Michigan still has a lot of questions to answer. Where is the defense? When is Roy Roundtree going to be significant? Is Fitz Toussaint going to be the starter furthermore? Though, the real question we all are really asking is “Can Denard beat Notre Dame again?”
Yes folks, if you look at how the game against Notre Dame has panned out the last 2 years, Denard Robinson has compiled 948 yards, 4 passing touchdowns, and 3 rushing touchdowns! In just two games, he is averaging 3.5 total TD’s and 475 passing and rushing yards all by himself. One thing is certain: the Irish can NOT contain Denard Robinson. In last years game, he threw three picks, but in the fourth quarter alone, Denard accounted for four Touchdowns (3 passing and 1 rushing). What kind of magic will Denard have this year?
The win over Michigan State this last weekend was a MAJOR statement in made clear as to what the Irish will be looking to do to the Wolverines come Saturday. Notre Dame looked tough on both sides of the ball and Michigan State had no answer. Le’Veon Bell was held scoreless and only 77 yards on 19 carries. Michigan State’s only points of the game came on a 50 yard field goal.
What does this say for Michigan’s fate this weekend? It says a few things:
The Wolverine offense needs to score. Every chance we have the ball, we need to get in the end zone or at least a field goal, every single drive. This Notre Dame defense is going to put up a fight and their offense has enough weapons to score a lot.
Michigan’s defense needs to stand strong. The Notre Dame offense will be looking to score and they have the ability to do it. Everett Gholston is proving to be a good fit at Notre Dame at quarterback, especially last week, having 178 yards passing and a TD and rushing for a TD as well. I see the Irish taking advantage of not having Blake Countess on the Michigan defense and trying to make a run at the win through the air.
Denard has to be magical…again. As cliche as that sounds, Denard is a playmaker and when playing the Irish in particular, shines like no one else. Keep him healthy and protected and watch magical things happen. Robinson owns the record for the longest run in Notre Dame Stadium history, right? Expect another thriller and expect big things.
IF MICHIGAN WINS: Expect a good few weeks of football from the Maize and Blue. Just as Michigan has done before, a big win pays off in terms of momentum. More confidence and more wins are in Team 133’s future.
IF MICHIGAN LOSES: Its gonna be a bumpy road heading to the Michigan State game. “The Team” will not have good momentum heading into Big Ten play and with a loss to Notre Dame, I see Michigan possibly losing to Purdue, starting the season 2-3…not what we want or need.
This weekend is a critical turning point in the rest of the season. We all know what is gonna happen, but lets be honest, it’s been a nail biter the last three years. Expect another epic “Under the Lights” game here in 2012.
You can follow Alex on Twitter @arstrumpetmusic.