The Michigan Wolverines open the 2022 football season this Saturday against Colorado State at the Big House. The Rams finished last season 3-9, including losing six straight to finish the year, before firing second-year head coach Steve Addazio.
CSU did not have to look long or far for its new head coach and quickly hired Jay Norvell away from conference foe Nevada. Prior to CSU, Norvell led the Wolfpack to bowl games in four of the five years and comes to Fort Collins with a 33-26 overall head coaching record.
A former Iowa defensive back (1983-86) and teammate of Jim Harbaugh with the Chicago Bears, Norvell is eager to return to the Big House and lead his team in front of the largest crowd to ever watch a Colorado State football game.
“Obviously Week 1, we are going to play an outstanding team in Michigan. They were the Big Ten champions a year ago, really outstanding in all three phases and they are an established, strong football team under Jim Harbaugh in his seventh year,” Norvell told the press on Monday.
Norvell called the Michigan offensive line “the strength of the offense,” and singled-out several players for praise, including running back Blake Corum, nose tackle Mazi Smith, linebacker Junior Colson and cornerback DJ Turner.
Not be forgotten, Norvell called the special teams unit, “One of the finest special teams groups I’ve seen in many years. Excellent punter, fine kicker, really good return man in all three phases.”
In regards to facing the pressure of playing at Michigan Stadium with a plethora of inexperienced, younger players in prominent roles, Norvell believes the challenge is more internal than external.
“I really think it’s about us, to be honest with you. I’m really less worried about Michigan than I am our own football team,” he admitted.
The complete press conference can be seen here and below is a look at the Week 1 Colorado State depth chart ahead of the game against the Wolverines: