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3Sep 2015
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2015 Season Predictions

Here are my predictions for the upcoming year:

Leading Rusher
I think Michigan will run the ball pretty well this year, but no running back is likely to run away with the yardage lead. There are three or four backs who could emerge as the leader, but my guess is that the week one starter, De’veon Smith, edges out the others.
Prediction: De’Veon Smith, 700 yards

Leading Receiver
The receiving corps is underwhelming, and the only big-play threats are guys who are totally unproven at this point. I’ll go with the consistent guy who lacks flash in redshirt junior Amara Darboh.
Prediction: Amara Darboh, 650 yards

Leading Tackler
Senior Joe Bolden finished his junior year second on the team with 102 tackles. The leading tackler (Jake Ryan) left, and the other inside linebacker (Desmond Morgan) isn’t quite as athletic as Bolden. I’ll give Bolden the edge here, and I think these two are really the only realistic candidates unless injuries occur.
Prediction: Joe Bolden, 100 tackles

Hit the jump for the rest.
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3Sep 2015
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Preview: Michigan at Utah

Utah girls
Rush Offense vs. Utah Rush Defense

Michigan returns five offensive linemen with significant starting experience, although a few of them are playing new positions and last year’s starting center left with a year of eligibility remaining. From left to right, we should see sophomore Mason Cole (12 career starts), redshirt junior Ben Braden (12), fifth year senior Graham Glasgow (24), redshirt junior Kyle Kalis (16), and redshirt junior Erik Magnuson (13). That’s 77 combined starts on the line, and while Glasgow played guard last year, he started nine games at center during the 2013 season. New offensive line coach (and offensive coordinator) Tim Drevno should make a positive difference. Michigan’s offensive linemen have talked about running a lot of zone, but it would be a surprise if they don’t work in some traps and powers, let alone an occasional counter. On the other side, Utah’s best defensive unit is their line, but they were more effective at rushing the passer than they were at stopping the run. Junior defensive end Hunter Dimick made 14.5 tackles for loss, and sophomore defensive tackle Lowell Lotuleilei is stout in the middle. Senior linebacker Jared Norris is the star of the back seven after making 116 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks last season. Michigan has to improve its running game, and I think they will with the improved offensive line and a solid stable of running backs.
Advantage: Michigan

Hit the jump for the rest of the Utah preview.
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2Sep 2015
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2015 Season Countdown List

Phew! This all started on May 31st with John O’Korn, and now I can breathe a sigh of relief. After 91 profiles of Michigan football players, yet another season of the countdown is complete. Some players have disappeared (Dennis Norfleet, Ondre Pipkins, Dan Samuelson), some have suffered injuries (Bryan Mone), and some have already seemingly outplayed their rankings in practice. In the meantime, I spent a couple weeks on vacation, started two-a-day football practices at the beginning of August, and launched the new website. Way back in May, I scheduled this post to go up on September 1 – here it is 24 hours late. I hope you enjoyed the countdown, and Go Blue!

(Due to the length of the post, please hit the jump and click on any of the names for their individual profiles. Profiles #21-61 will take you to the old site due to some technical issues with the transfer.)
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2Sep 2015
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2015 Season Countdown: #1 Jake Rudock

Jake Rudock

Jake Rudock
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 208 lbs.
High school: Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas
Position: Quarterback
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #15
Last year: Rudock was a redshirt junior at Iowa. He started twelve games and went 213/345 for 2,436 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions; he also ran 67 times for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns.

I wrote up a post on Rudock when it was announced he was coming to Michigan back in April (LINK). He was Iowa’s starter for the past two years, but in the early off-season, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz named C.J. Beathard the starter. Rudock started thinking about playing his final season elsewhere. Michigan’s coaching staff was initially not interested until they got a firsthand look at what the current roster of quarterbacks offered; spring practice convinced them they needed another option.

Hit the jump for the rest of the post on Rudock.
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