Michigan vs. Air Force Prediction Thread

Submitted by RakeFight on September 7th, 2012 at 12:47 PM

It's the day before the home opener against Air Force, and other than some continued looking back at, uh, the Alabama <twitch> thing, it's crickets around here. 

How do you think the game will go?  Will the offense roll with Fitz's return?  Will the defense get their technique back and be able to slow the triple option ground game?

How many TDs will Denard have?  What freshman or former-QB-now-WR will shine?  Who gets #47?  Discuss.

(Not necessarily looking for score predictions, as THE_KNOWLEDGE has that covered in his/her Diary post, which appropriately soars in glory high above all other posted threads to the right of this page). Commence.



September 7th, 2012 at 2:26 PM ^

I was thinking that the offense would account for 6 TDs, special teams 1 on a Norfleet return, and we'd get a FG in there somewhere with my prediction, which is how I came up with 52 points.   I don't think we'll get a D TD because of the tendency for AFA to not throw the ball, making a pick-6 very rare of an opportunity in this game, and fumble runbacks aren't all that common we're more likely to dive on a loose ball (though there was that one last year).

And for the record when I started watching U of M games religiously Brian Griese was the QB, so it's been well more than 3 years.


September 7th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

I misunderstood the point you were trying to make, I thought you were calling me out as not a true M fan.  My apologies for the misunderstanding and my earlier comment retracted. 

I don't think Denard will have as many turnovers in this game, and if he does have one I think it'll be more likely to be a fumble than a pick.  I think their secondary is undersized, and I also think he'll have more time to throw and less pressure than last week, so I think he'll make better throws.  I can see a fumble on a running play though. 

I also didn't take into account the fact of how much clock time would bleed off the clock from both teams running the ball like crazy as opposed to throwing, so I do think it is a possibility that we won't have that many posessions in this game, unless we score lightning fast on each one.  I think you may be right, I think 50 points might be harder to reach than I imagined.

And wow, Dennis Franklin is way before my time, I wasn't even born yet then :-D  The first Michigan game I saw on TV was the '94 Colorado game when I was 12, but as I was rooting on Colorado in those days (my mom's alma mater) I didn't know until later that Collins was QB then.  I didn't become a Michigan fan until the following year (it's a long story that starts with that colorado game). 


September 7th, 2012 at 1:45 PM ^

I predict a joyless victory.  Not necessarily one that goes down to the last minute, but one where the other team gets a lot more plays from scrimmage and it's just frustrating as hell to watch.  I'm thinking we just miss out on covering.  38-24.  Something like that.


September 7th, 2012 at 1:45 PM ^

Modest success for Roundtree on the outside assuming AF's corners aren't as big and freakishly strong as Bama's.  Another 100 yards for Gallon.  Funchess gets his first catch.


September 7th, 2012 at 1:51 PM ^

1.  Fitz for 125+ yards with a pair of scores

2.  Denard does not factor heavily into the running game, but manages several 10+ yards.

(Reasoning behind this one is that our size advantage allows us to basically do to AF on the ground what Alabama did to us - grind it out on the ground - so no need to risk injury or show any new plays from Denard.)

3.  Linebackers and D Line surprise many of us with a great game, causing an over-reaction to the positive side in these here parts.

4.  Norfleet takes one to the house.

5.  Bonus second Norfleet prediction:  Once we are up big, Hoke gives him a few offensive snaps.



September 7th, 2012 at 1:55 PM ^

air force scores first and goes up 7-0, terrifying us all.

michigan scores 3 straight td's and goes into half up 21-10.

second half goes similar to the first, air force scores a meaningless td to make the score respectable at 38-17.


September 7th, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

Kovacs is awarded No. 47.  Gardner makes at least three catches.  We're all glad to have Fitz back as he runs for 100 yards in the first half.  A sasquatch refs the game as a line judge and does a pretty darn good job. 

death by trident

September 7th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

I dunno.  Last year they got beat by Notre Dame 59 - 33 but the game could have been closer than that had AF not turned it over twice.  Some stats from that game -

(Thanks to ESPN)


Now we see the following -Air Force put up 363 rushing yards on Notre Dame.  So with that in mind, let's compare our rushing defense last year versus Notre Dame's.

Total Yards - 1806 (ND) / 1712 (UM)

Yards per Game - 138.92 (ND) / 131.69 (UM)

Yards per Carry - 3.78 (ND) - 3.99 (UM)

Rushing TD - 8 (ND) / 14 (UM)                                        


This kind of stuff plus Brian's pessimism will make me start drinking early Saturday.

EDIT: I had 34-23 Michigan in THE KNOWLEDGE CHALLENGE and am going to stick by that.  We then club Umass like a baby seal and head to Notre Dame with a lot of questions.



September 7th, 2012 at 2:22 PM ^

Michigan 49

Air Force 17


Rushing - Toussaint with 150 yards (2 TDs), Denard with 93  (1 TD) 

Passing - Denard with 230 yards 3 TD passes; Bellomy 53 yards (1 TD)




September 7th, 2012 at 2:24 PM ^

I'm off to New Zealand for a NOLS semester course and I will be missing this game, along with every other game until the B1G championship game:( Predictions for the rest of the season: loss to Purdue/Northwestern, otherwise undefeated until then, D-Line comes together in a biiig way. Fitz has a more impressive season than Denard, Gallon is #1 reciever with Dileo contributing significantly as well.  We whoop Notre Dame. Good luck to all and GO BLUE


September 7th, 2012 at 2:29 PM ^

UM - 45

Air Force - 17


Air Force scores on their first possession, but doesn't score again until the 4th quarter.  Fitz and Denard both rush for over 100+ yards.  Denard completes over 70% of his passes and throws for over 200 yards.  Gallon and Gardner both have impressive games at WR.  James Ross has a standout game at LB and moves into the starting lineup for UMass.

Indiana Blue

September 7th, 2012 at 2:30 PM ^

1) drive to AA  2) set up tailgate & have a beer  3) have a beer  4) open cheese and crackers & have a beer  5) grill food & have a beer  6) leave to go in with the band - take beer with me  7) finish last beer just before entering stadium  8) buy $4 "DB" water  - cause I'm gonna lose my voice by halftime  9) celebrate 9th straight home victory for Coach Hoke ... uh probably with a beer !

Don'tcha just love a home football Saturday in Ann Arbor !

Go Blue!

Perkis-Size Me

September 7th, 2012 at 2:54 PM ^

Best case scenario: Mattison drafts up a masterful gameplan (which he will, because he's f-ing Greg Mattison) and the defense shuts Air Force down. They'll get at least 200 on the ground, but with not much to show for it. Meanwhile, Fitz runs wild for 150+ yds, Denard racks up 100 himself and 2-3 passing TDs. Michigan wins big 45-10.

Worst case scenario: This game turns into a shootout. The defense just can't effectively figure out a way to stop the triple option. This doesn't change anything with regards to how things are going to go on the offensive side of the ball. Denard and Fitz will put up big stats, but the game will come down to whoever is holding the ball last. Michigan wins 45-38. They'll be happy to be hosting UMass next week, but the team leaves the field with more questions than answers.


September 7th, 2012 at 3:03 PM ^

I detected a serious note of dejection in the press interviews with every player after the Alabama game. Even the coaches were more subdued than they were a year ago after the MSU loss.

I think Alabama took the confidence out of this team.

I know, they say they've all put it behind them, but these guys look and sound awfully shell-shocked. This game could be a lot closer than most are predicting, if not an upset.

Sorry. Team 133 looks and sounds like a team that just got the snot beat out of them, and it will take a while for them to regain their confidence.

Michigan 21, AF 20

Denard throws 2 picks. The running game is merely abysmal, as opposed to a complete catastrophe. The defense has a hard time stopping the triple option in the first half. The second half shows improvement, and somehow the team muscles through because Denard simply wills it.


September 7th, 2012 at 5:50 PM ^

No thanks.

It's funny, I predict Michigan squeaks out a win, but that's not enough. People still get angry.

The team sounds flat, and looks depressed. If I'm wrong, that's OK. I'd prefer to be wrong!

I realize that 'Bama is a great team, perhaps the best in college football right now. But it was their first game, too. So I don't think the "our first game" excuse resonates.

Have it your way, if Michigan wins big, I'll be happy, you'll be happy, and that should be enough. Just being honest here.


September 7th, 2012 at 11:28 PM ^

I think they'll come out flat as well, and end up not cracking 40.  I think this team is still getting it's sea legs and is 1 O line injury from panic.  The D will be undiciplined for the first half & give  up 3 scores.  Everything will improve in the 2nd half.  
Final tally:  Michigan 38 Air Force 24 and we'll all drink heavily to replace precious lost fluids from sweating this game out.

Ron Utah

September 7th, 2012 at 3:08 PM ^


How do you think the game will go? 

  • Michigan will win by a 3-TD margin

Will the offense roll with Fitz's return?

  • The offense will roll with or without Fitz.  Our O-Line can move their little people and all of RB's have the talent to get around defenders.  Denard will show off his improved arm, and we'll all feel a lot better.  People will still bitch about Borges.

Will the defense get their technique back and be able to slow the triple option ground game?

  • Yes and yes, depending on what you mean by "slow."  I don't think AF will score more than 20 pts, but I still think they'll rack-up 200+ rushing yards, mabye even 250.  So there will be some big plays, but the smaller field will make scoring tougher when they get in the red zone.

How many TDs will Denard have? 

  • 3 TDs.  1 rushing and 2 throwing.  The RB's will acount for 2 more TDs.  Bellomy will also toss a TD.

What freshman or former-QB-now-WR will shine? 

  • Both.  Pipkins, Ross, Norfleet, and Darboh will make big impacts in this game.  Gardner will have 4+ catches for 80+ yards and a TD.

Who gets #47?

  • I am going to call an upset here and pick Fitz.  However, the off-season indiscretion has me thinking that it might be Kovacs.


September 7th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

41-24.  Devin Gardner catches 2 TD's, Rum&Coke Toussaint rushes for 145 and 2 TD's, Denard rushes for 87 and a TD.  Devin Smith doesn't make the trip.  Taco Pants gets thrown to a little bit on 3rd and longs early on.


September 7th, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

It will be ugly, sloppy, uninspiring. We will have multiple turnovers, including in the red zone. AF will have the ball very late in the game with a chance for a go-ahead score, but our D will finally squelch them.


September 7th, 2012 at 4:27 PM ^

time knowing Fitz is back. I expect him to have a 140-160 yard game with 2 TDs and Robinson to have a much better passing game and to pick up around 120 yards
on the ground game. Passing 110 with 1 interception. I see Michigan coming out pissed off after last week and destroy AF 41-21.

One Inch Woody…

September 7th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

We will not score less than 50. They will not score more than 17. Denard: 3 TDs, 0 INT, 85 yd rushing, 1 rush TD. Touissant: 2 rush TDs, 130 yd rushing. Defense will have a combined 12 TFL.


September 7th, 2012 at 6:12 PM ^

UM 56, AFA 17

Denard has three runs over 30 yards, scores two TDs, Fitz has at least two long runs and scores two and DG gets one.  Norfleet may break one this week.

Both lines dominate, but AFA gets a couple of TDs against the backups.


September 7th, 2012 at 9:03 PM ^

I expect we will get above 40 but also give up 20+.  Hopefully it isn't too tense in the 4th quarter.

Wish I was going to be there for the flyovers.


September 7th, 2012 at 9:29 PM ^

I predict that Michigan will come and play with emotion and something to prove.  Whether or not this leads to some mistakes early on, I don't know.  If there are, things may be a little closer than liked in the first half.  We pull away in the second half as the offense starts to find a rhythm and their defense gets tired.

For our defense, they will give up some yards on some missed assignments, but will be solid overall.  The game ends and we still have a lot of questions with Notre Dame two weeks away.