RUSH OFFENSE vs. UCONN RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan is #9 in rush offense (251 yards/game) and #4 in yards per carry (6.88). The team has rushed for 9 touchdowns, which is tied for #5. Keep in mind that those stats have come against a couple cupcakes. Blake Corum (164 yards, 2 TD) is the leading rusher, and the #2 guy is true freshman C.J. Stokes (96 yards, 1 TD). Star sophomore Donovan Edwards has an ankle injury and may not be available. Connecticut is #94 in rush defense (165 yards allowed/game) but is a little more respectable in yards per carry allowed (3.9). Junior inside linebacker Jackson Mitchell (6’3″, 227 lbs.) leads the team with 39 tackles, followed by senior Ian Swenson (6’2″, 215) with 25. The Huskies have decent size up front but the leading tacklers for loss are three guys with 2 TFLs each. I’m not expecting a dominant performance because Michigan hasn’t necessarily blown the first two teams off the ball, but the Wolverines should win this battle.
PASS OFFENSE vs. UCONN PASS DEFENSE
Michigan got a shot in the arm last week when J.J. McCarthy was named the starter. The team is #55 in passing offense (263 yards/game), and McCarthy has been nearly perfect (15/16 for 259 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT). Ronnie Bell (7 catches, 85 yards, 1 TD) leads the team in receptions, but Roman Wilson (3 catches, 107 yards, 2 TD) has the most yards. Sixteen players have caught passes through two games. Michigan is tied for #49 in sacks allowed with 1.5 per game. Connecticut is #91 in pass defense (253 yards allowed/game) and #112 in passer rating defense. They’ve allowed 8.7 yards/attempt and 6 passing touchdowns with just 1 touchdown, which came via senior linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle (6’3″, 240). The Huskies are #15 in the country in sacks, led by Mitchell with 1.5. Against the two FBS opponents UConn has faced, though, they’ve allowed 71.9% completions, 10.1 yards/attempt, and all 6 touchdowns. Michigan should be able to throw the ball around if they want.
RUSH DEFENSE vs. UCONN RUSH OFFENSE
Despite playing two poor opponents, Michigan is #48 in rushing defense (111 yards allowed/game) and #42 in yards allowed per carry (3.13). Still, caveats apply. Hawaii’s rushing numbers looked a lot better for the Wolverines before a 54-yard touchdown against Michigan’s third-stringers. Otherwise, they had 31 carries for 86 yards. Inside linebackers Junior Colson (12) and Michael Barrett (8) lead the team in tackles, while defensive end Mike Morris leads with 3 tackles for loss. UConn is #34 in rushing offense (205 yards/game) and #39 in yards per carry (5.13). Freshman Nathan Carter (5’9″, 196) has carried the ball 59 times for 384 yards (6.5 yards/carry) and 1 touchdown. UConn’s offensive line averages just over 300 pounds. I like their guards okay, so let’s focus on that. Yep. Guards.
PASS DEFENSE vs. UCONN PASS OFFENSE
Michigan is #8 in passing defense (125 yards allowed/game). They’ve allowed 50.9% completions and 4.4 yards per attempt, the latter of which is #7 nationally. Cornerback Gemon Green got some PFF hype this past week for having the second most coverage snaps in Power Five without allowing a reception so far. And D.J. Turner II at the other corner is more talented. On the front end, Michigan is #12 in sacks with 8 so far, led by . . . six guys with 1 each. Connecticut is #63 in sacks allowed at 1.3 per game. Connecticut is #123 in passing offense (132 yards/game), #120 in yards per attempt (5.4), and #112 in passing efficiency. True freshman Zion Turner (6’0″, 198) will get the start after Penn State transfer QB Taquan Roberson tore his ACL after two pass attempts in week one. Turner is completing 57.1% of his throws for 373 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. The leading receiver is sophomore Aaron Turner (5’8″, 177) with 11 catches for 161 yards and 1 touchdown. There’s not much danger here for Michigan.
- Former Michigan lineman Jack Stewart is a backup OL for the Huskies and former P George Caratan is the punter, averaging 41.3 yards on 14 attempts
- UConn players from the state of Michigan include: Battle Creek LB Brandon Bouyer-Randle
- UConn backup QB Cale Millen is the brother of Colorado State starting QB Clay Millen
LAST TIME THEY PLAYED…
- On September 22, 2013, Michigan beat UConn 24-21
- UConn held a 21-7 lead in the third quarter but allowed 17 unanswered points
- K Brendan Gibbons kicked the go-ahead field goal with 4:36 remaining in the game
- RB Fitzgerald Toussaint ran 24 times for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns
- LB Desmond Morgan notched a key interception and returned it 29 yards
- QB Devin Gardner went 11/23 for 97 yards, 0 TD, and 2 INT
- Michigan is now 2-0 against UConn with victories in 2010 and 2013
- Michigan 45, UConn 9
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