Sep 14, 2013; East Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies quarterback Chandler Whitmer (10) throws the ball against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Football: Michigan at UConn -- What May Happen

GBMWolverine What May HappenPosted at 7:00am — 9/21/2013

Michigan Football: Michigan at UConn — What May Happen

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Connecticut is hilly, the hills are the result of an ancient series of island arc collisions that took place several hundred million years ago termed the Taconic Orogeny. There were fewer taxes in Connecticut way back then. But be aware driving through the small state of Connecticut drags at 55 mph.

There is no drag to Michigan’s upcoming football game on national television on Saturday night. The game is finally sold out and temporary seats have been added. The total attendance will be around 42,000.

Sep 14, 2013; East Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies running back Lyle McCombs (43) carries the ball against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

This game is coming at a good time for both teams. UConn gets a great chance at redemption after starting the season 0-2. This is a chance for Coach Paul Pasqualoni to heal some wounds. UConn gets a spotlight game at home and the guys from Storrs are pumped. Michigan gets a chance for redemption, albeit on the road.

The first road game is always somewhat a question mark, maybe more so with a relatively young team to transport to the East Coast. Funny things, that later turn out to be not so funny, can occur. Michigan needs to physically take control of the game from the very start and Devin Gardner must smartly manage the game by eliminating turnovers and making good choices.

The game appears to match up weaknesses. Michigan’s run defense has not been sterling, but neither has the UConn running game. UConn’s running defense has been exploited, but Michigan has had, using a kind term, only moderate success in the running game. Both teams blame missed assignments for many of the team woes. Neither team has mounted a sack attack; UConn has none so far this year. Michigan has applied more pressure. If the Michigan line gives up more than a sack or two to the Huskies, then some serious thinking about personnel, scheme, and game planning will pop out of the ground.

This event may be titled the how bad does Michigan want the fill in the blank game. How bad does Michigan want to exert its physical will? How bad does the offensive line want to play well, although how the unit plays is much more important than what it wishes? How bad does Michigan want to regain some confidence? How bad does Michigan want to win?

Emotionally, this game should balance out well as both sides have “things” to play for. So, what may happen? A big part of the outcome may center on Michigan’s ability to limit turnovers. Giving a team five turnovers on the road this week would probably be fatal. Connecticut can throw the ball and has two premium receivers, Geremy Davis and Shakim Phillips, both on the tall side. Phillips is dinged with a hamstring injury but has indicated he will play. Chandler Whitmer is a decent thrower and will get a chance to hit targets in the same manner Notre Dame and Akron accomplished. It will be important to bring the heat and make an impact.

Michigan needs to take immediate control and not provide constant opponent chances via turnovers. Lost in last week’s game was the fact that Michigan had several chances to get up by more than 14 points and failed to seal the deal.

Predicting what happens on the road is difficult, but Michigan has every reason to play hard. The bottom line is Michigan needs to play hard and play well.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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