07.Sep.2015 Oregon State @ Michigan Preview
I think Gary Andersen summed this game up best, when he said the Beavers will leave Michigan knowing exactly how physical a team they are, and each player will know how physical they are, too. He said something like, “put your pants on or get run out of the stadium.” lol. Michigan is an old, mature team and they’re at home. This is some David and Goliath shit right here.
The defensive side of the ball looked physical last week, so I expect them to be fine, provided the Beav’s offense doesn’t put them in a bind. The offensive line needs to get more push. Period. Isaac’s mulligan card has been played. He has to go all out or sit. Josh Mitchell has a lot of Riley left in him, and he needs an exorcism, statim. The wide receivers need to do a better job blocking on the edge, too. Left some big plays out there last week on sweeps and wide plays because of soft blocking. Again, remnants of Riley. If the Beavs leave plays on the field this week they will lose.
The offense had a one step forward, two steps back rhythm last week. That’s an easy way to put your QB in a bind, which won’t end well on the road. Beavs can’t kill themselves with sloppy play and procedural and holding penalties. It’s probably the #1 factor in winning this game. #2 would be, as GA said, being extremely physical.
From the Beavs perspective, I think they need to put their corners on an island and use the other parts to cause as much disruption as possible. Based on what we saw of the MI QB last week, if he beats OSU’s corners 1 on 1, so be it, tip your hat, but he was a weakness, and the Beavs have to force him to win the game. Andersen beat this QB twice while at Wisconsin (last year he threw for 300 yards and 2TDs).
Andersen said he expects Michigan to try trick plays, double moves, and a physical run game. He seems to know this QB and knows what Harbaugh wants to do.
Keys to the game:
- Can the Beavs get a ground game going between the tackles?
- Force MI QB to win the game.
- Eliminate the ghost of Riley (procedural penalties, holding calls, soft play).
- Hit the big plays when they are there (this will be a test for Collins).
- Baldwin needs to call a better game — can’t call a screen in your endzone. The play calling was rough, but I think that was to (a) give MI nothing and (b) baby Collins/MM. I expect a wide open playbook and more exciting offense this week, with more big play opportunity and more TE involvement.
- When adversity strikes, which will probably happen early in this game, they have to be mentally tough and overcome it.
Regarding Collins and MM, I don’t want to get into that each week. For now it’s Collins, and that’s just the way it is. If he can throw the ball to the WRs at an acceptable clip, I’ll gladly back the guy and hope he leads OSU to victory. He definitely has the confidence (ignorance is bliss?) to win a game like this. I’d label him a wildcard in this game. I’m expecting a bad game passing, several INTs, but hoping for the best. But, Collins can go nuts for all I know and put up 400-500 total yards. Just don’t know enough at this point. Incomplete data set.
In summary, Michigan isn’t vintage, but they’re experienced, physical, and have Harbaugh. It’s going to be a battle, possibly a blood bath. My gut tells me: the Beavs have a shot if all goes perfectly and they hit every big play, have no penalties, mentally and physically are “up” for the game, etc, but realistically Michigan has everything in their favor.