Only 28 days remain until the Michigan football men hit the field. With that in mind, here are 28 UM storylines as we head into the new season.
Less than one month to go until this Michigan football team takes the field. 28 days, exactly, to go until The Big House is filled to capacity. With 28 days left, let’s take a look at 28 storylines heading into the season.
28. The Middle Tenessee State game.
On Saturday, August 31st, 2019, the Wolverines will take the field against Middle Tenessee State (MTSU) at The Big House. If you are not in attendance, the game can be viewed on the Big Ten Network.
MTSU went 8-6 last year which was headlined by a blowout loss to Georgia, 49-7.
27. Nebraska is predicted to win the Big Ten West.
Second-year coach Scott Frost is expected to have a phenomenal season this year after an atrocious 4-8 inaugural showing.
The Wolverines are not scheduled to battle the Cornhuskers in the regular season.
26. Michigan will play a game overseas.
At Big Ten Media Days, coach Harbaugh announced the Wolverines are set to play a game “on foreign soil,” and that more details will be announced soon.
With the Notre Dame contract expiring, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michigan and the fighting Irish in Ireland in the near future.
25. The running backs will be fine.
Jim then spoke about Turner who has been riddled with injuries since arriving in the Wolverines running back room, however, “he’s healthy now,” he just “gotta stay healthy.”
24. There are very few injury updates.
Ambry Thomas is listed as questionable for the start of camp with a “health-related issue.”
What about the receivers?
“I think they are. They’ve had good summers,” Harbaugh said at Big Ten Media Days. “We’ll see when we get a little closer to training camp.”
Well, training camp started yesterday and nobody is reporting anything but rumors.
23. The players and coaches are signing off Twitter.
The No. 1 news source for all things Michigan football is being shut off.
Coaches Josh Gattis and Sherrone Moore also said their goodbyes. As we head into fall camp, this makes sense.
22. The recruiting has been incredible.
2019 was great but the 2020 cycle is just starting to heat up. In just two summer months, the 2020 class went from six commits to 24 and many more could soon join what the players and coaches have nicknamed as ‘The Mob’.
21. Shea Patterson could pass for over 3,500 yards.
The team began relying on the shotgun formation towards the end of the season when they realized the spread fits Shea Patterson better.
But the RPO offense fits him perfectly.
“Our quarterbacks, Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey, their explosive ability to throw and run, both. They’re used to that. Shea was used to that., found that Shea was really better in the shotgun after being with him for the first season,” Harbaugh said at Big Ten Media Days. “We went more to it as the season went on last year. Also, Dylan’s ability to get out and go and run. There’s a tremendous running ability that he has. Also, they’re comfortable in that, I think Shea’s really comfortable in that uptempo, no-huddle offense. Things spread out a little bit more helps those two quarterbacks. So, it’s really that. It’s really that, it’s driven by that for us.”
Should Michigan truly commit to a new-age offense and put all of their extremely talented receivers on the field, Shea could easily throw for 3,500 yards. For those who think that’s a crazy number, it wouldn’t have put Patterson in the top ten for passing yards in 2018.
20. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Nico Collins, and Tarik Black will split a majority of those yards.
If they are healthy, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Nico Collins, and Tarik Black will have record-setting seasons. All three came from the 2017 class and all three were top 25 positionally (DPJ 1, Nico 23, and Tarik 15).
Freshman Mike Sainristil will also contribute out of the slot. The coaches and players hold ‘little Mikey’ in high regard.
19. Army will put up a fight
The Black Knights ended the 2018 season ranked 19th with an 11 win season. Their traditional wishbone offense is one of the hardest to defend and their toughness on defense will both be challenging for Michigan. UM will prevail in the end but the game will be closer than most people believe.
18. Michigan is predicted to win the Big Ten.
Everyone in the media is predicting this team to win the Big Ten, although, the Vegas odds don’t support the prediction. It will be very interesting to see if Ohio State’s head coach Ryan Day – who has zero head coaching experience – can outcoach Harbaugh, Gattis, and Don Brown.
17. Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State games are at home.
That is one of the key reasons why Michigan is predicted to win the Big Ten.
16. Zach Charbonnet could be the starting running back when winter arrives.
Wilson was announced as the starter but anyone could take over the position. As I have said before, Charbonnet is a human cheat code and could very likely become the starter as the weather begins to change.