Notre Lame Under the Lights Preview

Overview:

  • In 2011 NDs offense is entirely based on passing, even in the sloppy loss to South Florida they are still ranked 5th nationally in passing yards.
  • Unlike many passing attacks in the country the threat is not as much the QB\QB’s but rather WR Michael Floyd who finished week 1’s loss with 154 yards and 2TDs.
  • ND’s running back Cierre Wood managed over 100 yards in the losing effort at home(see a trend ND=Losers).
  • ND shot itself in the foot with 5 turnovers in the Home opener loss.

Key Match-ups:

Michael Floyd Vs. Troy Woolfork and JT Floyd- Like I mentioned earlier ND is one of the few teams in the country who’s offense is run through a WR and lucky for them Michael Floyd is pretty decent(When not running routes under the influence). So while there are big question at QB for Notre Lame, the bigger question for Michigan will be can Troy, JT and company cover Michael Floyd. Unless they both play their hearts out Floyd will pick up yards but the great thing about ND is that they don’t have too many additional threats on their offense. Kyle Rudolph has gone to the NFL(good thing he killed us last year) leaving only Theo Riddick(who had an issue with drops week 1) and Tyler Eifert(who had a decent game with 93 yards on 6 receptions). Additionally ND is having issues with the ground game(83rd in the land) leaving Floyd as the only true threat on offense. Because of the lack of additional big threats and struggling run game, look for Michigan to give Troy and JT Safety help over the top on most plays which will help limit the damage Floyd can do. One last note, this is not the secondary from last season JT Woolfork and Avery are CBs with experience and in week 1 have done a good job of limiting big plays and keeping players in front of them.

Michigan Rushing Game Vs. Notre Lames DL and Lb core- One of the big successes of week 1 was the Michigan running game. Great efforts where turned in by Fitzgerald Toussaint and Michael Shaw which resulted in better protection of Drob(Limited his need to run) and clock control (something we have not seen in a few years). The Wolverines will Look to continue the rush assault this week against Notre Lame. But they will get more resistance in week 2 against the Irish who limited South Florida RB Demetris Murray to an abysmal 14 carries for 41 yards. Unfortunately for the Irish, the Michigan Run game is much improved and consists of the 5 headed monster(Drob and 4 superb running backs). If ND wants to focus on the running game they may be able to limit our RB’s but then who will be focusing on Drob? And if they focus on containing Drob then who will be in the middle stopping the run? And if they commit to both look for Drob to hit them over the top all game. This is one of the reasons the Michigan offense will be giving D coordinators fits all year, we have too many threats to stop.

Final Thoughts:

For the first game under the lights look for the Maize and Blue to really light up the Irish. The last 2 years have resulted in wins for Michigan, but in very close contests. Look for Michigan to take advantage of this sloppy Notre Lame team forcing turnovers and beating the Irish consistently in the pass game. Drob will have a huge game and Michigan will defeat Notre Lame with ease.

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