Rush Offense vs. Oregon State Rush Defense
After one week of the 2015 season, Michigan is #112 in rushing offense (76 yards) and #111 in yards per attempt (2.62). It was not a successful week of running the ball against Utah’s defense. Left guard Ben Braden struggled mightily with the Utes’ defensive tackles, and left tackle Mason Cole also had a lot of issues; the right side of the line was better, but Michigan’s longest run was 7 yards. Starter De’Veon Smith (2.76 yards/carry) got 17 carries while it appears Ty Isaac (3.0 yards/carry) is the second-stringer. The wild card is Drake Johnson, who played well at the end of 2014, tore his ACL, and should be returning sometime in the near future. Oregon State played Weber State and allowed just 58 yards on the ground on 18 carries (3.2 yards/carry), but Weber State is an FCS program; last year Oregon State finished #53 in rushing defense. The Beavers run a 3-4 defense that can be tough to handle if you have a dominant nose tackle and/or a weak center, but senior nose tackle Kyle Peko (6’1″, 305 lbs.) is a junior college transfer playing his second game at Oregon State and Michigan center Graham Glasgow is arguably Michigan’s best lineman. Redshirt junior inside linebacker Rommel Mageo is almost halfway to last year’s tackle total (23) with 11 stops in the first game. All of the Beavers’ All-Pac 12 performers graduated, so proven playmakers are hard to come by, but defensive end Lavonte Barnett is the closest thing (18 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks last season). I think Michigan has a chance to blow some holes open, but I won’t trust the line until they put together a complete game.
Advantage: Oregon State
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