How are the 2018 Michigan Wolverines going to play?
“They’re gonna be tough,” Fox Sports analyst Robert Smith told Maize n Brew at Big Ten Media Day. “Things are shaping up to be pretty good for them.”
“You have Shea Patterson, they’re getting some firepower at the quarterback position which has been a big problem for the offense in general,” Smith said.
Smith believes that Patterson will not only improve the quarterback play for Michigan, but his success will lead to a better rushing attack from Karan Higdon and Chris Evans, saying “you look at the numbers put up on the ground and you really have to think about the passing game as well. They really didn’t have a downfield threat that would back safeties out, keep them from putting eight, nine men in the box. So you look at anytime they tried to run the football the last couple years against the tougher defenses of Penn State, Michigan State, Ohio State, averaging less than three yards per carry, I think some of that is because of the quarterback position.”
While Smith believes Ohio State is the team to beat in the Big Ten, he also thinks that anything can happen by the end of the season and Michigan will be in the thick of things because of their defense. “The most difficult part about the Michigan defense is when you’re going against a team that has got bookends like Winovich and Gary it’s so difficult to scheme away to block both of them, when you try to slide one way or the other it’s going to be a one on one matchup with someone you don’t want to have a one on one matchup with.”
Smith also made clear, whether it is the Buckeyes, Michigan State, or the Wolverines, there are no paper champions, but you can count him as yet another analyst who believes this could be a promising year for Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan team.