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U-M’s keys to victory versus Western Michigan

Kalamazoo comes to Ann Arbor

Western Michigan v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It is Michigan’s first home game of the year. The Wolverines will kick things of in Ann Arbor at noon, facing the Western Michigan Broncos.

Michigan is the more talented team, and I fully expect them to get the win against Western Michigan.

If that indeed occurs, some things must happen beforehand, and during the game.

Here are the keys to Michigan’s victory.

Exploit Western’s secondary

The Broncos only allowed 11 receptions against Syracuse, but those grabs went for big gains (20.5 yard average per catch). This is the type of secondary where it would be wise to let Shea Patterson throw it relatively deep when opportunities present itself.

Limit the speed of the Broncos offense

Wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge may only be 5-foot-9, but he can do some serious damage. Whether it’s hauling in a screen pass and picking up big chunks of yardage, or playing the role of vertical threat, Eskridge needs to be accounted for at all times. Against Syracuse, Eskridge tallied 8 receptions for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns

Then there’s the speedy running back LeVante Bellamy who went off for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns last week. Bellamy is a shifty back who can hit top speed fast if his line protects for him.

Get ‘er done o-line

Yeah, yeah.. you know, I know, everyone knows. Michigan’s offensive line has got to improve, and there’s no time to wait, they have to start improving now. Shea Patterson needs time to throw, running backs need bigger holes to run though, and they need to show some sort of improvement against Western.

Play up to their ability, not down to their opponent

This is no time for any Michigan player to take it easy and stop putting in the work to make them better. If Michigan truly believes they can win the Big Ten Championship and games beyond that, they have to set the bar for what a good team is like in college football.

The Wolverines need to be on a mission. They’re the superior team, but they have to go on out and prove that to be the case on FS1.

End the day with over 150 yards rushing

It wasn’t a good day for Karan Higdon against Notre Dame, and it wasn’t a good one for Chris Evans either, who wasn’t on the field long.

Expect that to change today. Evans will likely see more carries and he should be able to gain around 80 yards rushing. Higdon will likely remain the bell-cow, but Evans’ contributions are important.