Michigan is back in action this weekend and looking to extend its record to 3-1 against a very good BYU team in the Big House. It's the week before conference play begins for the Wolverines, so getting off to a good start during the tailend of non-conference play is obviously important.
Last Meeting: BYU defeats Michigan 24-17 during the 1984 Holiday Bowl
What a win means for Michigan: As stated before, this game is important for Michigan to win if it wants to change the perspective of itself to the outside looking in. Of course, a loss doesn't ruin the season by any means, but bouncing back and beating a good football team like BYU is huge for momentum going into a big night game in Maryland to open conference play. Michigan still has a lot to prove regardless of outcome but it could start to expedite that process if it gets a win here.
What a win means for BYU: A victory over Michigan would mean a lot for this program. Suffering a small setback in a tough loss against UCLA, the Cougars will be looking to get back to its winning ways. So far it's been a season of magical endings and it will be looking to build upon that with a win.
Player to watch: On the offensive side of the ball, the player to watch isn't some hidden surprise and is fairly obvious. It will live and die on the arm of the quarterback, Tanner Mangum. Obviously losing a guy like Taysom Hill for the season is rough for this team. However, Mangum has stepped up and performed better than expected. Of course, you can't forget his late-game heroics against Nebraska and Boise State as well. He's capable of the big play and Michigan needs to be weary of it. Three games into the 2015 season, Mangum has thrown for 664 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. Mangum is a quaterback that can make plays with his as well. We saw how effective a scrambling quarterback was against Michigan during the first season of the game, but you get the sense that this team will be prepared. BYU also holds the advantage by having a supreme size advantage with the wide receivers. Look for Mangum to sling it down field.
As an extra, IF Travis Tuiloma plays this weekend, watch out for him. He is arguably BYU's best player on defense on could change the complexion of the entire Cougar defensive line going forward. Tuiloma was expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a knee injury suffered during the first game of the season against Nebraska.
What they're saying (All quotes taken from BYUCougars.com): Head coach, Bronco Medenhall on familairity with Harbaugh and Michigan: "Familiarity with Michigan and Harbaugh: I don’t have any ties or affiliations to Michigan or Harbaugh. The closest thing is if Greg Mattison is there. Brady Hoke was his graduate assistant and I was Brad Hoke’s graduate assistant. If Greg is still there I’m like a grandson to him through Brady Hoke."
Defensive line Graham Rowley on Michigan's power: "We’re ready for that. We thought UCLA was going to do more of that, so we prepared ourselves. Power involves not as much movement or running around. You just dig into the dirt and power back. I’m excited for that."