Tanner Mangum vs. Michigan's Pass Rush
BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum has been making headlines throughout the first month of the season with his cool, calm, collected and clutch performances following the season-ending injury to Taysom Hill.
Mangum has a big arm, as evidenced by some big Hail Mary plays in the last few weeks. A big key to this game is keeping him in the pocket and getting a consistent pass rush to rattle him. BYU's offense is one that has a some really solid skill players on the outside, which gives Mangum plenty of options to go to.
Michigan's defensive line needs to have a big game to disrupt the BYU passing game. If they are able to keep Mangum in check, they will have to keep him in the pocket and create problems for him that way.
Michigan's Run Game vs. BYU's Defense
The Wolverines have made some big strides in the run game throughout the last three weeks. The offensive line is steadily improving and it appears they now have a three-headed monster at running back in De'Veon Smith, Ty Isaac and Drake Johnson, who slowly but surely appears as if an expanded role is in the cards.
We are starting to see Michigan's offensive line open up holes and execute its blocks better. The Cougars gave up 296 yards on the ground at UCLA last week, so that works out in Michigan's favor in a big way. We will see just how far the Wolverines have come against a very good opponent.
Jake Rudock vs. Himself (Part II)
Rudock has been solid at times, but he has failed to make some easy throws on more than one occasion. He is Michigan's quarterback until he physically cannot take the field anymore. Interceptions against Utah were momentum killers and he will have a similar challenge ahead of him with the Cougars.
This is a run-heavy offense that just needs the quarterback to make good decisions and take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. Rudock has had a few weeks of games and practice now to get the timing down with his receivers and get out of the semi-rut they have been in in that aspect of the offense.
If he can move the chains and protect the football, Michigan should walk out of the Big House on Saturday with a win. Rudock is not going to win them any games, but he can play a large part in losing them. He needs to have his best game of the year so far on Saturday.
What will you be looking for on Saturday? Sound off in the comments below!