The Michigan Wolverines are 6-2 on the season and 3-2 in the Big Ten. After last Saturday’s win over Rutgers, Jim Harbaugh & Co. may be looking at life beyond John O’Korn with Brandon Peters’ impressive debut.
Michigan is bowl eligible with last Saturday’s win, but will probably finish 3rd at best in their division.
This Saturday, the Wolverines will welcome Minnesota (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten) into the Big House for another nighttime showdown. The Golden Gophers are in their first season under former Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck. Minnesota is currently coming off a 17-10 loss to Iowa, dropping them to 1-4 in their last five games. Michigan will hope to use that negative momentum to their advantage.
Michigan last faced Minnesota in 2015 and won 29-26 in TCF Bank Stadium.
After last Saturday’s impressive debut against Rutgers it is officially time for Michigan to take a good long look at Brandon Peters since he is younger and, from a small sample size, a lot less mistake-prone than John O’Korn. How does Michigan pick up the win and continue Minnesota’s slide? Here’s how…
COMMIT TO PETERS
After a strong first audition for the “quiet and calm” Brandon Peters on Saturday, it’s easy to say he will more than likely be the starting quarterback for the rest of the season and moving forward. That being said, because of his lack of experience, he won’t be perfect. Chances are he will throw a pick or fumble the ball eventually.
Minnesota’s defense averages 2.12 takeaways per game and rookie quarterbacks can be prone to mistakes that lead to turnovers so expect a Minnesota takeaway at some point. If you’re Jim Harbaugh, resist the urge to bench him if things go awry. John O’Korn has done more harm than good, he won’t make things any better if you put him in.
HEADS UP DEFENSE
Minnesota has split each of their last two contests, but they allowed just 17 points in each game. With a new quarterback and an an overall hit-and-miss offense all season, points will most likely be hard to come by.
In order to take as much pressure off the offense as possible, the defense must hold down Minnesota’s offense that has had struggles of its own, particularly in the passing game. Michigan’s defense gives up an average of 18 points per game this season, they will want every bit of that to give their offense a chance to succeed.
TAKES TWO TO TANGO
Minnesota’s offense averages 1.5 turnovers per game. Michigan’s defense averages 1.25 takeaways per game. Michigan needs to challenge itself to get a second turnover.
This one goes back to making things easier for a freshman quarterback. Beyond just the fact that a turnover is a huge gain, Peters will more than likely allow a turnover at one point this game. For the sake of both controlling the ball and helping Peters’ confidence, having that extra possession could be pivotal.
- DATE: Saturday, November 4
- KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX
- LINE: MICH -15.5
- O/U: 41