Sep 29, 2012; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers head coach Danny Hope against the Marshall Thundering Herd during the second half at Ross-Ade Stadium. Purdue defeated Marshall 51-41. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-US PRESSWIRE

Michigan Football: Michigan at Purdue -- Final Preview -- What May Happen

Posted at 5:00pm — 10/5/2012

Michigan Football: Michigan at Purdue — Final Preview — What May Happen

Expect a close game, and expect points to be scored but not at hyper-drive rate. Purdue is scoring over 40 points a game and Michigan will do well to hold the Boilers in the low 20’s. Michigan can score and the execution and ability to reduce turnovers will determine if the points generated will be enough to overcome Purdue.

Both teams will run the ball with the purpose of game control, and the team that gets ahead may an even greater effort to run the ball late in the game. Purdue will show a greater willingness to pass than Michigan. But like in South Bend, Michigan may very well have to make the passing game work to secure a win. Purdue has been superior in the red zone and successful on third downs. Third down for the Michigan defense may become even more critical.

Last year alchemist Al Borges used trick plays in the Purdue game, and no doubt some more will be in ready. But there are only so many trick plays and proper opportunities to use them. Michigan will need to make some hay on the read series and quarterback isolation plays. Making the inside read work should prove difficult against Purdue’s stout front, but it can happen, and once past the front group, Denard could do some damage. The offense still has limitations that reduce play choice, but sometimes this provides a chance for the core bread and butter to shine.

Michigan’s back seven will be tested by underneath crossing routes, the corners will see bubble screens, the safeties will see about everything from tight end sit downs, to post routes, to seam routes, to the middle screen off of motion.

Purdue uses motion very well and the Michigan defenders need to recognize shifts, assignment changes, and what is coming on the snap. No doubt recognition was a big part of this week’s defensive preparation. Backs will end up outside and receivers will end up inside as Purdue shakes the chess table.

This is a game that could go in many directions and certainly lacks confidence in outcome prediction. But that may be the way of the typical Big Ten game this year. The pains of the non-conference are over, and like the physician, Michigan needs to heal itself.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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