Friday, September 6, 2013

Notre Dame Preview

Time: 8:00 EST
Location:  Big House
Weather:  Mid 70's and chance of rain
Line:  Michigan -3.5

Michigan and ND played an exciting game the first time we went UTL at the Big House when Denard threw two TD's in just over a minute to win the game.  In between Michigan possessions, Michigan gave up at TD to ND as well.   At that point, Greg Mattison's defense was new and giving up a few points in a 35-31 win for the Wolverines.

Last year, Michigan turned the ball over every time they touched it and lost a defensive battle 13-6.  Tommy Rees the QB that put up the big numbers for the first UTL is back after their QB that lead them to the BCS NC game was kicked out of school for academic fraud. 

Tommy is more of a thrower then runner and Devin likes to do both.   Both teams play pretty good defense and which team keeps the mistakes down will win this game.   This will be ND's last trip to the Big House as they have decided not to take on the Wolverines after next year because they are sort of joining the ACC.

Tale of the Tape:

Michigan OLine vs. ND DLine = ND
Michigan's TE vs. ND's LB = Michigan
ND's WR's vs. Michigan's DB's = ND
Gallon & Dileo vs. ND's DB's = Push
Michigan's Defensive Front vs. ND's Offensive front = Michigan
Home field advantage = Big House UTL

The key match-up is the ND defensive line vs. Michigan's offensive line.   ND has two NFL players in defensive end 6-6, 312-pound Stephon Tuitt and 6-3 and 342-pound nose guard Louis Nix.   I expect Tuitt won't challenge Lewan too often and will test Schofield.   Miller is going to have his hands full with Nix and might need some help from a FB or RB. 

I also expect Rees to test Michigan's safeties deep early and often.    I'm sure Mattison who has been the DC for each school, will be trying to bring the heat and not let Rees have the time to set up the deep ball.   I also expect that Big AL saved a few thing in the offense play book that they didn't show against CMU, like maybe some Pistol formations.

Sing Hail to the Victors if...........................
  • If Devin doesn't throw a pick
  • Fitz has a huge night
  • Gallon has some "highlight" catches for TD's
  • Michigan is in Rees face all night and gets 3 sacks
  • Avery is healthy and playing a ton of snaps

Say at least we don't have to have the Fig Things here again if........................
  • Tommy all of a sudden becomes Joe Montana
  • ND is running the ball well, which sets up play action deep ball
  • Avery and Gordon are not a big step ups at safety from last week 
  • Devin is getting a ton of pressure and making mistakes
  • The lights are too big for some of our freshman playing in their second game

This game make legends, so much that it ruined Tate Foricer's football career.   Which game will we see, the defensive battle from last year or the shoot out from the year before?  I think both teams have very good DC's and both defenses will bend but not break.   I see lots of field goals with some big plays on mental mistakes by a DB.   I think Michigan could miss Jake Ryan and ND will miss Manti Te'o.   The temps look to be comfortable so I don't expect a lot of fatigue by either team.

I have a feeling Devin, Fitz and Gallon have had this game circled for awhile.   I think it's time for the Michigan seniors to step up and send ND out of Ann Arbor with a loss.   This game will be close for about a half and then Michigan out plays ND in the second half.    

Wolverines to Watch:   The Seniors:  Lewan, Gardner, Fitz, Cam Gordon, Thomas Gordon, and Avery.   (yes, I know Gardner is a RS Jr! )

Michigan 27 ND 17


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