Week 3 Preview: #4 Michigan Wolverines vs. Colorado Buffaloes
The last time Colorado traveled to the Big House, they left the fans stunned and shocked. This time around, they look to do the same thing. Sadly for Colorado fans, they won’t be shocking the Wolverines this go around. Michigan is coming into week three with a bump in the polls, jumping from number 5 to 4 and technically a playoff team right now. They looked good, with a few miscues against UCF last week and now take on Colorado.
Colorado is coming in 2-0 with wins over Colorado State and Idaho State. While those wins are against soft teams, Michigan shouldn’t look at Colorado lightly. Colorado is looking to play spoiler to the Wolverines season early on and while it is the first test for the Wolverines, it still won’t be much work for the team. Let’s break this down!
What to Expect Against Colorado
Wilton Speight looked great again last week, not throwing an interception and finding Butt, Chesson and Darboh easily as UCF loaded the box, giving Speight easy matchups and throws. Colorado does have a better secondary than UCF with Chidobe Awuzie being an impressive cornerback, it will be a tougher day for Speight. Still, expect Speight to avoid Awuzie or attack him head on.
The running game did struggle last week, only getting 119 yards on the ground. They will need to improve against Colorado if the passing game is going to be a challenge for Speight. Kyle Kalis, starting offensive lineman told the fans of the Michigan Wolverines to “relax” about the running game. He does have a good argument as UCF had eight, sometimes nine players inside the box, so that meant fullbacks and tight ends had to help block, making mistakes and costing the team yards. Michigan’s offensive line should do better unless Colorado does the same tactic as UCF.
The defense for the Wolverines impressed last week, but still has room to improve. They allowed 275 yards on the ground which can kill them against serious opponents and Colorado is that first mini test of the year. If they allow something even close to that in yards, Michigan will be in trouble. Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone are both out again this week, so expect Rashan Gary to get more playing time after a great week last week.
Linebackers will need to be the MVP’s of the game this week. They will need to help stop the passing attack and contribute in stopping the run. Sefo Liufau, quarterback for Colorado is a duel threat option for the Buffaloes and Michigan struggled last week against the duel threat quarterback in Justin Holman. They will have to have a QB spy on him to make sure he can’t burn him like Holman did.
Defensive backs for the Wolverines might be without Jourdan Lewis again this week. There is no official word on if he will play or if he won’t, but missing another game could be questioning for Lewis. Michigan did fine against the Knights passing attack last week, but Colorado is a better team. Devin Ross and Shay Fields will be the main targets for the Buffaloes and if Jourdan Lewis is gone, it could be a tough day for the Wolverines secondary.
Overall this game is going to be closer than the previous two weeks. Colorado is a better team than Hawaii and UCF, so do not expect another 50 point showing for the Wolverines. Colorado does have an impressive defense, but it won’t be impressive enough to shut down the Wolverine offense lead by Wilton Speight. Michigan’s defense will allow the most points this season with 14 with a weakness on the defensive line and with their best cornerback on the sidelines. The run game will return with fewer people in the box and respecting the pass, DeVeon Smith should have a big game. Mike McCray on defense could have a good game as well, since starting McCray has helped the once “weak” spot on defense to have some life and cause problems with opposing offenses. Michigan gets a solid win to close out non-conference play and looks on to Penn State.
Prediction: #4 Michigan Wolverines 38 – Colorado Buffaloes 14