Who or what surprises from the Michigan football team this season?

Submitted by Braylon1 on June 3rd, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Who steps up? Does the offense change from last year? What new things do you guys expect to see this season, good or bad?


Buzz Your Girlfriend

June 3rd, 2010 at 4:12 PM ^

Step ups - Stonum and Michael Shaw

Offense does NOT become more potent than last year but more consistent. Many more first downs are made and fewer three and outs. Denard will become the starter come the big 10 season.

I expect 8 + wins. Go big or go home.

Oh...and a near 0 turnover margin is CRUCIAL to our success this year.


June 3rd, 2010 at 4:12 PM ^

A good to dominant front 6 (or 7 I'm not really sure). The d-line is going to be beastly this year, and I think that Ezeh and Mouton might actually step up this year. G-Rob has proven to put his players in a position to succeed (Stevie Brown) and Mouton and Ezeh know it's now or never.


June 3rd, 2010 at 4:25 PM ^

Huge +1 on this

one of the Big 10's best DT duos IMO in Martin and Campbell

3 5th year seniors playing for their careers in Patterson, Banks, and Sagesse

two tough and experienced 5th year senior ILB's that will step up in Mouton and Ezeh

Roh will do very good things, and RVB will be consistent


...just hope the secondary finds some consistency



June 3rd, 2010 at 4:48 PM ^

I agree, our run defense will probably be respectable and this will surprise a lot of people. Last year the DL had Graham and 3 guys who were too small for their positions. This year people outside the UM orbit seem to notice only that Graham is gone, and not that everyone else is back and big enough to play their positions. Campbell should be a decent space-eater.

I'm not expecting much from the pass defense. The rush will really miss Graham.


June 3rd, 2010 at 4:18 PM ^

I am expecting Stonum to finally have a break out year.

On D, I am hoping to see Mouton step up.  I think it's possible too.  We finally have some coaching consistency for the defense, and I bet that will go a long way.


June 3rd, 2010 at 4:20 PM ^

Things we need to see this season for 8+ wins:

-Consistency in the starting 5 on the OL. 

-Cam Gordon at FS is for real and not just a Spring storyline

-Hemingway healthy (and a dependable 3rd down receiver) and Stonum consistent (and a deep threat)

-One good punt returner WHO HOLDS ONTO THE DAMN BALL 

-Gibbons earns his scholarship and isn't watching a slew of walk-ons attempting FGs


June 3rd, 2010 at 5:28 PM ^

Safety and Corner play . we could stop them on 2 plays then 3rd and 25 they would go for 30 yards . stop the big plays and make the other teams put together long drives and i think we will do alot better . Our rush D was horrible last year too but like said i'd rather give up a few 10 yard runs than a 35 yard bomb


June 3rd, 2010 at 4:50 PM ^

I don't think the secondary will be good but it hurts when almost every 3rd and 3 is converted by running off-tackle. LBs have to step it up and fill (the correct) holes.


June 3rd, 2010 at 4:53 PM ^

Surprise 1: Michigan starts out season painfully at 0-2

Surprise 2: Michigan beats Iowa at home and Penn State on the road and gets to a bowl game.

Biggest offensive player surprise? Michigan's virgin corps of running backs. They will prove more durable and one will emerge with over 200 carries these fall.

Biggest defensive player surprise? S Michael Williams moving to Stevie Brown's SLB position.



STW P. Brabbs

June 3rd, 2010 at 7:54 PM ^

That would definitely be a surprise, since Williams is undersized and has seemed to be lacking in strength.  Unlike Williams, Stevie Brown was an athletic specimen with a great size/speed combo - his problem was that he couldn't figure out the angles of safety play to save his soul.  Unless we're to believe that the SLB position is something like Michigan Football Lourdes, surprise doesn't describe what I'd feel if Williams became successful at that position. 

As for running back - you might be right, and I hope you are, because I think that's the biggest weakness on offense right now.  Someone is going to have to step up in a big way for running back not to be a position of weakness that forces too many carries out of the QB and derails the season, IME.

Crable Robber

June 3rd, 2010 at 5:03 PM ^

Surprising because he's not a big recruit, a big name, or a fan favorite as of now, but I think he ends up leading the team in carries and rushing TDs, though still not as an out-and-out starter. 

And if I'm wrong, at least he has a promising modeling career ahead of him. 


June 3rd, 2010 at 5:46 PM ^

mouton will play really well this year. the surprise we need is for obi ezeh to play well. its a lot easier to hide a young secondary when teams can't pass to wide open TEs

Blue in Seattle

June 3rd, 2010 at 5:47 PM ^

I'll define it as the area that has a low expectations and beats those by a huge margin,

everyone has high expectations for the offense, so they would have to perform an incredible feat like NEVER punt for me to be surprised.

(of course if they go back to 2008 level of performance, then I will be surprised, but not in the good way I think was intented by the OP)

so, Defense, especially the secondary or Special Teams returns are really the only areas where people seem to have abandoned hope of an above average performance, and thus set the table for a Nice Surprise.

and the surprise that would cover both secondary and special teams is Demar Dorsey



June 3rd, 2010 at 5:55 PM ^

I think that Darryl Stonum and hopefully Michael Shaw step up and break out this year. Also on defense I think Will Campbell also starts living up to all the recruiting hype. All three of these guys are extremely talented and I think that will start showing up consistently on the field.


June 3rd, 2010 at 6:07 PM ^

Half of the fanbase expects us to 7-6.

The other half expects us to go 10-3.

No matter what happens, somebody's gonna be really surprised.

For me, beating Ohio State in Ohio Stadium when the Buckeyes are undefeated and No. 1 in the country, that would be surprising.

And delightful.


June 3rd, 2010 at 6:35 PM ^

I will be surprised, but that the doubters will be. The #1 area I'd like them to be surprised is how well the two-QB system works for Michigan this year, with Tate starting but Denard leading a serious run/throw wildcat threat that basically just drives opposing defenses completely insane.

There will be losses and close games, but this will be the year where the pundits keep saying it was a fluke every week, and the offense isn't really that good. And every week we'll laugh because we know it is just getting better. Enjoy it, folks, because it's a rare thing. Next year the pundits will have changed their tune and Rich will start getting some respect for doing what he always said he would do -- adjusting his offense to the talent he has.


June 3rd, 2010 at 6:30 PM ^

I think Campbell will be step up big in a couple games. We need the Gordons to play well. I think our LBs will be quite a bit better, whether it's Mouton, Ezeh, or someone else. I think Koger could surprise a lot of people. We have a lot of RBs that could start, but I think one will emerge within the first month, and it could even be someone like Toussaint or Cox, not Smith or Shaw.


June 3rd, 2010 at 6:28 PM ^

Big Surprise: Michigan will lose a game, MGoBlog subscriptions will increase 400% within an hour of the last whistle, and Brian will have to shut down the site until the following Monday because of drunken rants calling for Rich's head.

the_big_house 500th

June 3rd, 2010 at 7:11 PM ^

Even if we lost out this season but still beat Ohio State in Ohio Stadium, it would be more than enough to make me happy throughout the year. Its been 10 years since we beat them in the shoe. Now that its 2010 I'd say we are due for a Buckeye upset. This year would be a perfect time to drop them from the top 5.


June 3rd, 2010 at 8:25 PM ^

o line

d line






qc coaches

lunch line grill guy

special teams

Juan the shower guy


coach Fry

and running backs


June 3rd, 2010 at 8:40 PM ^

I hate to say it but I dont think we will see any big surprises this season.I think we will go 7-5 or6-6. The offense will be ok but not yet great and the defense will struggle. This team is still too younge I think and we are a year away from having some really big strides. I hope I'm wrong but I just dont see anything that is going to just jump out and blow me away.


June 5th, 2010 at 1:35 AM ^

should all be contributing this season. It's fact we're still very young, but if we get the contributions for Schilling,  and finally out of Ezeh, who has had too much expected of him and Mouton we should be ok. Patterson and Sagesse only need to bring it when they're in there. They need to do their job, carry out their assignments and not have breakdowns. That is of paramount importance. 

I'm not minimizing the need for upperclassmen leadership, but I think when this offense breaks, it'll break big and I think this is the year. Ideally, our qb situation would have been this in RR's first year; two viable qbs that can move the team and a RS freshman. Although both experienced qbs are just sophs, they are special talents and can win. I strongly believe an effective RR offense, where our seniors will be, does take a lot of pressure off his typical defense and I think this is the reason he's thought of so highly.  

If you look back, most of his great players, sans PacMan, have been on offense, including the 3* center that won the Rimington the same season two other non-ranked h.s OLmen were taken in the NFL draft. That's all Frey on the line and RR and Magee in the backfield with a very heady Rod Smith teaching the kids in addition to being a great recruiter. Ideally, he could ease into 2011 as his make or break year, but I think he wins this year simply because so many says he has to. If he does, expect a couple decades of listening to everyone saying, "I never had any doubt." He's one of the best coaches in America and I think he gets the job done just by having a very inspired team and an offense that's very, very difficult to stop. 

Tom_Harmon 2.0

June 3rd, 2010 at 9:36 PM ^

1. Vindication for walk-on players, who solve the problems that have plagued Michigan football for years.  Punt returns, kickoff returns, and the dreaded safety spot.

2. Beating Ohio State.  They have the most annoying fan base in America and they didn't deserve last year's win.  If Tate doesn't throw three interceptions and fumble in the end zone we win that game.

3.  Winning record and a decent to cool bowl game.

That is all.


June 3rd, 2010 at 10:14 PM ^

Denard Robinson a national household name in the college football world, with more fanfare than Terrelle Pryor, due to Denard's electrifying ability that will be shown each week....  and as a side note,  the general surprise in the college football world that someone with that speed also has a huge arm, the combo not seen since Vick.




June 3rd, 2010 at 10:39 PM ^

one word DEFENSE...it was horrible last year. The umbrella zone coverage was horrible...they let everyone catch the ball infront of them. If Kovacs (Kanckles) is the starter we are done....plain and simple. I mean this is Michigan, not the MAC. LB's need to step up there game...coverage and run stop.  Seemed like everyone was running around with there heads cut off. embarrasing.

Durham Blue

June 3rd, 2010 at 10:42 PM ^

spring buzz with Toussaint but I believe he will take over the starting RB spot at some point during the season.  His skill set is perfect for Rich's offense.  He will be the next great Michigan RB.


June 4th, 2010 at 9:35 AM ^

Offense: Michigan is in the top 3 in the Big 10 in terms of offense, yet no 1,000 yard rusher, no 1,000 yard receiver, and no double digit TD scores from anyone.  (basically we're going to be using a LOT of players on offense this year.  the best bet to bust my prediction?  It would be a healthy Vincent Smith, but I'm going with Roy Roundtree).

Defense: Mouton shines all season long and is drafted in the spring.  Ezeh becomes a dependable run stopper but remains inadequate in pass coverage.  Dorsey doesn't make it, but Cullen Christian is starting by week 6.  Our secondary continues to be the biggest liability on our team. 


June 5th, 2010 at 1:50 AM ^

He was discussing us giving up the big play on d, expressing the need for us to step up and stop the run when needed also. I said ealier I believe our offensive explosion will be key until everything is in order. However, the defense should make a much more vital contribution this season for a couple very big reasons. 

No. 2) GRob back.

No.2) increased experience. Roh, RVB, M.Martin and Will will keep offenses honest and with our new scheme when we have them in 2nd or 3rd and long, our new stunt should prove big time in getting th D off the field. I believe our opponents are going to have a hell of a time picking up their man this season and it they opt for the oncoming lber, they'll get a taste of Martin, RVB or Big Will. If they go the other way, look out for Kenny D., Ezeh, Mouton or whoever is at backer. And Roh will prove instrumental with GRob moving him all over, much like Bo did with Dufek years ago. If you're always in a changing pattern, its extremely difficult for offense to gain rhythm and it's the DC's best friend until he gets everyone the experience they need. 

Given our record last season, I think if the D gives up 3 less per game and the offense scores 7 more, more very attainable figures, I think we get 3, maybe 5 more wins.