A whole year has come and gone, but the Maize n Brew roundtable is back! And what better game to start this for than...Hawaii?
Yeah, the Michigan Wolverines are heavy favorites against the Rainbow Warriors, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun with this. This week, our staff was asked about the quarterback competition, what their plans are for the game, oh and of course, the game.
Going into this weekend, who do you think holds the lead for the QB job?
Andrew Bailey: J.J. McCarthy by a nose. In my estimation, Harbaugh is waiting for someone to “win” the job so the decision ultimately falls on the players.
Dan Plocher: J.J. McCarthy has a slight lead after Week 1. I know he has all the talent in the world and plenty of hype at this point, but I guarantee Harbaugh isn’t just going to forget what Cade McNamara did for this team on and off the field last season.
Kellen Voss: Right now, Cade probably has the lead by default, being he’s had a much larger in-game sample size. That being said, J.J. is right on his tail and could take the lead with a dominant performance this week.
David Woelkers: I personally give the edge to J.J., but I wouldn’t be shocked if in Harbaugh’s mind neither guy is in the lead until both have gotten their starts in.
Trevor Woods: McCarthy. That’s what happens when you go for 4-for-4 and have an impressive touchdown run.
Kyle Yost: J.J. McCarthy - 75/25.
Von Lozon: Reading the tea leaves, I assume it’s J.J. He missed all of the spring with a shoulder injury, and the fact he has gotten to this point with missing so much time this offseason leads me to believe he has the lead. And who knows where this would be if he didn’t have that offseason injury?
Do you think a starting QB will be named heading into Week 3’s matchup against UConn?
Andrew Bailey: Nope. Unfortunately, this will drag out another week unless there is a major contrast — we’re talking Tom Brady/John O’Korn level contrast — between the two this weekend.
Dan Plocher: McCarthy will start if he plays well on Saturday, but Harbaugh will extend this battle for a third week. We will see plenty of McNamara in this game. I expect Harbaugh tries to extend this battle for as long as possible.
Kellen Voss: No, I don’t think so. Much like the Lions’ preseason competition between Tim Boyle and David Blough (which was a lot more depressing than this), I bet UConn is the last game where both guys will split time before a starter is settled in time for conference play.
David Woelkers: I’d give it 90/10 odds of happening — the 10 being if J.J. looks rough in the first couple series against Hawaii, like Cade looked rough in the first couple series against Colorado State.
Trevor Woods: Maybe. I think Harbaugh will go with the “hot hand” and announce McCarthy as the Week 3 starter and go from there.
Kyle Yost: Yes - McCarthy. Second choice is “no,” as I do not see McNamara being named the outright starter regardless of what happens this weekend.
Von Lozon: It all depends on how J.J. plays on Saturday. If he performs well, I think he’s named the starter moving forward. But Cade will get his shot against Hawaii, as well. If they both play well — which should be the expectation — I could see this going another week.
Alright, now let’s chat about the game against Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors are 0-2 and have lost both games at home against not-so-great competition. Michigan is favored by 51.5-points on DraftKings. Will the Wolverines cover this spread?
Andrew Bailey: Pound the over. This will be a beating of biblical proportions. The Wolverines beat Colorado State by 44 in a meh performance to begin the season. One week later with the rust further removed, against a far inferior opponent, HEALTHY, at NIGHT…good luck.
Dan Plocher: Yes. As incredible as that sounds, I feel a blowout of 2016 Michigan-Rutgers level is going to be underway on Saturday night.
Kellen Voss: As bad as Colorado State was, everything you read about Hawaii makes CSU sound like the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is going to be a blowout of 2016 Rutgers proportions, and if not, Michigan has a few problems we’ll need to dissect.
David Woelkers: Depends on if Harbaugh pumps the breaks once the lead is sufficiently high enough, or goes full 2016 Rutgers with it and puts a brick on the accelerator. In the first case, it’ll probably be a bad beat — around 45-49 points. In the second, Michigan might actually win by 100.
Trevor Woods: I think Michigan can score over 70 on Hawaii, but at the same time that’s one huge spread. I think they’ll cover, but that’s still a risky spread.
Kyle Yost: Yes, but maybe by “accident.” Michigan has too many players that can take it to the house in the open field, so even bland play calls are going to result in long touchdowns. Even after the Wolverines stop trying to score, there should be enough points there to get past the spread.
Von Lozon: This game is going to be very high scoring, and only for one team. Give me Michigan and the point spread all day.
Last week, we saw the Wolverines get to the quarterback. They had seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss against Colorado State. It was a pleasant surprise to see so many defenders in the backfield. What is one thing you hope to see out of Michigan in this game?
Andrew Bailey: It is hard to set measurable expectations for a glorified practice, but the simple answer is progression. I want to see the defense continue to create turnovers, fly to the ball, finish tackles and remain disciplined. But I really want is to see freshman Will Johnson redeem himself and make an interception to keep his confidence high.
Dan Plocher: Forcing turnovers. Hawaii’s quarterback threw four interceptions last week. He will give you a couple opportunities, especially under pressure. The Wolverine defense needs to show they can take advantage.
Kellen Voss: I want to see the secondary have a dominant performance. Hawaii has already turned over the ball eight times this season, leading all FBS teams. I want to see them allow only double-digit yards and get a few picks, maybe even a pick six.
David Woelkers: Explosive plays on offense.
Kyle Yost: I am always interested to see the non-corners in coverage. Hawaii is another team who wants to throw the ball, so seeing the linebackers and safeties lock down the passing game and limit yards after the catch would be a great sign going forward. Pass rush helps with this, but I do expect some quick, shorter throws to combat the defensive line.
Trevor Woods: A shutout!
Von Lozon: No injuries, please for the love of everything holy. Escape this game unscathed and all will be well in my world.
What are you planning to do for this game? Heading to the Big House? Tailgating? Cooking up some food at home?
Andrew Bailey: As anyone within shouting distance knows, I am staunchly anti-night game. That said, going to have a small party, girlfriend is making chili, and in the end, night game college football > no college football. Let’s ride.
Dan Plocher: Nothing special. I’ll be thinking about this game all day while I work this weekend and will be eager for my day to be over to watch!
Kellen Voss: Unfortunately, I have to work Saturday night because local news never takes a break. We always order pizza on Saturdays, so the combination of that and Michigan football should make for a pleasant evening. Shoutout to Green Lantern; their cheesy breadsticks are truly addictive.
David Woelkers: Coffee. Lord have mercy, lots and lots of coffee.
Trevor Woods: I’ll be in the press box eating cookies and slamming coffee.
Kyle Yost: Enjoying a relaxing, fun watch after the baby goes to sleep!
Von Lozon: I’ll be chilling on the couch at home, watching the game, tweeting out some stuff, helping get content on the site and commenting along in the Maize n Brew Game Thread! Cheers, everybody.