Know Your Foe Q&A: Michigan Wolverines

To get more insight into the Buffaloes' next opponent, we caught up with Joshua Henschke, beat writer for The Michigan Insider on the Scout.com network...

Michigan outscored its first two opponents – Hawaii and UCF – by 97 points, so clearly the Wolverines got out to the start they were hoping for. What were your main takeaways from those two victories?

Joshua Henschke: "For me, it was how the quarterback position played over the course of the two games. Against UCF, the Knights did a really good job of limiting the run game, so it allowed Michigan to open up the passing game more. Outside of the single blemish the first play against Hawaii, Wilton Speight has looked rock solid as a starting quarterback. In terms of his development, he is way ahead of where Jake Rudock was last season - and that's a scary fact. He has been cool, calm and has made veteran decisions. It'll be interesting to see whether his play keeps up with better competition coming to Michigan Stadium on Saturday."

As you alluded to, the Wolverines have yet to go up against a tough opponent yet... what are the main question marks that remain for this Michigan team?

"Can Wilton Speight keep improving? I think that's the biggest one for me, I could talk about the linebacker position until I'm blue (no pun intended) in the face, but the quarterback position will always be a topic of interest in Ann Arbor. I'm about one more week away from no longer considering it a question mark in my mind, Speight has been that good. However, for the sake of fairness, I probably should bring up the linebacker position. With a group that's quite inexperienced, I'm interested to see whether they can keep up the play and success they've seen during the first two weeks of the season."

The outside perception of Jim Harbaugh is that he has an odd, somewhat eccentric personality... how much of that is calculated? And what, in your eyes, makes him such a successful coach?

"I'm sure some of it is calculated, Michigan was on the verge of obscurity before Harbaugh came to town. I think it's safe to say that he's definitely put Michigan back on the map. Of course, winning goes along way as well. I just think he has this unique ability to wring out every ounce of effort in every player he coaches. He demands excellence and, somehow, he gets it. I think people buy in to his mindset."

Who are Michigan's top playmakers, on both sides of the ball?

"Number one, Jabrill Peppers. It's unlikely you'll see him play offense this week but he is certainly capable of being a three-way player. He is an electric kick returner that always seems to be on the verge of breaking the big one. On the defensive line, you have Chris Wormley. He is a monster and he blocked two field goals last week.

"On the offensive side of the ball, you have wide receivers Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson. Both players really came into their own last season and put up some impressive numbers. Chesson is blazing fast, so if he beats a defensive back on the route and no one is there to protect, you're in trouble. Of course, you have the All American tight end Jake Butt. He's probably going to be coming into this game a little angry as he dropped two passes last week (a rarity for him) and wants to make up for it."

Do the Wolverines have any injuries of note?

"Michigan will likely be without two starters on the defensive line, Taco Charlton and Bryan Mone. It's possible that U-M could also be without Jourdan Lewis, an All American defensive back. Lewis was held out of the season opener by Harbaugh for precautionary reasons and last week he didn't play as he had a muscle strain. We'll see if he plays this week."

Lastly, what is your prediction for Saturday's game?

"I think Michigan wins this one 42-14. They have a lot of things they want to clean up this week and Colorado will provide an excellent test to do just that."


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