2019 Season Predictions

2019 Season Predictions


August 28, 2019
Joshua Uche

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Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s time! Fighting in the maize and blue corner, it’s . . . the 2019 season predictions. You can check out my 2018 season predictions and how they fared here (LINK).

LEADING RUSHER
I am not confident in this pick whatsoever, but I’m sticking with what I predicted a couple weeks ago: Tru Wilson edges out Zach Charbonnet. Charbonnet is the most talented back to land at Michigan in years, if not decades, so I’m very willing to be wrong on this one. In fact, I want to be wrong. Please prove me wrong by rushing for 850 yards, Zach Charbonnet…
Prediction: Tru Wilson, 700 yards

Hit the jump for the rest of the prognostications.

LEADING RECEIVER
Collins has reportedly been the best receiver on the team and some say the best player on the squad. He’s not a speed demon, so I have him a hair below 1,000 yards on the year.
Prediction: Nico Collins, 990 yards

LEADING TACKLER
This isn’t rocket science, but the middle linebacker often racks up the tackles. I expect Josh Ross to have around 80 takedowns.
Prediction: Josh Ross, 80 tackles

LEADING SACKER
Joshua Uche was the beneficiary of teams having to prepare for Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary last year, but this year there will be no such stars to focus on. Even in an expanded role, I think Uche’s numbers might stay about where they were last year.
Prediction: 7 sacks

LEADING INTERCEPTOR
Lavert Hill is Michigan’s #1 corner, and big-time players have to make big-time plays. Quarterbacks will pick on other cornerbacks, but Hill will still be an opportunistic player.
Prediction: Lavert Hill, 2 interceptions

ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM
Prediction: Shea Patterson, Ben Bredeson, Lavert Hill, Khaleke Hudson, Will Hart

ALL-AMERICAN
Prediction: Ben Bredeson

LEADING SCORER (NON-KICKER)
Prediction: Nico Collins

BREAKOUT OFFENSIVE PLAYER
The two freshmen are going to have breakouts, and these choices aren’t really a surprise. Running back Zach Charbonnet is going to make people notice, even if he doesn’t get the vast majority of playing time; and Mike Sainristil is probably going to start at slot receiver.
Prediction: Zach Charbonnet, Mike Sainristil

BREAKOUT DEFENSIVE PLAYER
I think the guy who is going to make some noise is sophomore Aidan Hutchinson. At 6’6″ and 278 lbs., Hutchinson is a massive guy with impressive technique and good athleticism.
Prediction: Aidan Hutchinson

MOST DISAPPOINTING OFFENSIVE PLAYER
Tarik Black posted a tweet this past off-season about this being his final year of college football, but from everything I’ve heard, he’s still expected to be a backup. Hopefully he escapes the run of foot injuries he’s faced over the past couple years, but being the #4 receiver isn’t anything special for a guy who was rumored to be #1 going into 2018. Hopefully he sticks around for 2020, perhaps after one or two other guys leave for the NFL.
Prediction: Tarik Black

MOST DISAPPOINTING DEFENSIVE PLAYER
You guys are going to hate me for this, but I’m going for 5-star freshman Daxton Hill. I often bring up the name of Dymonte Thomas, another highly touted recruit who struggled early in his career. I think Hill will make a smoother transition than Thomas, if only because Hill actually played defensive back in high school instead of linebacker. But safeties often redshirt or just tread water for a year or two before getting their feet under them.
Prediction: Daxton Hill

THE BIG FINISH

August 31 vs. Middle Tennessee State: WIN. Michigan will be too much for MTSU on both sides of the ball.

September 7 vs. Army: WIN. Army could make it scary, but I think the talent will win out for Michigan.

September 21 @ Wisconsin: WIN. Wisconsin’s run game is scary for a team who lost a lot in the front seven, but I think Michigan wins a tight battle.

September 28 vs. Rutgers: WIN. Rutgers is generally not good at things.

October 5 vs. Iowa: WIN. I know people are high on Iowa’s quarterback, and they always have a good defense, but I don’t think they’ll have enough firepower offensively.

October 12 @ Illinois: WIN. If Brandon Peters beats Michigan . . . yikes. But I don’t think it will happen.

October 19 @ Penn State: WIN. Penn State should be good defensively, but they lost a lot in the off-season when it comes to offense.

October 26 vs. Notre Dame: WIN. I would probably chalk this up as a loss if it were on the road, but Michigan should win at home.

November 2 @ Maryland: WIN. The son of Fred Jackson getting a chance to play against Michigan is . . . something. But the Terps don’t have enough talent to pull the upset in Locksley vs. Gattis.

November 16 vs. Michigan State: WIN. I don’t see where MSU’s improvement is going to come. Also, why do they still have athletics programs after how badly they’ve screwed up?

November 23 @ Indiana: WIN. It won’t be a cake walk, but Michigan has too much talent on the edges for Indiana to keep up.

November 30 vs. Ohio State: LOSS. Sorry. No 12-0 regular season for Michigan. Ohio State is the top dog in this rivalry until they’re not. I hope I’m wrong.

OVERALL: 11-1.

22 comments

  1. GrandLake
    Comments: 21
    Joined: 8/22/2019
    GrandLake
    Aug 28, 2019 at 9:03 AM

    Going to be interesting to see how the new offense does esp early in the season. Some of the games which could be very tight – Wisc PSU and Iowa – become far more manageable if the offense is clicking since all of them will likely struggle to score points. ND being in October just looks strange on schedule but prob better for UM than first game of year.
    I think UM beats OSU but does stumble somewhere earlier – there are just a lot of tough weeks in the last 2 months of the schedule and a fair amount of questions on the UM D.

    OSU does have is an incredibly favorable schedule – they play no one on the road unless Neb actually becomes a decent team this year and they have Cinn and Miami OH as OOC games.

    Don’t disagree on Hill – safety just a tough position for any freshman and would consider the year a success if he comes n and just grades out at acceptable rate

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1447
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Aug 28, 2019 at 9:11 AM

    I like your player picks, but I’m going with Wilson as a place holder. After Wisconsin. Charbonet will increase his snaps every game after

    I also don’t think we’ll go undefeated. ND has both the offense and QB to give us fits, and the D to slow us down a bit; hopefully Kelly screws it up
    Agree on ohio ☹️
    I think we beat sparty at home, but if they can stay healthy – yikes. Dantonio with an experienced offense, senior QB, and rock-solid D should make a run in the Division

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 265
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Aug 28, 2019 at 9:31 AM

    Its EXTREMELY difficult to go thru a season undefeated. I don’t care how much talent you have, great coaching, etc. Its damn ass hard to go an entire season and not lose a game. Hence.
    I won’t be surprised if Michigan loses at least 2: MSU & OSU. Both of these teams KNOW they can beat the Wolverines at The Big. House & MSU has a ton of experience. They’ll come in with complete confidence and not be intimidated at all, dantonio has a way of getting his team to play with an attitude & edge – something Harbaughs teams don’t seem too have in the big games and OSU”s new QB will be a seasoned vet by years end.
    Both OSU & MSU have a lot of experience beating the Wolverines in AA and OSU has tons of talent to go with it too.

    In the Big 10 West? An Apparent abundance of parity hence the West Champ will be made by who they don’t play from the East. Wisconsin is thus eliminated as their 3 East games are OSU, MSU & Michigan.

    Time 4 Kikoff…………….INTJohn

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 265
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Aug 28, 2019 at 9:34 AM

    Its EXTREMELY difficult to go thru a season undefeated. I don’t care how much talent you have, great coaching, etc. Its damn ass hard to go an entire season and not lose a game. Hence.
    I won’t be surprised if Michigan loses at least 2: MSU & OSU. Both of these teams KNOW they can beat the Wolverines at The Big. House & MSU has a ton of experience. They’ll come in with complete confidence and not be intimidated at all, dantonio has a way of getting his team to play with an attitude & edge – something Harbaughs teams don’t seem too have in the big games and OSU”s new QB will be a seasoned vet by years end.
    Both OSU & MSU have a lot of experience beating the Wolverines in AA and OSU has tons of talent to go with it too.

    In the Big 10 West? An Apparent abundance of parity hence the West Champ will be made by who they don’t play from the East. Wisconsin is thus eliminated as their 3 East games are OSU, MSU & Michigan.

    Time 4 Kikoff…………….INTJohn

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 5151
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 28, 2019 at 9:53 AM

    Always enjoy these.

    I’m on Team Turner for RB but we’re all just guessing.

  6. Lanknows
    Comments: 5151
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 28, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    9-3 is my stupid prediction for the season. I hope it will be a fun 9-3. An entertaining offense and a good chance of toppling OSU.

    I break the season down into 3 parts. 4 toss-ups, 4 easy wins, and 4 competitive conference games.

    4-0 vs MTSU, Army, Rutgers, Illinois.

    I know Army deserves respect but nobody beats Don Brown on the ground.

    3-1 vs MSU, Iowa, @Maryland, @Indiana

    The second half of the schedule is brutal. Harbaugh doesn’t lose to inferior teams very often but they’re due to drop one they shouldn’t. Maybe Iowa or Maryland. I don’t know which one but more likely than not there’s an upset in there somewhere.

    2-2 against the tossups (@Wisc, @PSU, ND, OSU)

    ND and @PSU look like the toughest spots. ND has the offense to exploit our pass deficiencies and PSU is on the road with a strong defense. I’m skeptical of Wisconsin, even at their place. Losing too much at OL and QB. I don’t need to say anything about OSU but I like our chances. The Big Ten is too strong for them to save Fields. I’m glad this is the last game of the year and in AA.

    I’m hoping that’s enough to eke out a tie-breaker over OSU and make the Rose Bowl. Probably not, but that’s secondary. Success is anything that includes beating OSU.

    Of course my real prediction is + or – 2 wins from 10-2. Fate and randomness will have their way.

    Beat OSU,

  7. Lanknows
    Comments: 5151
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 28, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    9-3 is my stupid prediction for the season. I hope it will be a fun 9-3. An entertaining offense and a good chance of toppling OSU.

    I break the season down into 3 parts. 4 toss-ups, 4 easy wins, and 4 competitive conference games.

    4-0 vs MTSU, Army, Rutgers, Illinois.

    I know Army deserves respect but nobody beats Don Brown on the ground.

    3-1 vs MSU, Iowa, @Maryland, @Indiana

    The second half of the schedule is brutal. Harbaugh doesn’t lose to inferior teams very often but they’re due to drop one they shouldn’t. Maybe Iowa or Maryland. I don’t know which one but more likely than not there’s an upset in there somewhere.

    2-2 against the tossups (@Wisc, @PSU, ND, OSU)

    ND and @PSU look like the toughest spots. ND has the offense to exploit our pass deficiencies and PSU is on the road with a strong defense. I’m skeptical of Wisconsin, even at their place. Losing too much at OL and QB. I don’t need to say anything about OSU but I like our chances. The Big Ten is too strong for them to save Fields. I’m glad this is the last game of the year and in AA.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5151
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 28, 2019 at 10:17 AM

      I hope that could be enough to eke out a tie-breaker over OSU and make the Rose Bowl.

      Of course my real prediction is + or – 2 wins from 10-2. Fate and randomness will have their way.

      Beat OSU. That’s success.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 50
      Joined: 10/3/2015
      UM2013
      Aug 28, 2019 at 11:31 AM

      Agree with the categorization, although hoping for 3-1 against the “tossups”. @Wis or @PSU would be tough losses – both have QB issues, and should be games where our NFL talent at WR wins out (i.e., both teams have strong defenses, but at some point if our 2nd and 3rd WRs are NFL talents, we should be able to take advantage).

      Thunder mentioned this after last year’s OSU game, but Meyer does a great job of running a play or concept until a team has proven they can stop it – I would like to see us do something similar when push comes to shove this year. Line up DPJ / Black / Collins and exploit any 1v1 matchup over and over – it’s not going to work every time, but very few teams have 3 corners capable of winning 1v1 matchups consistently, particularly against NFL caliber receivers.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5151
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 28, 2019 at 11:48 AM

        I like our chances against Wisconsin. That’s not even a true toss-up to me but I know they are a strong program and everyone seems confident the machine will keep cruising. It’s like predicting the San Antonio Spurs to miss the NBA playoffs, but I think Wisconsin is poised for a big drop-off.

        I think PSU will sort out their offensive limitations by midseason. They have talent. They have home field. That’s a true toss-up to me. Maybe Don Brown has cracked that nut. I do see it as a good opportunity to go 3-1.

        I wish Notre Dame was in week 2. In the middle of that relentless late season stretch it’s a big ask. I think it’s our most likely loss because they’ll have the talent and passing game to exploit our limitations at DT and DB and limited pass rush at DE. Moreover, Michigan won’t have seen anything like them up to that point. They’re fortunate to play us when they do.

        OSU obviously has the talent too. Their DEs are terrifying. It’s probably wishful thinking on my part to predict a win here but we’ve been close enough times to feel like this is our year. I’m skeptical that Fields survives unscathed to the trip to Ann Arbor.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1447
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Aug 28, 2019 at 4:02 PM

      PennSt offense lost everyone. I don’t expect them to score much on Brown

      I wish we played ohio earlier: Fields will not have peaked, and – if we lose – we could still recover in the poles with a few games to boost the resume

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5151
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 28, 2019 at 6:27 PM

      If Clifford is good PSU will be good. He should be at least decent – he’s in the same class as McCaffrey and ranked similarly. Stevens was threatened enough to leave.

      Hamler is an impact player at maybe the one position (besides QB) that’s hardest to neutralize. Their TE was all conference as a freshman. Shorter is a 5-star recruit entering soph year. RBs don’t matter but they’re probably glad they have a 5-star anyway. They return a couple high quality interior OL. etc.

      PSU may have some holes to work through early in the year but the talent level is very high. The defense can carry them through early. They should be undefeated when they host us, if they can survive the trip to Iowa. They’ll be better later in the year than early once they figure out what Clifford can and can’t do and which of their many talented skill guys to lean on.

      I feel the opposite about OSU. Fields can lean on all the proven talent around him right away. He’s been there since January. Plug and play – their offense will look good right away. The question is if a big run-first QB will last the full season going up against defenses like Wisc, PSU, and MSU. And Day is a first year head coach. That’s probably not going to matter early in the year but as issues pop up over the course of the season how will he handle the demands and pressure. I like them exactly where we get them.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1447
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Aug 28, 2019 at 7:07 PM

        That’s a big “if” regarding Clifford

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5151
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 28, 2019 at 9:25 PM

        very big IF. McSorely was a good player. But the main knock people have on them – replacing skill position talent – especially for WRs that probably underperformed and RB – is one I wouldn’t worry much about at a program that recruits at their/our level. Especially when they keep arguably their most dangerous guy.

  8. Lanknows
    Comments: 5151
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 28, 2019 at 10:18 AM

    I hope that could be enough to eke out a tiebreaker over OSU and make the Rose Bowl.

    Of course my real prediction is plus or minus 2 from a 10 win season. Fate and randomness will have their way.

    Beat OSU. That is success.

  9. Avatar
    Comments: 1184
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Aug 28, 2019 at 3:49 PM

    This is an 8-4 defense, but probably a 10-2 offense, maybe a little better if everyone can stay healthy. How will that hash out in real games? 9-3, maybe 10-2. We have 5 games that can be considered relatively soft (and even then, three of those are on the road), and seven that are quite loseable. Will we go 6-1 in our tough games? I doubt it very much. Not with a questionable pass rush and thin secondary.

    A big question will be what difference makers emerge on offense. Patterson needs to be one, both in how he’s used and how he performs, especially in the 4th quarter of tight games.

    And if Dax Hill “treads water” for 2 years before he’s ready to play, that will be a HUGE fail. A guy with that much talent should be playing significantly as a freshman and starting as a sophomore. Only getting one quality year out of your elite recruits is a recipe for perennial 2nd place finishes.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5151
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 28, 2019 at 4:02 PM

      A 10-2 offense — So you’re saying top 10 nationally? Not impossible but — that’s a big leap for a first time OC.

  10. JC
    Comments: 247
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Aug 28, 2019 at 4:08 PM

    As far as our record, I have no clue what’s going to happen. I’m picturing a 10-2 season, potentially less if any of the following are injured: interior DL, CBs or OTs. I don’t think I can predict a better record for the year when we haven’t had a better regular season record with arguably better teams who may have had arguably worse coaching.

    For rushing I think Tru will have 500 yards, majority coming from the beginning to middle of the season. Turner will have 550 yards, and Charbonnet will have 750 with the majority coming from the end of the season.

    For receiving, I truly have no clue. I would lean to DPJ or Collins, but I don’t know.

    Breakout defensive player I feel like we have a few good candidates, but for fun I’ll go with Ross. I feel like he’s going to have a monster year.

    Most disappointing defensive player, as much as it would kill our team, I feel like will be Dwumfor or Kemp. We’re going to rely on them too much and as the season goes on they’ll be worn out and less effective.

    #2 Patterson

    #1 Jeter

  11. Avatar
    Comments: 1208
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Aug 28, 2019 at 4:58 PM

    I think Wisconsin takes advantage of our young defensive linemen, runs on us, controls the football and beats us up physically at Camp Randall.

    I can see a loss at home against Notre Dame. Kelly has a deep, talented football team with some serious goals of their own.

    I don’t have the first inkling about the Buckeyes this year.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1447
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Aug 28, 2019 at 6:45 PM

      Only reason I’m not buying the Wisconsin thing is QB (ok, WR too). Brown feasts on one-dimensional offenses

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5151
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 28, 2019 at 9:34 PM

      Wisconsin is churning over a lot at OL. I know it’s a factory over there but they’re running out a convert from DL and a former walk-on. It’s not going to be a PROBLEM but it doesn’t seem like the typical next man up situation. I don’t see a dominant OL, despite 2 excellent players.

      With a questionable QB situation and low level talent at receiver teams can probably stack against the run and it might work. Taylor’s YPC should plummet.

  12. Avatar
    Comments: 11
    Joined: 11/23/2015
    Burge333
    Aug 29, 2019 at 5:58 AM

    A good prediction. As much as I love UM, until we beat OSU we can’t predict that they will. I will leave OSU out because at some point the bounces have to flow UM’s way. The only thing I will say is that the best QB wins the game in these series (UM hasn’t had any seemingly this century, aside from Ruddock). I think OSU is vulnerable there. If Fields is mostly a runner… That bodes damn well for Michigan.

    By all accounts this will be UM’s best oline in a very long time, huge potential and experience at receiver, running back is unknown but lots of potential and different guys can play different roles. It all hinges on Patterson, if he is the top QB in the Big 10 we win the conference.

    Everyone seems to worry about the defence, we are replacing some really high level guys, but we return a lot of speed and experience. Don Brown has always had a strong, highly ranked defence. If they are top 25 we will do bloody well.

    I will say 10-1 going into OSU. Not sure who they lose to but I don’t think it will be Sparty. They remind me a lot of the Michigan teams that didn’t have an average OL, good defence gets old, demoralised and beat up with no OL.

    If Harbaugh is going to have a year, this is it! If we make the playoffs recruiting will be great (might get the top 7 -10) players in state and some high level players nationally. If we get whipped by OSU, I worry we will be looking for a new coach soon. I am not convinced we can get better than Harbaugh. Go Blue!

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