Michigan Football: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Michigan Wolverines — GBMWolverine Staff Predictions
The staff at GBMWolverine have made their predictions and also gave their comments on the game tonight.
Michigan stays close early, Alabama size takes a toll late and Albama wins.
First games can be strange, but the prediction here is for an Alabama win. Michigan has been well prepared and the players will give high effort. But there still exists a talent gap difference between the Wolverines and the Crimson Tide. Schemes and trying to outguess the other team can only go so far when the opposition has one of the best power running games in the nation, perhaps the best.
The biggest concern here is actually if Michigan can move the ball against the Alabama defense. The running game will need to feature someone other than Denard. If the second option is successful on the ground and the passing game is good enough to be a nuisance, Michigan’s chances go up.
Alabama has the edge on defensive speed and the huge offensive line will go head-on at Michigan’s front seven. Alabama will certainly use play action and may throw the ball more than expected if in the lead, just to see how the passing game has progressed.
If Michigan gets kicked in the creek badly, it will be important to remember the season is 12 games and Alabama has nothing to do with the Big Ten title. This Alabama team is on an elite plateau than only a very few teams in America can even approach. The hope is that the Tide are not quite rolling at maximum speed, for if this were to happen a big ouch may ensue.
The Fitz factor may be worth a touchdown in this game.
To remain close the defense must hang in and make some stops or limit the ball control Alabama offense to field goals more so than touchdowns. This will be a nice task.
I will forsake the should this game have been scheduled, is Michigan ready type of dialogue. Baring injuries the worst thing that can happen is a loss. If Michigan plays well and hangs in on this big stage the Wolverines may endear themselves to many across the country.
Reality can be ugly.
Well the season is finally here and also the game we have been waiting on ever since it was announced. Is this game a year or two early for Michigan? Probably, but it is a great test to see where this team is right now against one of, if not the elite program today — Alabama. They are the National Champions from last season with a lot of talent on their roster. Yes, they lost a lot of talent as well to the NFL, but they back-ups on top of back-ups that would start at a lot of programs today. Alabama has been in the top 5 of recruiting the past five years and in a lot of cases either #1 or #2 depending on the sites you might follow so the talent is there.
Michigan is getting to the point where they will be “like” Alabama I believe in another two years with overall depth/talent that will be closely matched. I believe in a couple of years Michigan won’t worry if an injury happens, but it will still bother them, but it will be a time where Michigan can just reload and get the next guy ready. We just aren’t there yet, but the path looks a lot better today than just a short few years ago.To the game:
Michigan comes out strong and plays Bama very tough early on. What happens with the Alabama offense/Michigan defense is the biggest key (IMO). Can Michigan force Bama to several three and outs or keep the number of plays low? If Bama can move the ball and have long drives it could be a very long night for Michigan with the depth/talent issues on the defensive line.
Alabama probably has the best offensive line in the country and will likely be the biggest test of the year for the in-experienced Wolverine defensive line.
Denard Robinson has to be in control of the game and not feel like he needs to do everything especially losing Fitz for this game on offense. He needs to rely on others to make plays. Other players like Roundtree, Rawls, Devin, Moore, Gallon, along with others must step up their game so Denard doesn’t have to be the only player on offense.
As Michigan motto for the past forty plus years “the team, The Team, THE TEAM” has to come together as one to go up against the Alabama Crimson Tide tonight.
Is victory impossible? No not at all and I am sure every staff member here would love to see Michigan win the game. Michigan needs to play the almost perfect game while Bama struggles or have penalties, turnovers, etc…
Nick Saban will have his team ready that is for sure especially remembering back to his days at Michigan State.
In the end, I believe Michigan will play well, but not well enough for a victory. Hopefully I am wrong and will be the first one to admit it and be glad to be wrong! Just believe Bama is to strong, to physical, and to talented this year for Michigan. In two years — Michigan all the way!!
No prediction sent in this week.
Mike Fitzpatrick (TheMichiganManPodcast)
Am I the only one who is nervous about this game? From talking and listening to Michigan fans I get the feeling many of them have very lofty expectations for this season. Beginning with a win over Alabama Saturday night down in Cowboy Stadium. Probable? Maybe. Realistic? No.
We’re all Michigan diehards at this site, but let’s take our very partial glasses off for a minute and look at this game as if we were impartial observers.Alabama comes in having to replace 7 starters on D. Oooooh! That means trouble for them right? I don’t think so. Nick Saban has hauled in the number 1 recruiting class in the land four of the last five years. Yes, we will see new faces on that side of the ball. All of them of the 4 and 5 star variety. They are big, fast, and will easily be the best defense Michigan faces this year (sorry Sparty…yours is pretty good too). On offense Michigan will not see a more straight forward, traditional approach to the game all season. In studying for this game I watched all 14 of Alabama’s games last season. They all had one thing in common! Their game plan didn’t change from September to January. They line up, give you very little motion, and ram the ball down your throat. When you get tired, they go over the top on you. They are stout in the trenches on both sides of the ball. This is hard for me to say, but I think it’s just a fact. Alabama already is where Michigan and Brady Hoke are headed. A physical pro style offense, and a big, fast, dominating defense. We’re just not there yet.
That said, I can still see us having a chance to compete and win this game. Strange things can happen in the first game of the year. If you are going to play Bama this year…week one is preferred.
Keys on Offense – No turnovers. Denard has to make good decisions in the passing game. We must have success early from someone not named Denard. Whether it’s Fitz or Rawls. Someone has to make this Bama D realize we have other options.
Keys on Defense - It begins and ends in the trenches. We all know the back 7 is pretty darned good this season. That said, if we don’t get contributions from our defensive front we are in for a long game. This is the big unknown for me. Is Will Campbell ready to show us he’s the man? Will Quinton Washington be able to create problems for this experienced O line? Will Craig Roh’s speed allow him to create some chaos? I don’t know…but we’ll find out very soon.
Prediction – We’re headed in the right direction. I think this team will “end up” being better than last years. The record might not be an indicator though. I see us playing tough against this Bama team. If we keep the turnovers and penalties to a minimum, and the defensive front plays well enough to help out the back 7, we’ll have our chance to win. In the end, I think we might be expecting a little too much from our beloved Maize N Blue. I’ll be pacing the floor and praying for victory, but in the end I think the score will be.
No prediction sent in this week.
No prediction sent in this week.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
Go Blue — Wear Maize!