Michigan Football: A Look at the Gophers -- 10/4/2013

Posted at 12:00pm — 10/4/2013

Michigan Football: A Look at the Gophers — 10/4/2013

It was the best of times it was the worst of times, it is the tale of two 50’s.  Well the first third of the season is over, and the season started out looking like Michigan were barn-burners in the first two games, and then like they were in the burnt rubble of the barn against lack-luster opponents in the last two.  So the bye-week was a welcome respite from my hair-pulling fits.  Though in the recent presser Coach Hoke spoke of potential change-up we still will not know if any of that will occur until we see who takes the field Saturday and if turn-over-fest is over.  Michigan has opened up the week as 21.5 point favorites against the Gophers though now are at 19.5, and the Gophers in recent interviews are blasting the Wolverines as just an average regular team and Devin a pocket panicker.  So it will be an interesting homecoming game in the battle for the almost full Little Brown Jug.

I trust the coaches and team will be ready to dispatch the rodents from the Land O’ Lakes, or at least make butter from them.  So we will not need to give Hoke the following speech.

Fans (e.g., self-proclaimed we know more than the coaches): I want you to kill every gopher on the field!

Coach Hoke: Check me if I’m wrong fans, but if I kill all the golfers, they’re gonna lock me up and throw away the key.

Fans: Gophers, ya great git! The gophers! The little brown jug thieving furry rodents!

Coach Hoke: We can do that; we don’t even have to have a reason.

SO RELAX THE STAFF HAS THIS!

Coach Jerry Kill has a lot of mid and lower level college head coaching and his overall record is 140–90, at Minnesota 13–17 (43.3%).

Thus far the Gophers have dispatched UNLV, New Mexico St., Western Illinois, San Jose St., and lost the battle for Floyd versus Iowa at home.

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On Offense

On offense  QB Philip Nelson last year threw for over 800 yards, and was knotted up at 8 picks and 8 touchdowns; however, Redshirt freshman Mitch Leidner may end up starting (the QB position is unsettled) and Nelson has battled injury already this year.  Regardless who starts expect a run-heavy option spread and little in the way of an air attack.  The Gophers have only tallied two passing TDs in five games (both by Nelson), and have run 85 passing attempts to 224 rushing attempts, so I fully expect Michigan to load the box.  Minnesota’s best receiver at least in reliability is Derrick Engel who has 160 yards receiving, and a TD.  The Running back Cobb has been their most effective tailback registering just over 350 yards and five TDs, but this offense is the QB on the run, and the tandem has put up over 500 yards and 8 TDs.

Offensive Two-Deep – Return 10 Starters

LT 78 – Ben Lauer 6-6 302 R-Fr. – NR
LT 74 – Marek Lenkiewicz 6-5 289 R-Jr. – 3 Star

LG  52 – Zac Epping 6-2 321 R-Jr. – 2 Star
LG 73 – Joe Bjorklund 6-5 288 R-So. – 2 Star

C 63 – Jon Christenson 6-4 306 R-So. – NR
C 53 – Tommy Olson 6-4 301 Jr. – 3 Star

RG 64 – Caleb Bak 6-3 302 R-Jr. – NR
RG 77 – Foster Bush 6-5 303 R-So. – 3 Star

RT 65 – Josh Campion 6-5 326 R-So. – 3 Star
RT 79 – Jonah Pirsig 6-9 308 R-Fr. – 3 Star

QB 9 – Philip Nelson 6-2 215 So. – 3 Star
QB 7 – Mitch Leidner 6-4 233 R-Fr. – 3 Star

RB 35 – Rodrick Williams Jr. 5-11 235 So. – 3 Star
RB 27 – David Cobb 5-11 225 Jr. – 3 Star

FB 30 – Mike Henry 6-1 231 R-Sr. – NR
FB 88 – Maxx Williams 6-4 254 R-Fr. – 3 Star

Y – WR 83 – Drew Goodger 6-5 265 So. – 2 Star
Y-WR 85 – Lincoln Plsek 6-4 265 So. – NR

Z –WR 14 – Isaac Fruechte 6-3 204 R-Jr. – NR
Z-WR 1 – KJ Maye 5-10 197 So. – 2 Star

H-WR 18 – Derrick Engel 6-2 187 R-Sr. – NR
H-WR  17 – Logan Hutton 6-1 181 R-Jr. – 2 Star

X-WR 4 – Donovahn Jones 6-3 190 Fr. – 3 Star
X-WR 82 – Drew Wolitarsky 6-3 208 Fr. – 3 Star

On Defense – Return 7 Starters

There is no arguing that  Ra’Shede Hageman is a beast at NT, and by now Michigan has faced two other monsters at NT this year (ND’s Nix, and UConn’s Stephen) it will be interesting to see who the Wolverines start at center as whoever it is will have his hands full as he has registered 20 tackles and two blocked kicks this year, hs LB corps has also been very successful this season each averaging approximately 30 tackles , the Gophers will also sneak Brock into the box from his safety position and he has the team’s second highest tackles.

Defensive Two-Deep

DE 98 – Michael Amaefula 6-2 244 Jr. – 3 Star
DE 95 – Hank Ekpe 6-5 251 Fr. – NR

DT 46 – Cameron Botticelli 6-5 290 R-Jr. – NR
DT 92 – Roland Johnson 6-1 286 Sr. – 3 Star

NT 99 – Ra’Shede Hageman 6-6 311 R-Sr. – 4 Star
NT 97 – Scott Ekpe 6-4 281 So. – NR

DE 55 – Theiren Cockran 6-6 238 R-So. – NR
DE 91 – Alex Keith 6-3 237 So. – 2 Star

SLB 57 – Aaron Hill 6-2 231 R-Sr. – NR
SLB 56 – Nick Rallis 5-11 227 R-Fr. – 3 Star

MLB 5 – Damien Wilson 6-2 254 Jr. – 2 Star
MLB 50 – Jack Lynn 6-3 234 R-Fr – 3 Star

WLB 26 – De’Vondre Campbell 6-5 225 R-So. – 3 Star
WLB 9 – James Manuel 6-2 225 Sr. – 3 Star

CB 31 – Eric Murray 6-0 194 So. – 2 Star
CB 3 – Martez Shabazz 5-11 172 Sr. – 2 Star

S 21 – Brock Vereen 6-0 202 Sr. – 2 Star
S 11 – Antonio Johnson 6-0 207 So. – 2 Star

S 2 – Cedric Thompson 5-10 211 Jr. – 2 Star
S 7 – Damarius Travis 6-2 208 So. – 2 Star

CB 13 – Derrick Wells 6-0 206 Jr. – NR
CB 22 – Jeremy Baltazar 6-0 197 Sr. – 2 Star

The Rundown

Look for Michigan to right the ship following a two week layoff, and fully expect them to load the box and take away Minnesota’s one true weapon the option or QB keeper.  On defense the Gophers showed against Iowa if a team can pound the ball, their defense does not have the size or depth to compete.  Gardner will have a game reminiscent of the first two, Kill will load the box and force Devin to pass, the difference from the last two games is this week he will, and will also get help from the running game not named Devin Gardner. So despite the number of veteran returners the Gophers possess they do not have the talent to beat Michigan on its home turf.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — SkwdCop

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