College Football Preview: The 2015 Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Wolverines Preview
2014 Record: 5-7 (86th of 128)
Odds to Win National Championship: +9000 See the Latest Odds
Overview: The Michigan Wolverines have a reason to be excited again now that Jim Harbaugh is running the show. After taking a break from college football, Harbaugh returns and coaches his former school that has won just 20 games the last three seasons and missed a bowl game last year. Michigan fans aren’t used to being patient, so it’ll be interesting to see how things play out in year one.
Offense: Michigan’s offense will come down to how well the quarterback plays. That decision will be decided between former Iowa starter Jake Rudock and junior Shane Morris who had just 40 pass attempts last season. If either of those guys take better care of the ball than Devin Gardner did, this offense will improve a lot. A running back trio of Drake Johnson, Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith is quite impressive, especially when you add the fact the offensive line has five players with starting experience. Amara Darboh proved he can be a reliable target on the outside, while Jake Butt and Jehu Chesson must take that next step for this offense to get going. There’s potential here with an upgrade at QB.
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Defense: Michigan finished seventh in total defense last season and that’s highly impressive considering how many times it had to bail out the offense. Well, I don’t expect much to change in terms of production. Jabrill Peppers is going to become a household name before you know it, as he’s easily one of the more talented players in the country. Joe Bolden returns after racking up 102 tackles last season and Mario Ojemudia has gotten better each season on the defensive line. Jourdan Lewis is just tapping into his potential at cornerback and Jarrod Wilson brings the experience at strong safety. Besides losing Jake Ryan and Frank Clark, Michigan’s defense remains intact and will give team’s in the Big Ten fits this season.
Special Teams: Andrew David is likely going to replace Matt Wile at field goal kicker. Blake O’Neill is likely to replace Will Hagerup at punter.
Overall: It’s always tough to pinpoint a team with a new head coach, especially when that team doesn’t have a concrete answer at quarterback. I really like the Wolverines running back depth and the players on the defensive side. There’s some talent here to make a run in the Big Ten, but I wouldn’t expect anything crazy in the first season under a new staff.