clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Michigan Wolverines vs. Oregon State Beavers: Matchups of the Week

Taking a look at a few key storylines that could determine this weekend's game against the Beavers.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines (0-1) will be taking on the Oregon State Beavers (1-0) this Saturday in their home opener and Jim Harbaugh's coaching debut at the Big House.

Michigan is currently a double-digit favorite to win this game, but there are a few things that could turn the tide of this contest and make it closer than the oddsmakers believe it to be.

Seth Collins vs. Michigan's Defense

Oregon State's true freshman quarterback had a solid debut in a win against Weber State, accounting for over 250 yards of offense, most of which came on the ground. Michigan's defense should be able to rattle him on paper, but OSU runs a spread offense that the Wolverines have always seemed to struggle with in the past. If they can keep Collins in the pocket, it is going to be a very long day for the Beavers.

If Collins is forced to throw, OSU does have some solid weapons on the outside in Victor Bolden and Jordan Villaman, who combined for 107 catches and eight touchdowns last season.

Jake Butt vs. the Middle of the Field

We all know by know that Butt is going to be a player that is used often in Michigan's offense. Harbaugh loves to utilize the tight end and knows how to put guys in position to make plays in the middle of the field.

Oregon State is breaking in a new 3-4 defensive scheme and return only two starters from a subpar unit last season, so the opportunity for Butt to make plays will exist often. Look for him to have a big afternoon this Saturday.

Jake Rudock vs. Himself

Rudock had a tough go of it in his debut as the starting quarterback against Utah, but not all of those problems were entirely on him and he had the challenge of playing on the road against one of the better defenses in college football.

Oregon State's defense was pedestrian last year, to say the least, and they lost almost everyone. Assuming Rudock gets good protection, he will be able to use what the defense gives him to help Michigan move the ball. His mistakes last week were mostly due to erratic throws and poor timing with receivers, so seeing if that is something that has improved in the last week or so will be one of the bigger things to keep an eye on this weekend.

What are some matchups that you will be looking at this weekend? Sound off in the comments below!