With a new head coach guiding the way in Jim Mora Jr., the Huskies have a bit going for them on the offensive side of the ball, particularly in the run game. They are big underdogs going into this matchup, but Michigan should not underestimate any opponent in front of it.
Here are three keys to ensure Michigan is 3-0 later this afternoon.
Dominate the ground game
Michigan quarterbacks have combined to throw only 25 passes per game this season, and I would expect them to throw the ball even less in this one.
Michigan has racked up more than 200 yards on the ground in each of the first two games, and I’d like to see them get close to 300 yards in this one. Blake Corum should get the lion’s share of carries to start, and with head coach Jim Harbaugh saying earlier this week that Donovan Edwards is dealing with an injury. True freshman C.J. Stokes should get the ball even more than he did last week.
Limit UConn’s athletes
As our Dan Plocher mentioned in his piece earlier this week, UConn does have some speedy skill guys Michigan will keep an eye on. Running back Nathan Carter is averaging 6.5 yards per carry through three games, and wide receiver Aaron Turner has enough speed to make defenders pay in space.
TOUCHDOWN!— UConn Football (@UConnFootball) September 11, 2022
Aaron Turner takes it 55-yards to the HOUSE pic.twitter.com/85rCpIiqI9
The Wolverines have done a good job limiting big plays in their first two victories. If they can cut those yards per carry for Carter in half and make UConn fans forget Turner is out there, they should cover the spread easily.
Experiment with J.J. after establishing a lead
We saw Michigan get a little more creative offensively in Week 2, including this beautifully designed handoff to Roman Wilson, where it seemed like he had 57 guys blocking for him.
It would be really nice to see Michigan continue to use that offensive creativity. Specifically, I’d like to see Michigan showcase J.J. McCarthy as a runner. Part of the reason why he won the starting job is because he is a true dual-threat who can pick up more than a few yards with his legs if the play breaks down.
I don’t just want scrambles for McCarthy: I want designed runs, I want the RGIII-style read-option. Hell, why not whip out the Air Force-style triple option with McCarthy running point and Corum and Stokes behind him.
I’d like to see Michigan experiment with McCarthy and show off his knack for getting large chunks of yards on the ground. Back in 2010, one of the best running quarterbacks in the history of college football made his starting debut in a 30-10 win over UConn.
Will McCarthy exceed Denard Robinson’s absolutely ludicrous 197 yards on the ground in this game? Probably not. But I’m sure I’m not the only Michigan fan that would like to see him try to best that number.