Best of the Week: Michigan fans split on whether Wolverines will win fourth straight over Notre Dame
Denard Robinson had two of the greatest games of his career over the last couple of years against Notre Dame, but the Michigan Wolverines quarterback admits it's going to be a different challenge facing this Fighting Irish squad Saturday night.
Robinson racked up a school-record 502 yards of total offense in 2010 and followed it up with 460 total yards and five touchdowns in 2011 while keying two exciting comeback wins for the Wolverines.
But after Notre Dame's defense suffocated then-No. 10 Michigan State at Spartan Stadium, 20-3, last week, Wolverines fans understand the 3-0 Irish have the goods to snap Michigan's three-game win streak in the series.
"Last year ND dominated UM in the trenches, and it was big plays, turnovers by ND and broken offensive plays that went big for UM, that won the game late for UM," writes bhill1028.
"UM doesn't have the beef in the trenches to go toe to toe with ND. ND beat MSU by eating them alive on defense and getting one or two big plays to work on offense."
While it's not a given Michigan will suffer its second loss this season, an objective analysis of the teams doesn't bode well for the Wolverines.
"Our O and D lines are going to have to show something that they have not so far this year," points out michboy40. "Could it happen? Yes. Will it happen? No. We will lose this game, and our lines will get dominated. Not Bama dominated, but the difference in talent will be pretty clear."
Not all hope is lost for some, though. Sophomore quarterback Everett Golson threw for a touchdown and ran for another against the Spartans, but he also showed he's no stranger to the arm-punt either.
It's up to defensive coordinator Greg Mattison to find a way to corral the speedster and take advantage of his inexperience.
"Judging from the game I saw last Sat. Night," says Cover0, "the focus of the media this week should be the first year starting QB from ND who threw wildly and up for grabs most of the game vs. sparty. Mattison will devise a scheme to try and get him to throw to beat Michigan, which he will not be able to do because he does not have the skill players on the wide outs to make up for his inaccurate throws."
Still others think the notion of stopping the Irish offense is a stretch. If Michigan State's vaunted defense couldn't do it, why would Michigan, which has struggled against tougher opponents this year, be able to?
"Cover O- I have news for you," says Frank_Brandon_80. "MSU's defense is much better than yours and especially against the run. We put up over 200 yards rushing against you last year and your d was better. And speaking of inexperience you have plenty of it in your d backfield. If ND is 2 turnovers or less this will be an Irish 2 touchdown victory."
Michigan faced a stern test against defending national champion Alabama to start the season. And though the Wolverines proved to be nowhere near the level of the Crimson Tide in the 41-14 loss, the experience gained will come in handy against Notre Dame, according to one fan.
"My Son from Cincinnati, who grew up a stone’s throw from the Big House, says confronting Alabama for the first test (the best defense and offense in the country, then and now) was the best pregame preparation for all remaining games in the current season for Michigan," says Sockdologer. "We will nor meet an offensive or defensive team in 2012 better than Alabama. Michigan must play (not a good game or better game than before) but rather, their best game from the first whistle to the final second and tenaciously engage their will to win decisively (that includes offense, defense, special teams and coaching)! I agree with my Son! Win Denard!"