Rich Rodriguez took his year to get the team situated (although it cost him the worst season in Michigan football history), but this is the year that the Wolverines will take the Big Ten yet again as the dark horse of the conference.
Tate Forcier will make his freshman miscues at quarterback, as do all freshmen, but he will make up for it with the insight in the pocket that he showed in the Notre Dame win. What will help him lead the Wolverine offense to victory will be learning how to read opposing defenses’ coverage gaps. Once he is able to pick the holes apart, he will be in the perfect position with a great line to protect him.
Michigan should have good wins against Indiana, Illinois, Delaware State, Purdue, and Wisconsin. The Michigan/Michigan State game will be a good game, but the Wolverines won’t have too much trouble.
Games to watch: The Iowa game will be a great game. Iowa will be a surprise to the Wolverines, and a close match-up will give Michigan a true defensive test. Michigan wins it 24-17, despite being on the road.
Penn State will be Forcier’s toughest test this season. Joe Paterno’s ever-tough defense hasn’t failed yet this season, and will be the team to beat in the Big Ten. You can’t count out the Wolverine’s offensive line and stout running game. The Penn State offense lost some key players last season, and the Wolverine defense, once it tightens up its coverage game, will be able to handle the Nittany Lions. Michigan wins 14-10.
Obviously, with Jim Tressel leading his Buckeye’s into Ann Arbor, the city will be on fire. What has been consistently the game of the year for the Wolverines won’t be their roughest match-up this season, not to say that it won’t be a fantastic game. Terrell Pryor is used to a spread offense, and will be astounded, even this late in the year, by the Wolverine defense. Wolverines close out an undefeated season 24-21.