Michigan football: 4 key things to watch for Wolverines against Army

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Michigan Football
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Michigan football opened the season the win and now it will look to do the same against Army. Here’s what to watch.

Week one of the college football season has come and gone. The nervous anticipation, bated breath and hot-take-filled murkiness of the offseason has given way to something concrete, no matter how small that something may be, Michigan football included.

The Wolverines 40-21 win over Middle Tennessee last week barely made a dent in the broader college football landscape. Michigan football did what it was expected to do, and now sit sat 1-0, still, 13 or 14 wins away from what every team ultimately dreams about.

But, there’s something.

We’ve seen Josh Gattis‘ new-fangled spread attack in action. We’ve seen highly-touted freshmen Zach Charbonnet, Dax Hill, Giles Jackson and more. We’ve seen wide receiver Tarik Black healthy for the first time in eons. We’ve seen Michigan’s defense without several key playmakers from last season. Everything we’ve spent eight long months thinking about? We’ve seen it.

We saw good things, like 40 points, 26 first downs, and touchdown catches from Black and Nico Collins. We saw not-so-good things, like Shea Patterson‘s fumble on the first play from scrimmage, or the two-QB packages charitably described as odd. We saw what the 2019 Wolverines can do right now, what they can’t do right now, and what they might be able to do later.

The Week One verdict?

It’s a start.

We’ll see that start continue as Michigan football takes on Army this Saturday at the Big House. The Black Knights’ triple-option attack is a unique challenge for everyone — just ask Oklahoma, which barely escaped with an overtime win against them last season — and they ended last season with 11 wins and a 70-14 bowl win over Houston.

However, Army ranked just 85th in preseason SP+, per ESPN, opens as 23-point underdogs against the Wolverines, and beat Rice by a mere touchdown last week. This is to say, tougher challenges await Michigan this season. The focus, for the most part, should be on the Wolverines, and their continued progress into becoming the team they have the potential to be, as they win comfortably.

Here’s what to watch for on Saturday: