Michigan Football: Michigan at Purdue — Preview Continued — Will This Be Déjà Vu All Over Again?
Two weeks ago the GBMWolverine preview of the Notre Dame game mentioned that the Michigan weakness on offense, passing consistently, matched up against the Notre Dame supposed weakness, defending the pass. It was mentioned that the strength of Notre Dame’s defense was the front seven and to win Michigan would likely have to successfully pass.
And so, two weeks after the train wreck at South Bend, Michigan is in a similar situation regarding match-ups. The comparison is not of course a near perfect correlation between Purdue and Notre Dame. But the similarities are enough to make one wonder if Yogi’s quote will bear fruit.Purdue will not have a back as skilled as Cierre Wood, but the Boilermakers have three pretty capable backs that appear to be getting better. The backs are all multipurpose, a must in the Purdue tradition. The Boilers have good skilled players like Notre Dame, but will not likely play the game as close to the vest as did Notre Dame. That is unless the Purdue defense shuts down Michigan’s offense.
Purdue will run several formations, anything from empty to power I, and just when you think all the trends are established something new comes up. Backs hit the flats and receivers run the ball. The Boilers run the bubble screen and then motion into an inside slip screen that can form an alley into the end zone.
The Boilers have had very good success in the red zone. Key passes can be slants and quick posts, outs, or seams. And in the red zone Purdue can score in the corner or across the middle. Like many spread teams there are frequently one back and empty sets.Purdue’s quarterback has some running ability but Michigan would probably be better served to come after him and apply quick pressure. In doing so, Purdue will run crossing patterns and screens to counter the pressure. Purdue uses zone blitz and also throws in some inside twists. Purdue’s blitz’s recently have given Ohio State fits.
Michigan will almost certainly try and run the ball and Purdue will be ready. The wild card will again be Denard: how well will his scrambling and wildcat running hurt Purdue’s strength, the run defense? Purdue has made several drive continuing third downs this season. The team that stops the other on third down the best probably has the advantage in this match-up.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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