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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).
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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