Why? Because I have to. Not because I believe in jinxes or anything, but because readers do and I serve at their pleasure. For a fuller Hornet breakdown check When Carcajous Attack(!).
|WHAT||Michigan vs Delaware State|
|WHERE||Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI|
|WHEN||12:00 EST, October 17th, 2009|
|THE LINE||Hypothetically? M –35.5|
|TELEVISION||Nationwide on BTN|
|WEATHER||Cloudy, mid-40s, dry.|
Run Offense vs. Delaware State
This should be no contest. Despite the debacle against Michigan State, Michigan is 23rd in rushing offense in I-A. The Hornets are 105th in I-AA, giving up 202 yards a game at more than 5 YPC. The most interesting thing here will be the performances of Shaw, Smith, and Cox. I expect Brown to get like three carries.
Key Matchup: Probably Hornet safeties versus repeated attempts to run by them into the endzone.
Pass Offense vs. Delaware State
Delaware State is marginally better here, in the 50s in both pass efficiency and total yardage defense when it comes to the pass. And Michigan is considerably weaker, currently hovering around 81st in passer efficiency, though a large chunk of that is Denard Robinson's tendency to chuck interceptions. Forcier is middling (55th) nationally.
Key Matchup: Pass protection versus Anonymous Hornets. Forcier's dinged, let's keep him that way instead of seriously dinged.
Run Defense vs. Delaware State
Michigan's coming off two good performances marred by things outside the defensive line's control. Delaware State is the #84 rushing offense in I-AA. This will be a potentially depressing test of Michigan's opponent-invariant defense. Will Delaware State rip off some gashing runs when Michigan players either line up wrong or blow an assignment?
Key Matchup: Mouton and Ezeh versus Aforementioned Blown Assignments. Plz keep getting better here.
Pass Defense vs. Delaware State
Delaware State is 91st in passing offense and 103rd in passing efficiency. It'll be interesting to see how Woolfolk does and if Williams does better at free safety.
Key Matchup: Williams versus Getting Beat Deep.
CATCH THE DAMN BALL
CATCH THE DAMN BALL
Key Matchup: CATCH THE DAMN BALL.
Kittens are not deployed for games against I-AA teams. Here's this instead:
- This is at all close.
- Someone gets injured.
- Delaware State does anything positive at all.
Cackle with knowing glee if...
- Tate looks like he's back to his old, better self.
- No one gets injured.
- I don't know, don't cackle, it's not nice.
Fear/Paranoia Level: 0 out of 10. (Baseline 5, –1 for I-AA Team, –1 for 1-3 I-AA Team, –1 for 1-3 I-AA Team That Just Gave Bethune-Cookman Its First Win Of The Season, –1 for 1-3 I-AA Team That Just Gave Bethune-Cookman Its First Win Of The Season And Is Worse Than 90th In Both Total Offense And Total Defense, –1 for 1-3 I-AA Team That Just Gave Bethune-Cookman Its First Win Of The Season And Is Worse Than 90th In Both Total Offense And Total Defense And Has Been Pegged With A More Than Five-Touchdown Spread By Crazy Offshore Gambling Folk).
Desperate need to win level: 10 out of 10. (Baseline 5, +1 for No Horror Redux, +1 for This Would Actually Be Worse, +1 for Way Worse, +1 for I Expended All My "Get Out Of Spending Two Days In Fetal Position Free" Cards Last Year, +1 for Just No.)
Loss will cause me to... spend the next twenty years of my life digging a ditch around Delaware, and the following ten trying to push it out to sea.
Win will cause me to... react in no way whatsoever.
The strictures and conventions of sportswriting compel me to predict:
Finally, opportunities for me to look stupid Sunday:
- Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw have a ton of carries.
- Michigan does nothing new at all.
- Denard gets half of the snaps.
- Michigan, 45-10.