UM vs. PSU 2009
I am normally the type to be very cautious in my M predictions, in fact I shade to the pessimistic, e.g. I thought we'd barely squeak by Western. This is because of the underachievement of the Carr years, the awfulness of last year, and the understanding of our current lack of depth/inexperience. I picked us to lose close before both MSU and Iowa, as I'm sure others did. And I also have a degree of superstition that often prevents me from these sorts of predictions.
HOWEVA, I can't get over the nagging feeling that this week will be different--and that's what it is, a feeling more than a rational analysis, First the rational analysis: I think PSU is overrated, and we know that Daryl Clark is inconsistent in big games, as we saw with their Iowa loss. If (a big if) we can get consistent pressure, turnovers could be our friend. Our offense is better than any they've faced so far, and while we are subject to stretches of poor offensive play, I look for the offense to come around at home. IMO, unlike last year (1st half Minor RAGE) we should look in the first half to pressure PSU through the air, downfield in particular, to get them out of the box, and pressure their secondary. If this is successful on a couple of occasions, the run will open up and Molk's return should make a large impact.
Now the feeling: there is often a time in a young team's season, one point where a team grows up, puts aside mistakes, and make plays that they did not make earlier. Where the practice drills kick in, where the light bulb comes on, and the season changes for the better. That often happens in big games, and often at home. I think we are confident at home, we have the revenge factor, Tate is healthy for the first time in awhile, and again, I think PSU is overrated. That is enough for me, I'm going with the feeling and putting it out there:
Michigan 31, PSU 17