Other stuff here: Ace FFFF!
|WHAT||Michigan vs Akron|
Ann Arbor, Michigan
September 14th, 2013
|THE LINE||M -38|
|WEATHER||sunny, upper 60s
0% chance of rain
I'm trying real hard, Mr. Roo.
Run Offense vs Akron
The Zips were 109th in rushing defense a year ago, ceding nearly five yards a carry even without removing sacks. It's possible they've improved in that department after holding UCF to four yards a carry and James Madison to 3.7, but doubtful that Michigan will notice such a difference.
That's Akron playing defense against Central Florida.
For Michigan, it's about identifying guys correctly and blowing them up. They've had opportunities to break long ones submarined by one missed assignment here, one missed assignment there. That's understandable with a young line and (still) young tight ends. Michigan wants to develop those guys over the course of the season; now would be a good time to put the spurs to an opponent.
Key Matchup: The offensive line vs generating false hopes because they smash low level competition.
[Hit THE JUMP for more condescending key matchups.]
Pass Offense vs Akron
James Madison sophomore Michael Birdsong was 29/42 for 310 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT against Akron. UCF junior Blake Bortles was 18/24 for 314 yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INT against Akron. Last year, Akron was 104th in pass efficiency defense.
Key Matchup: Akron defensive backs vs the fountain of blood spurting from their eyes midway through the first quarter.
Run Defense vs Akron
Akron rushed for just over four yards a carry against UCF thanks to a big gain from 5'8" freshman DJ Jones against UCF's backups. As Ace detailed in FFFF, before the fourth quarter Akron had two drives longer than 11 yards, one of which ended in a punt, the other an interception, so… yeah.
Last week they won a 35-33 thriller against I-AA power James Madison on which 55 of their 83 rushing yards (sacks excised) came on one carry from Jawon Chisholm, a returning starter who averaged almost 90 yards a game last year. He'll probably get the bulk of the carries, but since the "bulk" against James Madison was 11 carries, that's not saying much.
Michigan had some scheme-related struggles against Notre Dame; their defensive tackles had a hard time holding up to Notre Dame doubles. That shouldn't repeat against last year's #105 rushing offense.
Key Matchup: Michigan players versus boredom.
Pass Defense vs Akron
This pass is going eight yards maximum.
This will be the usual MAC passing spread heavy on wide receiver screens, hitch routes, and petrified attempts to keep the quarterback upright. Akron lost its starting quarterback from a year ago but still return two guys who had over 50 attempts. Their statistical profiles are pure dinkball:
- Kyle Pohl, sophomore: completing nearly 70% of his passes for 5.5 YPA.
- Nick Hirschman, junior: completing nearly 60% of his passes for 6.6 YPA.
Hirschmann had ten attempts last week, Pohl, 22. That might have been more even, but Hirschman hit a bomb over the top against James Madison… and subsequently hurt his knee celebrating. (BIG TENNN!) He's probable this weekend, but if there's any chance he could aggravate that injury, Akron will hold him out of what projects to be a bloodbath.
Akron's spread out its receptions extensively. Nine different players caught passes in both of their games. There's no returning go-to guy. Their pass protection was mediocre a year ago despite all the quick throws, ceding an average of 2 sacks per game and gave up three to JMU.
This will be an exercise in tackling for the Michigan defensive backs, as Akron doesn't project to have the skill players, protection, or quarterback to attack them deep. Expect a blizzard of five yard throws on which YAC is the difference between first downs and punts, with the latter more prevalent.
Key Matchup: Taylor, Hollowell, and Countess versus missed tackles.
This will be of no consequence. If Michigan punts, hopefully they do not shank it and actually cover it. Maybe Dennis Norfleet breaks one, if he catches the damn ball.
Key Matchup: CATCH THE DAMN BALL
nobody puts kitten in a tire well except everybody
- Akron does anything.
- Anything at all.
- Notre Dame struggles against Purdue.
Cackle with knowing glee if...
- Jehu Chesson is activated in the passing game or moved to tight end.
- Brian Cleary lays waste.
- They don't play In The Big House for the third straight game.
Fear/Paranoia Level: 0 (Baseline 5; –1 MACrifice, –1 for MACrifice That was 1-11 Last Year, –1 for MACrifice That Lost to UCF 42-7, –1 for Six Score Spread, +1 for OH GOD I REMEMBER IT ALL, –1 for Yeah But This Is Akron, Man, Akron, –1 for Seriously I Am Done Pretending I Remember It All)
Desperate need to win level: 10 (Baseline 5; +1 for Never Forget, +1 for I Just Got Used To Not Worrying About This, +1 for Also I Just Got Used To Being A Near Top-Ten Outfit, +1 for I Like Thinking Positive Things About The Direction Of The Program…, +1 for …And Not Eating Pulverized Glass)
Loss will cause me to... grind every piece of glass in my house into powder and eat it.
Win will cause me to... change in no way whatsoever.
The strictures and conventions of sportswriting compel me to predict:
Victory by lots.
Finally, three opportunities for me to look stupid Sunday:
- Jehu Chesson gets four catches.
- Akron crosses midfield once.
- Mike Shaw bursts out of the tunnel midway through the third quarter, gets five carries, bounces each of them to the sideline, scores five touchdowns.
- Michigan, 62-0