Michigan starts its Big Ten schedule tomorrow against Minnesota.
The Michigan Wolverines are starting Big Ten play this weekend against the Minnesota Golden Gophers for the Little Brown Jug at Michigan Stadium on Saturday. Game time is 12 EST, and 11 CDT.
Here are five keys for Denard Robinson and the Michigan Wolverines to beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers:
I've said this before and it won't be the last time I've say this: Let Denard Robinson do his thing. The offense revolves around Robinson.
Brady Hoke and Al Borges know that. They just need to counter Robinson's game with a a balanced running game from Vincent Smith and Fitzgerald Toussaint.
Minnesota is giving up 104.8 rushing yards per game, and 278.5 passing yards. They gave up 394 yards on the ground and 27 points last week to NDSU, so this week Robinson and company should not have a problem running over the Golden Gophers.
Michigan is averaging 250 rushing yards and 32 points a game this season.
Marqueis Gray is much like Denard Robinson. They just play for different teams.
This season, Gray is 1-3, has three passing touchdowns to three interceptions, 521 yards, and a 50 percentage passer. He has also rushed for 351 yards.
All the Michigan defense has to do is contain Gray, and they will most likely come away with the win. Their defense is much improved, and been great since allowing 31 points to Notre Dame, granted they have played two 1-AA schools the last two games.
Rich Rodriguez led MIchigan to a 4-0 start the last two years, then the team faded and fell a part once it hit its Big Ten schedule.
Brady Hoke can erase that this year by beating Minnesota.
Michigan also has a more experienced team, and they know what it takes to win in the Big Ten now.
Michigan have 21 upperclassman who all contribute consistently.
Denard Robinson can run the ball. We all know that. He can pass, but not always consistent. Robinson has as many interceptions as touchdowns. He completes 48.6 percent of his passes.
Hoke and Borges need to call plays that will help Robinson continue to boost his confidence in his arm. He hasn't much since his explosive fourth quarter comeback win when he guided the Wolverines over Notre Dame.
The last two games, Robinson has completed 15 total passes in 30 attempts. He has two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Going into Big Ten play, Robinson needs his arm because he won't be able to always do it with his legs.
Going into the heart of their Big Ten schedule, Michigan has to start off strong playing defense, and it starts against Minnesota.
Minnesota is averaging 22 points per game, 173 yards rushing per game, and 179 yards passing.
Michigan is allowing 156 yard rushing, 13 points per game, and 195 yards passing.
Greg Mattison needs to get his defense ready for the Big Ten because it is going to get tough.