Michigan football will be playing under the lights on Saturday vs. Minnesota and here are five things to watch for the Wolverines.
It felt like Michigan football had things on cruise control last week against Nebraska. Everything seemed to go right for the Wolverines in a dominant 45-7 win.
But this is a new week. Minnesota is 3-2 and 1-1 in the Big Ten. The Golden Gophers nearly lost to Nebraska and blew a double-digit lead to Northwestern.
However, you can’t overlook anyone. P.J. Fleck’s program has won nine games in three of the past four seasons and that includes the last three full seasons (not COVID in 2020).
Say what you will about Fleck — his teams win. Minnesota hasn’t always played great against the best teams in the conference. Fleck hasn’t beaten Michigan football or Ohio State.
But this could be dangerous. Any game could be a trap game. As long as Michigan is sharp, there shouldn’t be any problems.
Here are five things to watch for Michigan football vs. Minnesota.
The run defense is getting reinforcements
A huge key for Michigan football last week was the fact that the Wolverines held Nebraska to 32 yards on 20 carries before a long touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
It forced Nebraska to be one-dimensional and the Huskers don’t have the club in their bag. Minnesota really doesn’t either. The Gophers don’t want Athan Kaliakmanis throwing the ball 30 times on Saturday night.
However, Michigan wants him to throw the ball more, which would mean they are shutting down the run. The Wolverines held Nebraska and Rutgers in check on the ground, and they’ll need to do the same to Minnesota, at least if they want to win by multiple touchdowns.
One thing that should help is the return of Mason Graham, who is expected back with a club on his hand.