1. How do Michigan fans feel about Jim Harbaugh’s progress with this football program?
Obviously this season was a setback in a lot of fans’ eyes, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not.
This was always going to be a 3-4 year rebuild and now that Michigan has his guys in the system rocking and rolling, they should start achieving the things that have been expected since Day 1. That being said, the majority of Michigan fans are cautiously optimistic going forward.
2. Obviously, “The Hit” is one of the most memorable moments in the Outback Bowl ever. Think anything relatively close to that happens this year?
I don’t think anything could come close to that, but with (redshirt freshman QB) Brandon Peters gaining more and more confidence, and with incoming transfer QB Shea Patterson set to do battle with him, I have a feeling he will put on quite a show.
3. Michigan’s offense is similar to Carolina’s in that it’s just mediocre. What do you think Michigan has to do on offense to win?
They have to keep Peters upright. It’s whats plagued the Wolverines all year. They have just not been able to keep the QB from getting blown to kingdom come.
The run game has been steady all year but to win, they’re gonna need to give the QB time.
4. Michigan’s defense is one of the best in the country. What’s one weakness USC has to expose to win?
(Defensive coordinator) Don Brown likes to keep offenses on their heels, and that includes putting the safeties in man-to-man coverage at the line of scrimmage.
Penn State, Wisconsin, and — to an extent — Ohio State were all able to exploit their lack of ability and to cover a fade pass on a slant route. South Carolina would be wise to follow those aforementioned teams’ plan of attack.
5. What Michigan position group should South Carolina be most worried about?
The defensive line. It’s easily the most talented group on the team and has consistently caused havoc for opposing lines all year. I expect to see a lot of pressure on Jake Bentley due to that ferocious d-line.
6. You guys have had a steady carousel of QBs this season. What statline would a Michigan QB have to have to win this game?
I think Michigan could get by with passing for 150 yards coupled with a strong run game. But with the pressure on Peters to close the door on the quarterback battle with Patterson I see him throwing for 220+.
7. South Carolina plays a bend-don’t-break defense similar to that of the Patriots. It’s worked against Georgia and Arkansas, the two teams with very similar offenses compared to Michigan. How much of an impact must the Wolverine run game have for this game to be winnable?
They’re going to have to average 3.5+ yards per carry and have long, methodical drives in which they’re grinding out yards and first downs, wearing down the Gamecock D.
That kind of run game makes keeping Peters upright more attainable, and it sets up the play action pass which could really open the game up.
8. Vegas gives Michigan a 7.5-point edge over the Gamecocks and Colin Cowherd laughed it off in his bowl betting take. Do you think Vegas was fair?
I think that’s a fair betting line, especially when you consider the fact Michigan hasn’t had any semblance of a dynamic offense at any point this year.
I have said this several times and I stand by it. While I respect the heck out of South Carolina, and Jake Bentley — who’s from Opelika, AL, close to where I currently live — I think Michigan and Brandon Peters really want to make a statement on Monday. Michigan has had chances to capture momentum, put the pedal to the floor, and close out games all year but haven’t been able to do it. On Monday, though, I think they overcome that and close out South Carolina.
Michigan 35, South Carolina 14