2018 Season Predictions

2018 Season Predictions


August 30, 2018

Nico Collins (image via Twitter)

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LEADING RUSHER
Karan Higdon emerged from last season as the de facto starting running back, and there’s no reason to think he’ll lose that job now, especially after adding about 15 lbs. of muscle in the off-season. Chris Evans projects to be the #2 guy.
Prediction: Karan Higdon, 1100 yards

LEADING RECEIVER
The wide receiver position is a huge mess right now after the transfers of Eddie McDoom, Drake Harris, Maurice Ways, and Kekoa Crawford . . . and, oh yeah, the injury to Tarik Black’s foot. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a tight end lead the team in receiving yards, but I’ll go with Donovan Peoples-Jones. He’s one of four healthy scholarship receivers on the roster, along with Grant Perry, Oliver Martin, Ronnie Bell, and Nico Collins.
Prediction: Donovan Peoples-Jones, 750 yards

Hit the jump for the rest of the season predictions.


LEADING TACKLER
Last year I pegged Bush to have 95 tackles, and he ended up with 102. I’m projecting a little bit of a drop-off from last year because I think some of those younger guys (Drew Singleton, Josh Ross, etc.) will get a little more playing time now that they’re sophomores.
Prediction: Devin Bush, Jr., 95 tackles

LEADING SACKER
Last year I had Winovich getting 9 sacks and he got 8, which tied him for the team lead with Khaleke Hudson. This year I think he’ll get 8.5.
Prediction: Chase Winovich, 8.5 sacks

LEADING INTERCEPTOR
I really like Lavert Hill, which is why I think opponents will try to test the cornerback on the other side, David Long. The problem for them is that David Long is pretty dang good, too.
Prediction: David Long, 3 interceptions

ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM
Prediction: Shea Patterson, Zach Gentry, Ben Bredeson, Rashan Gary, Devin Bush, Lavert Hill

ALL-AMERICAN
Prediction: None

LEADING SCORER (NON-KICKER)
I have starting running back Karan Higdon scoring 12 touchdowns on the ground and 1 through the air.
Prediction: Karan Higdon

BREAKOUT OFFENSIVE PLAYER
I wouldn’t have picked this guy before the injury to Tarik Black, but now Michigan needs someone to step up at Black’s receiver spot. I think Nico Collins will have a pretty solid year. Before Black’s injury, I was going to go with fullback Ben Mason.
Prediction: Nico Collins/Ben Mason

BREAKOUT DEFENSIVE PLAYER
There are probably only two options on defense, since everyone returns except Mike McCray II at WILL and Maurice Hurst, Jr. at DT. I’m not confident that either will flash, but those replacements are expected to be Devin Gil and Michael Dwumfour. I think I’m going to go with backup linebacker Joshua Uche, who should be used on passing downs. He won’t be a star this year like Devin Bush and Khaleke Hudson were last year, but I think Uche will force his way into earning more snaps.
Prediction: Joshua Uche

MOST DISAPPOINTING OFFENSIVE PLAYER
This is going to seem counterintuitive since I pegged him as an all-conference player up above, but I think Shea Patterson is going to disappoint a lot of Michigan fans. Patterson is a risk-taker, and he’s a good enough athlete to make some really good plays. But I also think he’s going to throw a fair number of interceptions, and people who expect him to be Michigan’s savior are going to be frustrated by the picks.
Prediction: Shea Patterson

MOST DISAPPOINTING DEFENSIVE PLAYER
For all the hype about him being the second coming of Maurice Hurst, Jr., Michael Dwumfour has often struggled with injuries and has yet to produce on the field. It’s all practice hype and no production so far. If he plays like Hurst, I will be pleasantly surprised, but I’m not getting my hopes up.
Prediction: Michael Dwumfour

THE BIG FINISH
September 1 at Notre Dame: WIN. I think Michigan’s defense will be too much for Notre Dame, even though I think Michigan’s offense will struggle a little to start.

September 9 vs. Western Michigan: WIN. Michigan vs. MAC school is a given . . . unless it’s 2008.

September 15 vs. SMU: WIN. I don’t want to underestimate SMU, which put up a ton of points last year. They averaged 37.8 points/game in 2017, and only one time were they held below 22 points. They even put up 36 against Gary Patterson and TCU. But they have a new coach (Sonny Dykes) and I think Michigan pulls it out.

September 22 vs. Nebraska: WIN. I think Nebraska’s going to get good pretty quickly, and Michigan takes care of handling freshman QB Adrian Martinez.

September 29 at Northwestern: WIN. Northwestern is a solid team, but Michigan is better.

October 6 vs. Maryland: WIN. Michigan just has too much for Maryland, especially with all the off-season stuff they have going on within that program.

October 13 vs. Wisconsin:  WIN. Michigan probably should have beaten Wisconsin last year . . . you know, if they had any semblance of an offense. The hope is that the Wolverines should have a stronger O this season, so I think Michigan gets revenge at home.

October 20 at Michigan State: LOSS. I’m at the point with this rivalry that I’ll believe it when I see it. Michigan State just seems to have Michigan’s number in recent years.

November 3 vs. Penn State: WIN. Penn State has some good running backs to replace Saquon Barkley, but they also lost some other good players. The Nittany Lions are very dangerous, but I think Michigan wins at home.

November 10 at Rutgers: WIN. Last time Michigan played in New Jersey, it was a 78-0 beatdown to show off for recruits in the Garden State. It won’t be 78-0, but it should be another win for the Wolverines.

November 17 vs. Indiana: WIN. Michigan should have won more handily last year than having to go into overtime. I don’t have a lot of trust in Indiana’s quarterback situation.

November 24 at Ohio State: LOSS. Despite the off-the-field stuff and the loss of a ton of talent, Ohio State has a lot of star power waiting in the wings. And with almost a full season under their belts to mesh together, the Buckeyes should be rolling by the end of November.

Final record: 10-2

48 comments

  1. Comments: 229
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Aug 30, 2018 at 7:57 AM

    Ok…….picking Shea as 1st Team B10 made me chuckle considering McSorely, Thorson, Hornibrook & Lewerke all return on proven offenses who are also very familiar with the B10 contender’s defenses. Shea still has both a lot to prove AND a lot to learn.

    1st Team is a B10 stretch. Also there’s a track record by both he & Harbaugh QB’s not lasting an entire season so there’s that to consider as well. Given this; the Most Disappointing Offensive Player may be the lineman who misses the block that ends Shea’s season……..
    Lets hope for no injuries……….INTJohn

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 30, 2018 at 11:59 AM

      IMO, Shea Patterson is such a big name that if nobody’s stats are overwhelming (and I don’t think they will be), he might win First Team honors just because of his name and all the hoopla. There aren’t any QBs in the Big Ten who are going to put up 4,000 yards. McSorley lost a lot of the offense around him (Barkley, OC Joe Moorhead, Daesean Hamilton, Mike Gesicki, etc.), so I think he’s going to see a little bit of a drop-off.

  2. Comments: 27
    Joined: 11/17/2015
    funkywolve
    Aug 30, 2018 at 9:46 AM

    When you say no all-americans are talking about first team?
    Losing to both MSU and OSU would be disappointing.t

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 30, 2018 at 12:00 PM

      Yes, I’m talking about first teamers.

  3. Comments: 962
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Aug 30, 2018 at 10:01 AM

    My predictions, from GBMW:
    @ND Loss. As much as I want to believe Kelly & Winbush will hand us the game, I think it’s too soon for our Offense, at night and on the road
    WMU Win.
    SMU Win.
    NEB Win
    @NW Toss up, but I’ll go with a win
    MD Win
    WIS Win, maybe even decisively
    @MSU Loss. Tough call here, but on the road against Dantonio and an experienced squad… this one will hurt
    PSU Win, maybe even decisively
    @RUTG Win
    IND Win.
    @OSU Win! The curse is broken, and Meyer’s exit is accelerated after a rough year

    Hot take 1: Hudson takes over at RT by October
    Hot take 2: Patterson misses chunks of games. The later in the the season, the more likely Mac is the QB who relieves him

    GO BLUE!

  4. Comments: 848
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Aug 30, 2018 at 10:25 AM

    Uche will definitely make an impact this year, but I would pick Solomon as my breakout defensive player. He’s going to be really, really good, and sooner rather than later.

  5. JC
    Comments: 210
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Aug 30, 2018 at 10:36 AM

    If our offensive line had Devrey Hamilton (sp?) and if Tarik Black didn’t get hurt, I’d put us at 11-1. I’m still worried about the offense this year.

  6. Comments: 5
    Joined: 1/28/2016
    tuske14
    Aug 30, 2018 at 10:37 AM

    Thank you thunder for taking the time to give us our daily Michigan football fix. Not sure how much you hear it but you are appreciated

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 30, 2018 at 12:00 PM

      Thanks, tuske14!

  7. Lanknows
    Comments: 3825
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 30, 2018 at 11:30 AM

    Those predictions all seem very sober and reasonable to me.

    The one I think is most interesting, and I agree with it, is Dwumfour disappointing some people. We just went through Hudson replacing Peppers without any real noticeable drop-off, so it’s reasonable to think it can happen again. My opinion is that that was a pretty special thing to have happen. I don’t know that Dwumfour can approximate Hurst as well and last year it certainly didn’t look like it. Though to be fair, we didn’t see much of him.

    I think he’ll be good and we have good depth at DT (if you believe Mattison – which I do) but I still see a dropoff relative to Hurst when it comes to the big game moments.

    • Comments: 848
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Aug 30, 2018 at 11:50 AM

      Of course Peppers, despite the fawning over him and his freakish athleticism, was ultimately not THAT great as a productive, on-field playmaker. Hurst was, and I agree that it’s unlikely that Dwumfour will replace that the way Hudson did Peppers. But I think Solomon and Dwumfour together as a starting pair on the interior will be, at worst, close to as good as what we had last year, and our back 7 will be better.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3825
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 30, 2018 at 4:40 PM

        So you think Hesiman voters putting him 5th wasn’t valid eh.

        I thought the 2016 D was ELITE and he was a big reason why. We saw a noticeable dropoff in the bowl game without him.

        • Comments: 848
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Aug 31, 2018 at 7:10 AM

          He was not voted that high because of his play at safety. You do know that, right? And the fact that we had a big drop-off with him out just means his backup was not very good. It doesn’t say much about how good he was in any absolute sense.

          I stand by my statement. His coverage skills were nothing special and he wasn’t much of a ball hawk.

          • Blue in NC
            Comments: 42
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Blue in NC
            Aug 31, 2018 at 10:18 AM

            I get the argument but I think you are overstating it. Peppers was an elite playmaker on D (he virtually eliminated screen passes) plus played on offense and special teams. Was he perfect? Of course not and he did have some coverage issues if you are rating him as a safety but he was pretty good in coverage as a LB. I think his versatility hindered his perception to some fans as they expected him to be elite in all categories. He was elite in some and just good in others. we are lucky that Hudson is such a good athlete and picked things up so quickly. I do believe that Hudson was sheltered more than Peppers so any perceived drop-off was minimal. But I think the team would have been better with Peppers no doubt. I also think there will be a decent drop-off from Hurst. Even Dwumfour being very good will be a substantial drop from the elite play of Hurst last year.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3825
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Aug 31, 2018 at 1:16 PM

            My opinion:

            If the bar is Charles Woodson – he didn’t hit it.

            If the bar is best Michigan safety in our lifetimes – he did.

            Bit of a hybrid player of course but his versatility was instrumental in the 2016 D. His backups were younger versions of the loaded secondary we have now – including several future NFL players.

            Special teams contributions count too.

  8. Lanknows
    Comments: 3825
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 30, 2018 at 11:37 AM

    My hot take on the WR situation is that the depth is just fine.

    Yes – losing Black, who could have been the #1 guy, is a big blow. Beyond that — everyone of the other departures was a guy who got passed up and wasn’t needed. Ways, Harris, Crawford shouldn’t matter a bit. McDoom – maybe there’s an incremental loss there relative to Martin/Schonle/Bell but probably not much of one.

    We have 5 healthy scholarship WR. Do we need 6?

    It’d be nice but I say no. Not when you have flex TEs, RBs, and exceptional athletes to pull from DB.

    I think for a Harbaugh offense the WR position is over-recruited number-wise and this year will hopefully illustrate think. Same at RB. I hope we’ll see that having freshman and walk-ons as 3rd backs isn’t a problem. We’ll see. But I hope the lesson learned is that you don’t need 10 or 12 WR on scholarship. Better a few those go to OL.

    • Comments: 848
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Aug 30, 2018 at 12:03 PM

      Well, it depends on whether by “depth”, you just mean bodies, or whether you mean guys who can actually contribute in games when it matters. 5 guys may be enough bodies in WR uniforms, but it’s likely that some of them will not actually be very playable against tough BT competition. Where does that leave us? In a position where we can’t afford another injury there, and where we probably have to keep our starters in longer than we’d like in some games because there’s such a drop-off after them.

      And of course, the real problem with guys like Crawford, Mitchell, Harris, McDoom and the other departers is not that they would have contributed much this year, but that we wasted scholarships and years on so many guys who never really contributed, and are now largely starting from scratch again, two years later. Sure, not every recruit is going to succeed, but we can’t afford this many whiffs at one position if we want to compete at a high level.

      • Comments: 143
        Joined: 9/15/2015
        ragingbull
        Aug 31, 2018 at 8:49 AM

        yeah too many whiffs. the turnover at WR has been crazy of late – going back to hokes 2013 and 2014 classes (i think, offhand) up to harbaughs 1st couple WR classes. hoke wasted an entire class on dukes, york, etc and then guys like ways, harris, canteen also flamed out. grant perry is sitll around (and i think should have a really nice year) but that next class with nate johnson, mitchell, crawford, etc failed to make it.

        thank the good lord they pulled in some elite prospects last year and those dudes should show out on the field this year but not great overall. hopefully bell is a hit and can play for 4 years and they hit on some of the underrated prospects signed in next years class bc theyll need the depth.

        WRs work and run hard during games, especially if you need to pass the ball or play from behind – so it helps to have 5-6 guys the staff trusts to play in the big ten. not just trot out there and know their assignment but guys able to make a few plays. im sure theyd prefer to have 7-9 scholarship WRs if possible in case of injury, suspension, etc.
        they can obviously get by and use more TEs (jim loves throwing from 12 and 21 personnel anyway), tighten WR rotation, etc but it limits your ability to go 4 and 5 wide if you want or if its necessary. very interested to see how WR plays out this year.

        bottom line though they cant afford to miss on so many WRs, especially in back to back classes – hitting on a few beasts in 17 class who can feature out wide for 3-4 years obviously helps but they gotta do better. hopefully bell is another playmaker and theyll be 1/1 in that 18 class

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3825
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 31, 2018 at 1:20 PM

        Fair critique of the WR recruiting. My only argument is that they took this many scholarships because they knew this is how it was going to work out. Have to attack an immediate roster need like that with volume. When you do that – there will be more attrition than ‘normal’. Not a red flag as much as a situation that was created out of need.

        The above philosophy is consistent with what I’ve been saying for years at OL. When you have an acute problem you have to address it with numbers, not just by being confident in your own development, but by accounting for uncertainty and things out of your control (e.g., off-field stuff & injuries).

        • Comments: 962
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Aug 31, 2018 at 8:53 PM

          I agree with that notion, but it’s not what we’re doing. After taking 4 in 2017, we only took Bell last year (a flyer). Even for 2019, we have no outside Receivers on board, and AFAIK not likely to land a top prospect

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 30, 2018 at 12:11 PM

      FTR, here’s the production from the WRs from #6 on down in 2017:

      11 catches for 85 yards

      It’s not a perfect analogy, because the competition/talent level in a group of 8 receivers is going to be better than in a group of 5 receivers. But just in raw stats, that’s what Michigan will have to make up for from last year, whether it comes from tight ends, running backs, walk-on receivers, etc.

      • Comments: 848
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Aug 30, 2018 at 1:27 PM

        Well first, let’s not forget, our passing game sucked last year. So we need to do a lot better than just duplicate it. Second, you’re assuming, like Lanknows, that everyone on scholarship is going to be able to contribute significantly this year, which is probably not the case. Maybe 3 of 5 will, which makes us very thin. Strangely, he regularly makes the argument that we need more bodies at OL to offset the fact that some guys won’t be good enough, but he doesn’t seem to think it applies to WRs.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3825
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Aug 30, 2018 at 4:47 PM

          OL requires more development. It is also more uncertain, relative to the recruiting rankings. You need more numbers to account for time and uncertainty.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3825
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Aug 30, 2018 at 4:52 PM

          My opinion is this: OL and WR scholarships should generally be proportional to positional demand on a per down basis.

          Michigan plays an average of ~2 WR per down. Maybe less. They need slightly more than 5 OL per down.

          The per down equivalent of 12 WR scholarships is 30 OL scholarships. My argument is for about 8 or 9 WR and 20-22 OL.

          You can look up for yourself what they’ve actually been. The argument is that there is positional overlap at OL, which is true. But it’s offset by the uncertainty and time factors I referenced above.

          • Comments: 848
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Aug 31, 2018 at 7:21 AM

            You’ve ignored the fact that there are no plays we could possibly want to run that require 8,9, 10 offensive lineman, while we might very well want to run plays with 3 or 4 wide receivers, and have all of those guys be legitimate pass-catching threats. You basically play your starting 5 on the OL, and don’t even need to rotate until the game is in the bag and you start subbing. Not so with WRs. Take that into account and try again.

            And I call bullshit on the claim that we have regularly had 12 scholarship WRs. We’ve had 8 or 9 the last three years, so I’m not sure where you’re getting that silly straw man of 12.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3825
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Aug 31, 2018 at 1:24 PM

            Michigan uses a 6th OL more often than it uses a 4th WR.

            As mentioned repeatedly – these kind of situations (rare as they are) can be handled by flex TEs, RBs, and athletes from the other side of the ball.

            Your argument is true for Oklahoma State or a Rich Rodriguez team. Not a Harbaugh team.

            • Comments: 848
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Sep 01, 2018 at 9:37 AM

              We use a 6th Olineman mainly because our OLine has sucked for most of recent memory and we can’t always get the job done with 5, like most normal teams do. Same reason we’re still hung up on the anachronistic use of a fullback, something most modern teams have abandoned. Even when we do, that’s a 20% increase, whereas adding even a third WR is a 50% increase. And wouldn’t you rather have actual WRs when you do want to run a play with 4, rather than a lame work-around with a converted 4th string LB?

              Still waiting for your explanation of the 12 WR claim. It’s bullshit, and we both know it. The implication that we have 3-4 scholarships too many at that position that should be used for Olineman is bogus. Those extra scholarships don’t exist.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3825
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 01, 2018 at 12:12 PM

                You seem upset. I’m fine with having 8 give or take.

        • JC
          Comments: 210
          Joined: 8/17/2015
          JC
          Aug 30, 2018 at 6:40 PM

          Passing game did suck last year. Let’s look at 2016.

          It’s a tricky spot with the comparison. In 2016 we had the following production from receivers (Player | Receptions | Yards):

          Darboh | 57 | 862
          Chesson | 35 | 500
          Perry | 13 | 183
          McDoom | 5 | 59
          Crawford | 4 | 47
          Ways | 2 | 24
          Harris | 2 | 11
          Johnson | 1 | 4
          ————
          Jake Butt | 46 | 546
          ———–
          RBs/FBs | 42 | 350

          Production after the first three receivers falls off a cliff, but the starting wideouts were also proven seniors. Not comparing who will pick up which yards, because our tight end group is dynamite this year. I imagine total tight end production will be better than Jake Butt’s senior year. I’m comparing eligible bodies. There were 8 receivers on the team – 4 non-freshmen wideouts, 1 freshman wideout, 1 non-freshmen slot, and 2 freshman slots. Ahmir Mitchell was redshirted, or kicked off by this time, I can’t really remember.

          This year we have 2 non-freshmen wideouts (true sophomores), 1 freshman wideout, and two non-freshmen slots (one is a redshirt freshman). We have two walk-on slots in McCurry and Schoenle. In terms of talent I’m most worried about the OL. In terms of depth I’m most worried about receivers.

          As soon as the Tarik news broke, I thought they were going to move B.Hawkins, or maybe even A. Thomas to the offensive side of the ball, because that WR depth went from thin to scary thin.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3825
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Aug 30, 2018 at 7:31 PM

            The thing that matters is the quality of the top 3-4 guys. How good the 6th guy is – that’s irrelevant to the team outcome. Your 6th guy isn’t playing meaningful downs.

            Depth (numbers) do matter, but only insofar as providing a supply of candidates for those top spots.

            My point is that guys like Harris, Ways, etc. are not those kind of “candidates”. Losing Black (a top 3 guy) mattered. Losing McDoom (not a top 3 guy) didn’t.

            Yes, Michigan is now an injury away from their 4th or 5th guy being relevant. The question is if that kind of depth guy (Martin/Schoenle/Bell) is significantly worse than another kind of depth guy (McDoom/Harris/etc.) Maybe, but McDoom had 81 receiving yards last year and Schoenle had 41 when both were 100% healthy. I just don’t see that as mattering to the 2018 season barring a outlier-level run on WR injuries.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3825
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Aug 30, 2018 at 7:32 PM

              I’d like to see DPJ taken off punt return duties to help reduce the risk though.

              • Comments: 962
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Aug 30, 2018 at 8:18 PM

                Me too. let ambry return punts. Gets him on the field more, and protects DPJ

            • JC
              Comments: 210
              Joined: 8/17/2015
              JC
              Aug 30, 2018 at 8:16 PM

              You don’t see how it matters for 2018.

              You just said you need depth for talented candidates.

              Our current non-walk-on depth for 2 wideouts is:
              2 sophomores
              1 true freshman
              either Perry or Martin, whoever isn’t in the slot.

              That’s 3 bodies recruited for the position, or a possible 4th, for two positions. That’s not depth for talented wideout candidates.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3825
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Aug 31, 2018 at 1:27 PM

                I mean for upcoming seasons. We’re good since our top WRs are all sophomores or freshman with the exception of Perry.

                • Comments: 848
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Sep 01, 2018 at 9:41 AM

                  The problem is that, with the possible exception of DPJ, none of those “top” sophomore and freshman WRs have actually done anything on the field. We’re pinning our hopes on the young guys, but crossed fingers are not the same as proven production.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3825
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 01, 2018 at 12:09 PM

                  That’s what candidates means.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3825
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 30, 2018 at 4:45 PM

        Good info. Also – other WRs can just play more snaps. There was a lot of figuring it out as you go last year. Seeing what sticks. etc. With more game experience this year, should be less of issue.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3825
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 30, 2018 at 4:57 PM

        This stat is kind of like the water usage of a 4th most important bathroom in your large home. Sure, if you have it you’ll probably use it sometimes. But if you don’t you can probably get just as much utility out of 2.5 baths.

  9. Comments: 10
    Joined: 10/3/2015
    UM2013
    Aug 30, 2018 at 11:51 AM

    I was actually just going to make a similar comment; curious if any of these predictions have changed based on Black’s injury. It seems like the game most effected by the injury will be the ND game, which is unfortunate.

    Personally, ~10 interceptions for Patterson is right in line with my expectation.

    • Comments: 848
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Aug 30, 2018 at 12:07 PM

      Well, again, number of interceptions is not as critical as when they happen and against who. And on whether Patterson makes big plays to offset the mistakes he makes.

  10. Blue in NC
    Comments: 42
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Blue in NC
    Aug 31, 2018 at 10:26 AM

    These are all very reasonable predictions. If I was going to disagree with anything, I would probably predict that Gary will lead the team with 10 sacks, assuming he can avoid injury. I would also predict Paye as the breakout player since he flashed some talent and appears to be the backup at both end spots.

  11. Lanknows
    Comments: 3825
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 31, 2018 at 1:40 PM

    A few random predictions that hopefully aren’t too boring:

    OFFENSE

    Michigan will struggle to come up for an answer to opposing teams designating CBs to defend Gentry.

    Eventually that answer will involve Eubanks.

    WR won’t be a problem spot.*

    Fans will call for a freshman RB to get more snaps at some point.

    DEFENSE

    Uche will eventually be Winovich’s replacement.

    The defense will still give up too many big plays and people will grumble about the safeties because of it.

    Gil will breakout from the perspective of stats and announcer mentions.

    Mone will ‘breakout’ from the perspective of fan appreciation. Now he’s ‘just’ a backup whereas he was viewed as a potential all-conference guy. This year he’ll be closer to the later in per down effectiveness.

    Aubrey Solomon will look like the best player on the entire defense at times.

    Special teams will cost Michigan a couple games.

    *Unless DPJ is hurt

    • Blue in NC
      Comments: 42
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Blue in NC
      Aug 31, 2018 at 4:32 PM

      “Michigan will struggle to come up for an answer to opposing teams designating CBs to defend Gentry.”
      I think that would be a dangerous game for the defense. Most defenses don’t have a 6’8″ CB and the 60-70 pound weight disadvantage could be a problem. So jump balls might work or short crossing routes might be good for an easy 10 yards before an undersized CB can tackle. Although maybe you mean a big safety or hybrid player like a viper that can run and jump but has more physicality. Still, if you let Gentry get some momentum going, it’s going to be a tough match up.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3825
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 01, 2018 at 12:25 PM

        My opinion is this:

        People talk about height differential and jump balls literally every year. Like jet sweeps, that’s not something an offense can hang it’s hat on.
        Even end zone fades produce inefficient results. That’s one issue.

        The other is that height is overrated as a factor in jumpballs. The best jump ball guy in recent Michigan history was Jeremy Gallon. Nobody plays 6’9 WRs because out-heightening somebody isn’t a thing.

        IF Gentry is a good blocker that 50+ pound difference might matter and he can exploit a potential matchup against CBs. Big If. If Funchess and Butt are any example, DBs can mostly run around them.

        • GKblue
          Comments: 268
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          GKblue
          Sep 01, 2018 at 1:18 PM

          The jump ball is most often won by body position, timing and yes, the ability to jump. Determination and focus to fight for the ball and to hang on to it are not ht dependant. However, when a man is larger with the speed that is Gentry I’ll be damned if that ain’t an advantage that needs to be exploited.

        • Comments: 1145
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Sep 01, 2018 at 4:04 PM

          Probably Hemingway, who was 6’1″. Not monstrous by any stretch, but significantly bigger than Gallon with an enormous behind that kept defenders a good long distance away from the football..

          The big deal is the ability to hold guys off, away from the ball with length and the strength that frequently comes with it and then exercise your reach advantage.

          It’s just rebounding. who’d you rather have on the boards, Gallon, or Collins/Gentry. Gallon will get a couple because he’s strong and hustles, the big guys will own the boards before it’s over.

          Sure, Barkley was short for a college center, he was also huge around the middle and maybe the world’s all time explosive freak.

          Bigger is almost always better when going for the ball. I know this from first hand experience.

          • Comments: 1145
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            Roanman
            Sep 01, 2018 at 4:13 PM

            Also bumping the little guy with hops will take inches of vertical that he relies on. Bumping a big guy usually just screws up your leap.

            Then there’s the Tom Burleson thing. When whatsisname drafted Burleson for whoever, he was asked why he took Burleson. He answered, “In the fourth quarter when the fast guys are tired, he’ll still be 7’4″.”

            What you really want here is the big guy with hops.

            • GKblue
              Comments: 268
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              GKblue
              Sep 01, 2018 at 5:38 PM

              I really liked the rebounding analogy, establish your territory, make yourself big and go up strong.

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