Friday, November 2, 2012

Minnesota Preview

Time: 12:00 EST
Location: Not the Metro Dome
Weather:  Outside High 45 partly cloudy
Line:  Michigan -11.5
Trophy: Little Brown Jug

There always seems to be something unique when Michigan - Minnesota meet.   A couple games that stand out for me are:  The huge comeback the Wolverines had on a Friday night when the Twins were in the playoffs, second was during Rich Rod's first year when they couldn't beat a MAC team and Nick Sheridan had his first and only good game of his career in the Metro Dome to save the Little Brown Jug.    I also remember a game at the Big House, when Minnesota was running out the clock to go to OT, when their RB broke a long run down the sideline to set up the winning field goal.   That wasn't so much fun.  

So what about this week?

Your guess is as good as mine.   Denard is either hurt or healthy.  We don't know which one.   I am leaning towards hurt because Devin got "a lot" of snaps in practice this week.  Which I think is a clear sign that Denard either took none or very few.   I won't rehash how it might have been nice to have your 5 star QB take at least a few snaps at QB during every week as a back up plan.

With or with out Denard, Michigan is going to try to run the ball down the Golden Gophers throat.   Minnesota has an active but undersized D-line and their LB's and secondary are not very good.  If Fitz can get to the second level he is going to have a big day.  The Gophers defense ranks 11th in the Big ten giving up an average of 407 yards per game.

On offense, Minnesota has a combination you might recognize.   Their highly rated dual-threat QB MarQueis Gray (RR recruited to Michigan for awhile) is playing WR and freshman QB  Philip Nelson who played terrible against Wisconsin but played much better against a Purdue team last week that has lost Hope (or should at the end of the year).  Minnesota's offense ranks last in the Big Ten just below Ohio State.

Tale of the Tape:
Gardner & Bellomy vs. Gray & Nelson in a punt pass and kick contest = Please No!

Michigan w/Denard vs. Minn D = Blowout

Michigan without Denard vs. Minn D= Too close for comfort

Gray & Nelson vs. Greg Mattison = Lots of Roh and Ryan

Special Teams = Time for Michigan to return a kick or punt for a TD

I think you get it by now, the Michigan Defense is too good for the Minnesota offense and Michigan's offense with Denard won't be stopped by the Golden Gophers.   So what happens if Bellomy plays the entire game?  Then we have a close game that could go either way.  Sort of sucks that the difference between a blow out and a potential loss is one guy, but that is the world we live in when 70% of our offense comes from the kid from Deerfield Beach. 

New Michigan Preview Feature here at the BHB!

Tec Fear Level! (of a Michigan loss)

2 out of 10 Barks

Sing Hail to the Victors if.............
  • Denard is on the field playing for + or - 3 quarters
  • Fitz goes for more then 100 yards
  • Red zone = touchdowns not just field goals
  • Devin is a good option at QB
  • Greg Mattison has a way to win the game without Denard
  • Special Teams does more then kick field goals
Say it's just a bottle of water if......................
  • Bellomy starts throwing the ball to the other team
  • Minnesota thinks it's hot after it's Purdue win and plays out of their mind
  • Denard is in a 1985 sideline jacket again
  • Michigan continues to be a different team on the road.

I would be much more comfortable if this game was in the Big House with Denard hurting.   Michigan has never played in the new outside stadium so that will be new.   The weather seems to be cold but not as it could be in the twin cities in November.   Michigan is the much better team but with out Denard this game could be close.   Bellomy just doesn't have enough experience and it seems Devin has been drinking from the QB fire hose this week.   That is the big risk for the Wolverines in this game. 

Wolverines to Watch:   Big Will on D and Norfleet on Special Teams.  Fitz and Rawls on offense. 

Michigan 24 Minnesota 14  



Lionman said...

If...if...if we lose this game, someone needs to resign. I believe Gardner at QB will be good for the team, D will hold, and Bellomy needs to stay off the field. Let's grab the lead early, rest Deard, and play the freshmen today! Somebody tell Tec Boogie "get 'em boy, sick balls!" GO BLUE!

David LaFleur said...

TEC got that now let's do the same to Northwestern. Go Blue