Michigan Football: Notre Dame at Michigan -- What May Happen

GBMWolverine What May HappenPosted at 6:00am — 9/7/2013

Michigan Football: Notre Dame at Michigan — What May Happen

The question marks of the young Michigan team make predictions for the game winner and score problematical. The question mark of Michigan’s interior line against Notre Dame’s front three is a real concern. The performance of Devin Gardner on the big stage is of equal concern. Michigan’s quarterbacks cannot remain being a touchdown or turnover machine in meaningful games. Gardner did not appear to read his defensive keys very well against Central Michigan, throwing two interceptions that were certainly easily preventable. Coach Borges appears not to be worried.

fbl-utlII-bighouse_640Two years ago, in under the lights part 1, Notre Dame hammered Michigan on the ground and in the air the entire first quarter. Michigan was on the ropes and ready to go down. But the team never gave up and the Irish switched to the air where a couple of key turnovers turned the game around.

Both teams are going to fight like Mongooses eager to take out a snake. Notre Dame has the experience and a better passing game. The running games of both teams fall under the to be determined category.

This game has long been hailed as a litmus test for whether or not the Wolverines are finally back to the top tier of college football. That may be a faulty underlying assumption. Why so? Michigan is simply going to get better baring key injuries. A loss to Notre Dame is not Dunkirk. It may be unpalatable, disgusting, and an ego bruiser. But the name of the game is for this program to go forward past September.

January 1, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive coordinator Greg Mattison prior of the 2013 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Both teams have been susceptible to screens, so it makes perfect sense to see a few screens on Saturday under the lights, part 2. After watching the film of the Central game, Notre Dame will quickly see if the Michigan defensive backfield can pass muster. To counter, Coach Mattison must put constant pressure on Rees and disguise pass coverages. Two years ago this (disguised coverages) was a key to Michigan’s win.

Michigan will attempt to run so that the play action series becomes more effective. If Michigan cannot run the ball with at least moderate success, the night could get long. Michigan will run multiple sets, block with doubles, block with iso, and run the zone stretch.

Apr 13, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines tight end Devin Funchess (19) during the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt the Wolverines have other offensive options ready for Notre Dame. What Alchemist Al has brewed will be unpacked on Saturday night. There is plenty of talk about tight ends from the fans. Will the long-awaited tight end attack occur, or is it not quite ready for primetime?

This game may come down to which offense best masters the tough, highly rated defense of the opponent. Notre Dame has the experience and fewer question marks. Michigan has a wonderful home field environment and some clear motivation to win.

This could be a doozy, if Michigan’s offense is in gear.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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Tags: #GoBlue Big Ten Conference Coach Al Borges Coach Brady Hoke Coach Greg Mattison Fighting Irish Football Go Blue Irish Michigan Football Michigan Wolverines Notre Dame

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