Michigan Football: What Wolverines Must Do to Defeat Gamecocks

Phil G@FuturePhilGCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2012

Michigan Football: What Wolverines Must Do to Defeat Gamecocks

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    The Michigan Wolverines will attempt to upset a disgruntled, but favored South Carolina Gamecocks team in the Outback Bowl. 

    Michigan has an uphill climb if they hope to walk out of Tampa with a win. The Gamecocks surely won't make it easy for a Michigan team that is coming off a 26-21 defeat at the hands of a bowl-banned Ohio State team. 

    Can Michigan dig deep enough to upset the Gamecocks? 

    Here are three things the Michigan Wolverines must do to defeat South Carolina. 

Big Plays

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    The Wolverines have a ton of athletes at their disposal, led by quarterback Denard Robinson. Robinson has been a bit shaky this season (9-9 TD-interception ratio), but no one can deny his talents and athleticism.

    Backup quarterback Devin Gardner has also shown to be a threat at times during the season, and if the Wolverines can strike a balance at quarterback, possibly using Denard in different areas, they could really surprise the Gamecocks. 

    Michigan doesn't necessarily have to make big plays on offense. And that brings me to my next point... 

Force Turnovers

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    This will be Michigan's best bet if they hope to upset the Gamecocks. When South Carolina lost to Florida in October, those early turnovers really came back to haunt them. 

    If Michigan can force a few early turnovers, it could throw the Gamecocks off their game. It should also infuse some energy into the Wolverines offense.  

Shore Up Against the Run

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    Michigan's strength on defense lies in the strong play of their secondary; however, they have been subpar against the run. 

    The Gamecocks love to use the dual-threat capabilities of Connor Shaw, and if they can get their running game going, it could be a long day for Michigan. 

    With Lattimore out, Michigan must watch out for veteran Kenny Miles. He hasn't been super effective, but if South Carolina has a semblance of a running game, it will make Connor Shaw and that Gamecocks passing offense much stronger, 

    Michigan must stop the run.