Preview: Michigan vs. Colorado
The Big House Report (TBHR) staff makes game predictions for Michigan vs. Colorado:
Derek Devine – @DerekWDevine
Michigan 48, Colorado 20
Oh, Colorado; beautiful mountains, terrible football…usually. This Buffs team, however, looks pretty decent on paper and on film. This is a program that is looking to get some recognition in a conference (Pac 12) that is always begging for recognition. Colorado will play a tough schedule, as usual, in conference play. Michigan is great prep for the Buffs, as they have an opportunity to compete with a top four team that EVERYONE is talking about. Compete they will, well, for a quarter or so. This team is better than UCF, and waaaaay better than Hawaii, but simply not as strong as Michigan.
Michigan has its answer at quarterback, as Speight has been ballin’ out. Can it continue? And can the Wolverines get some work done on the ground? I think so, and I think this is the game to do it. Colorado will be taken more seriously than the opponents in the first two weeks, especially as the season goes on. The Buffs are just outside of the Top 25, and could easily break-in during conference play, even with a loss on Saturday. Michigan’s run defense must step up and rebound from a week ago, and I think it will. I do expect some damage to be done through the air though. Sorry people, it’s bound to happen. Let the Wolverines learn in a game that they should easily win.
I expect Michigan to win big (just not as big as the last two weeks). This is a great opportunity for the Wolverines to beat a future Top 25 team—a team that is looking for some serious looks from experts everywhere.
Von Lozon – @Von_Lozon
Michigan 42, Colorado 10
Colorado has blown out both of its opponents this season. But guess what? Those opponents were Colorado State and Idaho State, and both of those games were at home. Now they must travel to Ann Arbor and take on the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines.
I’m sure narratives will be brought up leading up to the game on how Colorado pulled off a miracle win in the Big House in 1994; the same thing happened when Michigan hosted Appalachian State a couple years ago. Constant reminders of last year’s game against Michigan State will also be brought up when the Wolverines go to East Lansing next month.
The bottom line: enough with the silly narratives. This is a completely different team from 1994, 2007 and even 2015. Harbaugh and Co. will lay the whooping on their third straight opponent and be more than prepared for Big Ten play next week.
One thing to watch is for Jourdan Lewis. I’m curious to see if he gets any playing time. If he doesn’t, I wouldn’t be too upset. The Wolverines will need him at 100 percent when the bulk of the schedule shows up. I’d love to see him on the field if he’s ready to go, but I don’t want to see him out there if he’s still a little banged up. Regardless, the Wolverines should have another easy win and their first 3-0 start since 2013.
Kullen Logsdon – @Kullen_Logsdon
Michigan 45, Colorado 13
The Wolverines enter 2-0 after destroying the hopes and dreams of Hawaii and Central Florida. Now, enter a 2-0 Colorado team with sky-high confidence after beating rival Colorado State 44-7 and Idaho State 56-7. Colorado is wearing the same jersey combination it did in 1994 when Kordell Stewart threw a Hail Mary to beat Michigan as time expired. However, there will be no upset this Saturday.
Quarterback Sefo Liufau has looked good so far this season for the Buffaloes, but has never faced a defense like Michigan’s. I believe the Wolverine D-line will force pressure on him all game and force at least two turnovers. Offensively, Wilton Speight has been fantastic through two games and I expect nothing less than two touchdowns and 200 yards from him again. The Michigan ground attack struggled last week against an eight-man box from UCF, but will emerge this week against a weary Colorado front. At the end of the day, Michigan will simply have too much for the Buffaloes and will win 38-10 heading into Big Ten Play.
David Mormino – @BookOfMormino
Michigan 31, Colorado 14
Jim and the boys are back in town again on Saturday, taking on Colorado in the Big House. Many are expecting Michigan to roll, I’m not necessarily calling for that. The Buff’s play a spread offense, something we’ve seen Michigan struggle with at times in the past. Team’s like Indiana, Utah, and Kansas State (I’m aware how long ago that was) have given the Wolverines fits for years now. They have, however, handled some teams who run the spread nicely. Penn State, BYU, Oregon State, Northwestern.. Two of those four resulted in a shutout last season. So what does Michigan have to worry about if they’ve shut out spread offenses before?! Colorado has a very nice secondary, and their offensive line is serviceable enough for the spread to work, in my opinion. This ball game really comes down to guys knowing their assignments, and making sure they get pressure on the quarterback. Forcing Sefo Liufau to make plays while under pressure is the recipe I expect Don Brown to use, especially this week. Liufau has thrown for 522 yards, completing 75% of his passes, and even has a 179.9 passer rating to boast. This is not a cupcakes opponent for the Wolverines by any means. Wilton Speight is going to need help, and luckily for him, he’s got weapons galore. This game I expect both Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson to play lights out, and even score a few touchdowns. But what I am really looking at will be Jake Butt, and how the Colorado defense handles that mismatch. Should be a good one, but I got Michigan winning comfortably, 31-14
Kate Elizabeth Queram – @KateElizabethNR
Michigan 39, Colorado 12
Colorado is supposedly sort of good this year, but I am incapable of taking them seriously after three years of working with a Colorado graduate at a previous job. He had a Buffalo sticker affixed above his computer, did very little work, and enjoyed peacocking around the newsroom to discuss his own awesomeness. After the shenanigans of the Colorado athletic program this week – announcing that they’d wear throwback jerseys to honor “That One Time They Beat Michigan”, the fake depth chart followed by the Twitter back-and-forth – I’m now wondering if it’s just something in the water out there. (Or the air.) (That was a pot joke.)
Chad Finley – @FinFive1
Michigan 40, Colorado 17
Michigan has rolled its last two opponents and moved up the AP poll to No. 4. This week they face a top ten defense, according to the ESPN team rankings, in Colorado. The Buffalo are not off to a good start this week. They have produced a fake depth chart, poking at coach Jim Harbaugh because he does not put out one a depth chart for his opposition. Also, they have announced they will be wearing throwback jerseys from the 1994 team that upset the Wolverines in the Big House. They should be cautious poking at the bear named Harbaugh. I think that these tactics will motivate the Wolverines to come out with some hostility and desiring the victory a little bit more than the past two weeks.
The question will be, will they beat Colorado on the ground or in the air? Michigan has talent in both areas and has proven they can score either way. Quarterback Wilton Speight showed us last week that he can drop dimes down the field and I expect more of that come Saturday. If the offensive line can get more of a push, then look for Michigan’s running attack to be heavier than last week. De’Veon Smith and Chris Evans will be the feature backs and I think they will have better numbers this week. Colorado has only allowed 14 points in two games but they have also played two of the worst offenses in the country. They will see a different beast in Ann Arbor.
The Wolverines have only allowed 17 points and outside of a couple mistakes that resulted in big chunks of yards, have shut down offenses so far. The Michigan defensive line is like a future NFL pro bowl line and will pressure the Buffalo quarterback, whoever it may be, into making mistakes and taking a lot of hits. Look for Wormley, Gary, Godin, Glasgow, Hurst and company to be in the backfield as much as the Buffalo running backs. I am hoping All0American corner Jourdan Lewis returns to the field to bolster the secondary.
Good possibility for Michigan to move up to No. 3 in the poll after a big win, and a Ohio State loss to Oklahoma!
Patrick Connors – @TheRealPConnors
Michigan 45, Colorado 13
Michigan had a strong first half against UCF racing out to a 34-7 lead at the half. However, you could sense Michigan lost a sense of urgency in the second half, unlike the Hawaii game. That raised some red flags and created some cause for concern. Nonetheless, Michigan is 2-0 and they are now in the top 4 of the AP poll. This weeks target: Colorado.
The Buffs are also 2-0 and have two really strong wins, one against rival Colorado State and the other against FCS Idaho State. Colorado is a surprise so far and Michigan better not take them lightly or it will be a tightly contested game.
The Colorado offense has to be coming in with a lot of confidence as they have scored 100 total points to start the year. Colorado presents a legitimate quarterback in senior Sefo Liufau. He has a 74.5 completion percentage, 522 passing yards and 3 passing TD’s. He has also rushed for 50+ yards in his first two games, so he presents a threat to the attacking, downhill Michigan defense. However, Colorado has not faced a defense like this Michigan defense. Hopefully we will see All-American, shut down corner Jourdan Lewis and there’s a slight chance at seeing Taco Charlton back in action. I expect the Michigan defense to come out fired up because I believe they got chewed out in the film room. This will be a great test for the Michigan defense before Big Ten play comes around.
The Michigan offense might get a tough test on Saturday as Colorado has given up seven points all year. Seven, yes. Yes it was Colorado State and Idaho State, but seven points is very impressive. I am excited to see what Wilton Speight does because UCF made him beat them and Wilton did more than just that. If Colorado stacks the box like UCF did, expect Michigan to take more shots down the field. UCF may have outhit us in the run game, but we destroyed them through the air. Colorado has to pick their poison. However, Michigan HAS to get some semblance of a run game before next week. I don’t care if they stack eight in the box. You can take your shots down the field, but you have to get a ground game going.
I expect Michigan to get their stiffest challenge to date this calendar year (I say this because Colorado will present more of a problem than Florida did). Colorado will compete and make this a close-ish game. But damn I would love it if Michigan came out and took Colorado took the woodshed to send a message that Michigan isn’t to be messed with. It’s time for Michigan to send a message.
Also you all should be scoreboard watching this weekend. 3 huge games that could help Michigan’s ascent to the top:
These games could mean huge things for Michigan if things go crazy. Beat Colorado, prep for Big Ten play, and scoreboard watch.
Craig Compton – @CraigCompton_
Michigan 42, Colorado 17
Let me start out by saying…I absolutely LOVE Colorado. Not so much the University as the state, but nonetheless, I love Colorado. With that being said..I hope the Wolverines absolutely crush the Buffalo this weekend. I hate the fact that the Buffs are wearing throwback jerseys, commemorating the famous 1994 Hail Mary, that of course beat the Wolverines.
I actually think this game may be closer than others may think. It’s easy to look at Michigan and take the fact that they are 20 point favorites, and say they are going to roll Colorado. Not so fast my friend….I think Colorado can be sneaky good, and could be a team that could hang with the Wolverines for a while. Last week, the Wolverines showed they seem to struggle with uptempo offenses—specifically with a quarterback that can run. Well, the Buffs have just that, an uptempo offense, and a quarterback that can run. Also, when given the opportunity, he can get into rhythms through the air, and beat defenses. Michigan’s defense needs to focus on containing this week. I’m not worried about being beat through the air, by anyone in the country really. I think the Wolverines secondary is second to none. They are more athletic than most, and also faster and smarter. What does worry me is broken plays that lead to something bigger. Michigan’s defensive ends and linebackers will really need to focus on containing the run, and turning the ball carrier back into the defense this week.
Another thing that worries me is Colorado’s defensive line. Last week Michigan’s O-line looked pretty awful. The run game was basically non-existent. Kyle Kalis told fans to “relax” this week, when asked about the run game concerns. No Kyle…I will not relax…Do your job and block! Do I think it’s time to panic on Michigans O-line? Absolutely not. However, I think they need to sharpen up a few minor things, and they will be just fine. They will have their hands full with a big defensive line this week, but I look for a bounce back effort from the entire unit. I think the game is going to come down to Wilton Speight, and Michigan’s linebackers. Can Speight continue the start he is on, take care of the ball, and lead the Wolverines to the end zone? Can the linebackers control the containment, and set the tone this week?
At the end of the day, the Buffs hang close in this one. The longer they hang around, the better chance they have at an upset. Ultimately, I think it is going to come down to a big defensive/special teams play by the Wolverines to finally break away from Colorado in the third quarter. The Wolverines won’t look back at that point, and will begin to pour it on. Speight has a big day through the air, and Michigan wins this one 42-17. Go Blue!
Jim Salow – @Jsalow14
Michigan 35, Colorado 20
Last week’s win over the Knights, while overpowering, also saw the offensive line struggle to establish the run game. This week, I’ll be watching the battle at the line of scrimmage to see how the offensive line handles their first real defensive challenge.
Michigan vs. Colorado. Will the Wolverines be tested—or will they run away like the last two weeks?