wolverines ran for 376 yards. Granted, Robinson ran for 198 of it. However, the others did have a solid chunk as well.
Smith ran for 118 yards, and Toussaint ran for 46 yards and a touchdown.
That is Michigan and Big Ten football—pounding the ball.