Once again, my favorite time of the year is here, as we break out our hoodies and sweatpants summer goes away and the fall is upon us. Along with the leaves falling college football starts and the Michigan Wolverines, begin another journey to a possible Big Ten championship and a major bowl game. When you look past the trips overseas the Amazon Prime Video show and music videos. This program has improved under Jim Harbaugh. His record against rivals is bad but look closer and most of those games have been decided in the 4th quarter a game of inches they say. Heading into the 2018 season with what appears to be a legit quarterback and a defense that has a ton of talent with a couple of future NFL prospects. Will Wolverine fans accept another loss to Ohio State or Michigan State this year? Is Jim on the “hot seat”? All of this will be decided on Saturday’s this fall.
The issue for the last few seasons has been the QB position, and it appears they have an answer in Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson who put up good numbers. He can move around the pocket which is something that has been missing. In the backfield I expect Karan Higdon to lead the way along with Chris Evans. The offensive line will be back and look to build off last years performance and protect Patterson who they need under center all season. The tackles are who to watch as they are both new, losing Mason Cole and Patrick Kugler from last year’s team. One thing Michigan is known for besides winning is depth and star power at the wide receiver position, some would say they are the Duke of College football. What do I mean by that just like the Blue Devils who have a ton of players make the NBA and then for whatever reason flame so do Wolverines wideouts. With Tarik Black out for up to 7 weeks, it’s up to Donovan Peoples-Jones and Grant Perry to carry the load. And in terms of a big target who just go and get it look for Nico Collins to be that guy. This side of the ball should show a BIG improvement with a star at QB, I am excited about the prospects.
3rd best defense in the nation last year and with 9 starters coming back this unit will carry the team until the offense gets in gear. Where do we start? This is a championship defense no doubt about it, led by Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich on the edge they bring it each down. Don Brown has molded them into a complete unit with playmakers all over and such depth that the 2nd unit could start for some teams. It is due to the D that they should be in every game and will make a few game-changing plays themselves. Breaking in some talented new linebackers such as Devin Gill and John Ross just to name a few. It will be fun to see this unit make people have some very long and uncomfortable Saturdays.
Year 4 is a BIG one for Jim Harbaugh and company the schedule as always is no cakewalk. But I think a 10-2 season is very possible and depending on how the rest of the landscape is around the nation a shot at the CFB playoff. With a new QB and a nasty defense that will travel any true Michigan fan should be very excited about this season. I will be back each week all season with my weekly wrap up on the Mazie and Gold. Follow me @JoeCardoso301 or our blog @NutsAndBoltsSP