By Zach Walker
SMU Mustangs vs #19 Michigan Wolverines
Saturday – September 15 – 2:30 p.m.
Michigan Stadium – Ann Arbor, MI
Records before the Game
SMU Mustangs: 0-2 (0-0 in AAC)
Michigan Wolverines: 1-1 (0-0 in Big Ten)
Who’s got the advantage?
When SMU has the ball: What a tale of two halves of football for the Mustangs from last Friday. After an epic delay from the weather, the first half of football was so sloppy out of both teams, that it was what was keeping the game close for the Mustangs. The Horned Frogs were having trouble blocking the Mustangs upfront, but even when the quarterback was able to let go of the ball, it was often off target or just outright dropped by the receiver. The Mustangs couldn’t gain any advantage during the first half, with offensive problems of their own. Outside of their opening touchdown drive, the Mustangs were seemingly inept when the ball was under their control. The turning point in the that game was really the punt fumbled by TCU for a safety. Had the ball bounced ONE more time, and gone out at the one yard line, with four cracks at the endzone could have taken a two score lead. But the way the Mustangs were unable to move the ball through the air, the two points was something the Horned Frogs were able to fight through until the half. This isn’t a place where the Mustangs are going to have ANY advantage or time to mess around, so the gameplan for the offense has to be good and aggressive out of the gate, or else I don’t know how Mustangs’ fans are going to be able to get behind anything that they can put out there. The Mustangs need to prove that they can put twenty points on a board.
When Michigan has the ball: Of their stadium, “The Big House”, it’s going to be a 99.8% Michigan crowd, but that doesn’t mean that the pressure is off of their coach, Jim Harbaugh. If this victory isn’t substantial, like the spread of 39 points indicates that the game will go, given his “success” at Michigan thus far might start the water boiling underneath Harbaugh. He’s got his schtick, being the most insane coach in the college landscape, but if that doesn’t come handcuffed to success, and the kind that doesn’t come in quotes, that might just rip the rug out from under him. Quarterback Shea Patterson had three touchdown tosses a week ago, but only off of 125 yards, with one throw being a beauty of a deep shot. The running game is killer for Michigan. Karan Higdon is averaging over a bill per game, over the first two games. The Michigan run game puts the quarterback in the best position on the field possible to minimize risk in downs and distances.
What will it take for the Mustangs to win?
No joke, if the Mustangs were to win, I believe Harbaugh would get fired. What will it take though? A perfect game from each player. That’s how upsets happen, if everything goes right for the little guy.