Michigan: 5 Things to Watch

What: Oregon State (1-0) at Michigan (0-1)
When: 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
TV/Radio: ABC/Beaver Sports Network
Series: 4-0, Michigan. The last time the two teams met was in 1986 at Michigan Stadium. Quarterback Jim Harbaugh led the Wolverines to a 31-12 victory. Beavers QB Erik Wilhelm threw a then-OSU record 64 passes in that game.
Last game: Michigan fell on the road, 24-17, to Utah,
Notable: Michigan was OSU’s opponent in the Beavers’ last Rose Bowl appearance in 1965, which resulted in a 34-7 UM win; Jay Harbaugh, Michigan’s tight ends and special teams coach, graduated from OSU and served as graduate assistant for Mile Riley from 2008-11; Former OSU athletic director Bob DeCarolis now serves in an advisory role for the Michigan

5 Things to Watch:
1. Team composure. Michigan Stadium isn’t commonly known as the “Big House” for nothing — it’s the largest college football stadium in North America. So it will be interesting to see how OSU players handle the atmosphere, and of course, the crowd noise.

2. Michigan’s pass rush. Will the Beavers’ offense line be able to slow down Michigan’s front seven enough to enable Seth Collins and Co. to move the chains? It struggled at times to do so last week against Weber State, and the Wolverines should be much more of a challenge.

3. A Collins encore? He was dazzling at times last week, but will Seth Collins be able to find the open field like that against Michigan? Probably not, or at least not as often. So it will be interesting how he adjusts, both passing more and utilizing the read option.

4. Secondary concern. Remember during fall camp, OSU coaches were concerned about the secondary getting beat over the top? Well, it will be interesting to see how the defensive backs do against a team that won’t hesitate to go downfield. Are they ready?

5. Waiting on a big play… I think this one will be a low-scoring affair that could come down to one big play. Can the Beavers spring a kickoff return, haul in a deep ball, or break off the big run that was so elusive against the Wildcats?

Game prediction: Michigan 27, Oregon State 13

Go Beavs! (RW)

 

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