Michigan Wolverines vs. San Diego State Aztecs– pretty obvious storyline in this match-up of two 3-0 teams. Welcome to the Brady Hoke Bowl! From Fox Sports/AP:
When Brady Hoke was coaching at San Diego State, he played a part in scheduling a game for this week at Michigan Stadium. Hoke now wishes he hadn’t.
”I told Dave Brandon, `Let’s buy that one out,”’ Hoke recalled Monday. Why? ”They’re good,” Hoke said.
Hoke would know. He led San Diego State for two years, turning around its program after doing the same at Ball State, before he was hired by Michigan in January to replace Rich Rodriguez.
University of Michigan Analysis:
Denard Robinson officially took himself out of the Big Ten’s best dual threat QB conversation on Saturday with his ugly 7-18 for 95 yards performance against that vaunted EMU secondary. He did run for about two bills against Eastern Michigan.
Still, for three quarters of the Notre Dame game he looked like a pedestrian-at-best passer as well. Maybe’s he just not going to be as prolific throwing in this new system? In the league, it’s really only Nathan Scheelhaase from the Illini and Russell Wilson from the Badgers who are true dual threats. Dan Persa’s hurt and Taylor Martinez still can’t amaze anyone with his arm.
Other non-Denard Michigan skill position players have yet. The Wolverines need to get Roy Roundtree going. (more on that here)
It’s difficult to say how much better the defense is this year under the new management. We can say this however, they look a little better thus far. Especially when it comes to forcing key turnovers, and getting crucial stops by getting the ball back. (And then again, there was no where to go but up with that train wreck)
“I think that’s something Coach Mattison stresses that if you get hats to the ball, good things will happen,” Wolverines safety J0rdan Kovacs said after the big “Under the Lights” 35-31 come-from-behind win over Notre Dame.
“If you fly around, you might not be in the right spot at the right time, but if you get after the football, you’re going to cause some turnovers, and that’s one of the things he stresses and one of the things we try to do,” the former walk-on told the media.
For the Full Michigan season preview go here
San Diego State Analysis:
The Aztecs should be a ton of fun to watch in this one. They’re a bit green at wideout, but so far Colin Lockett and Dylan Denso have looked pretty good so far.
They have an established NFL talent at QB (Ryan Lindley) and a fantastic RB in Ronnie Hillman, the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year last season. SDSU also has Brian Stahovich, one of the nation’s best punters and potential all-conference players in all three levels of the defense: OLB Mike Burris, CB Leon McFadden and NT Jerome Long.
Brady Hoke’s successor Rocky Long likes to play a 3-3-5 defense with 22-24 guys seeing action, and if change is fluid and smooth, it’s very effective. Hard to gauge the Aztecs so far, given who they’ve played thus far.
Washington State is garbage, and is Army that plucky and determined? Was that a win over a solid bowl team? Maybe.
Lindley averages over 14 yards per completion, so expect him to make some big plays on the UM secondary in the big house.
For the Full SDSU season preview go here
Prediction to be taken with an entire truckload of salt, not a grain of salt: UM 38, SDSU 35 (2010-11 prediction record 23-11)
It’ll be an emotional day at the Big House, and I’m putting UM on upset alert right now. Hillman and Denard are second and third in FBS in rushing yardage, so expect a lot of running and therefore, this game to fly by. I bet San Diego outgains them in yardage, but a goofy play here and there, and a critical turnover or special teams play will give the Wolverines the W.
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