As many of you know, the Ozone, an OSU fan website, has an article every Monday during the season about Michigan. This is one of those "know your enemy" things. I hadn't been over to their site since December, but wandered over this morning. Lo and behold, they have a long article on Michigan.
Being that content is sparse right now, I went ahead and linked to the article. Tony Gerdeman opines that while Michigan has improved, they aren't in the National Title discussion . . . just yet. Here is the key premise why:
Can they run the ball and can they stop the run against a skilled team that loves to run the ball?
On the offensive side of the ball, Gerdeman says this:
A year ago Michigan averaged over 5 yards per carry in a game against a P5 opponent just once – 5.04 yards against Indiana, who allowed 5.23 yards per carry to everyone else last season. They averaged 4.89 yards per carry against Florida. Over a season that would’ve ranked 33rd in the nation a year ago. It’s fine, but not, ‘Hey, wow, look at this!’ The offensive line is better and 5-star running back Kareem Walker will help, but can they take that 4.2 yards per carry average from last year and add at least another yard to it? Of the last eight national champions, five of them averaged over 5.5 yards per carry.
On the defensive side, the article points out:
The Wolverines finished No. 16 in the nation in run defense last year, allowing just 122.23 yards rushing per game. Against teams ranked in the top 30 in rushing, however, they allowed 338 yards per game on the ground. Sure, that was just two opponents – Indiana and Ohio State, but they also happened to be the two teams on Michigan’s schedule that could actually run the ball.
Lastly, he really wonders about the back 7 defensively, outside of Peppers and Lewis. And boils our season down to the 3 tough away games: MSU, Iowa, and OSU.
My speculation has centered on the QB. But reading this, I have to admit, it raises questions for me. First, how will the OL and RB corps do in improving the running game? Can Drevno bring Michigan to the level Stanford was at on the ground, or are we still another year or two off? Second, how will the LB group and the secondary outside of Lewis perform? I'm very confident in the DL. Less so for anyone else not named Peppers or Lewis.
Anyway, it is something else to read for those of you who are bored and looking for more on Michigan football. Oh, and I apologize for putting up two threads in a row on the board.