Do I want to feel this way? No. Not at all. I want to see Michigan beat ND so badly that that they can't even see straight. I loathe Notre Dame this time of year. I have respect for their program and tradition but not when they play Michigan. Michigan is the better school, has better history, a better fanbase, and so on and so fourth.
Unfortunately, I'm struggling to find enough reasons to make me believe Michigan beats ND this Saturday.
One can't deny what's working in our favor. Denard. Improved scheme defensively, etc. Healthy Woofolk. Big House, at night at home, etc. I'm aware of those things.
Some things working against us..
- No Hagerup
- Very questionable kicking game along with special teams issues last week (although I do think adjustments will be made for kickoffs)
- Change in offensive scheme that in my opinion will limit the offense enough to the point where Michigan can't keep up its pace under what would be another year in RR's spread. I think last years offense allowed a comfortability for Denard in the passing game when we ran the ball effectively. I get nervous when I think about Denard going through read progressions.
- ND had a good grasp on the game last year before their starting QB suffered injuries. Now, both are healthy
- ND defense did very well last week despite the offense turning the ball over 5 times. Coupled with our change in scheme, and yes it is a change despite trying to play to Denard's strengths, I am nervous here.
- ND gained over 500 yards of offense in bad weather.
- Michigan LB play is in question. Demens is doing what he can but the loss of Mouton was significant when you consider current depth.
I did enjoy hearing from Borges in this week's press conference that Michigan barely got into the offense. So, I'm not writing off our offense based on what we've seen. At the same time, the offense will need to really come through because ND is going to move the ball.
I have faith in the coaching staff and this football team. I can't help feeling like the underdog in this one for the reasons listed.
Please make me wrong.