The Michigan Rushing Attack versus the Notre Dame Run-defense
Against UConn, Michigan had 61 rushing attempts (4.7 ypc, Denard had 29 of those attempts) for 287 yards and no fumbles, compared to just 22 passing attempts.
The U-M ball carriers (Michael Shaw and Vincent Smith) equally split 29 carries for 3.4 ypc, while Denard matched that 29 for 6.8 ypc.
U-M was 14-17 on 3rd down ... 10 of those 17 3rd down plays were on the ground.
Coach Rod's 'big beef' against the OL -- it didn't get downfield enough and block those darn UConn DBs! To us, that's a bit of an lol, IMO.
The Notre Dame defense held Purdue to only 102 rushing yards on 32 attempts for a 3.2 yards per carry average. Tackling was solid -- Notre Dame's inside backers had nine tackles each in the game. But Irish were vulnerable on the perimeter -- they gave up some costly plays on the outside (rut-roh!).
THE EDGE: as long as nothing unexpected happens (serious rain, or injury): Michigan. The perimeter is where Denard makes his hay ... ... ... and, BTW, we think Vincent Smith may be on the verge of a big game - he showed signs last Saturday.
The Michigan Passing Attack versus the Notre Dame Pass-defense
When U-M took the the air, Denard Robinson was a very-very good 19-22 for 186 yards and a TD, no ints. Getting open and hanging onto the ball were WR Darryl Stonum (5 catches), TE Kevin Koger (3 catches), slots Kelvin Grady (3 catches) and Terrance Robinson (1 catch that went for 43 yards).
The Michigan line gave up no sacks.
Michigan did miss, and likely will miss on Saturday: Roy Roundtree who took a shot to the ribs and was coughing up blood. However, Roundtree wins the "Molk Award" here. In yesterday's teleconference Rich Rod said Roy "feels fine" and is hoping for medical clearance to play Saturday. That's like Molk saying last season in the PSU game that he "feels fine" except the damn knee won't support him but he's determined to keep playing.
Meanwhile, against the Irish defense Purdue QB Robert Marve was 31-42 for 220 yards ... but the Irish intercepted him twice and sacked him four times ... and Marve was just 5-17 on 3rd down.
THE EDGE: Despite Irish feelings that the U-M O-line is 'soft' ... we think it'll hold just just fine on Saturday. However, since this is Denard's first big road start, we'll worry just a little and call this one: Slight Edge to Michigan.
Misc: U-M had just one penalty vs UConn (a personal foul, so no 'procedural' penalties). Also, U-M was an excellent 4-4 in the red zone, with 3 TDs and a FG.
OVERALL EDGE: Michigan. We think, barring injury or heavy rain, U-M puts up 30 again.
Who has the Edge? Michigan O vs. Notre Dame D
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