Miami Up-Close

Who: Michigan v. Miami (Ohio)
When: 12:00PM September 6, 2008
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
: Michigan Sports Network
UM 4-0
Last Meeting: 2004, Michigan 43 - 10

Program Background

Conference: Mid-American - East
Head Coach: Shane Montgomery
Off. Coordinator: Shame Montgomery
Off. Scheme: Multiple
Def. Coordinator: Jay Hood
Def. Scheme: 4-3
Last year: 6-7 (5-2)

Miami On Paper
Well, they're not Utah. And unlike last year after our first loss against Appy State, they're not Oregon either. The good news is, I really think we can, and should win.

The MAC is a typical mid-major conference. From top to bottom, not very vast...talent-wise. They're not very top heavy with great teams. Central Michigan, and suddenly BGSU are the jewels of the conference...but if falls off about 2 or 3 teams down. Miami finds themselves in the lower tier of the conference this year. CBS SportsLine has them currently ranked #75 among FBS teams.

Although, the argument could be made that most players at Miami probably committed because of games like this. It's not everyday you get to play in front of 108,000 people on ESPN. So they will be pumped. It's their super bowl. As most mid-major conference teams that enter the Big House now, they will have visions of Appy State in their minds. Or to a lesser extent, Utah.

You can't discount that.

Miami On Offense
There was a time when Miami was a team to be worried about. In 2004 when Michigan won 43-10, those were the days of the typical Miami offense that could score points and give the MAC a scare. But now, not the case.

Miami amassed 340 yards of total offense against Vandy in their season opener. While on paper, thats not bad. 244 of that was through the air. They seem to rely pretty heavily on their QB Daniel Raudabaugh who went 19 of 41 with 3 picks. Of the 244 yards, he was able to spread it around pretty well among his receiver corps with 8 players with catches, none over 100 yards total.

Running back Thomas Merriweather had 10 rushes for 59 yards as he led Miami's less than impressive rushing attack.

While they did keep the game close at least into the second quarter with a doormat SEC opponent, the speed and talent of Vandy's defense was able to slow down and manipulate Miami into making mistakes...most importantly in the passing game.

Chalk it up to first game gitters, but I really don't see Miami passing well, or running well for that matter against what I believe, is a much more disciplined Michigan defense. If we can come out in the first half and play like we did in the 2nd half of the Utah game, this will surely be a good win for Michigan.

Miami On Defense
I'd go into great depth and detail about Miami's defense, but why? They gave 360 yards against Vandy, 269 of it on the ground. It is safe to say that pretty much nothing went right for Miami in their opener, especially in terms of stopping the Vandy running game. If Michigan wants to try and tighten the screws on their running game, this may be the game to do it.

Without going too much into predictions, I really see Michigan starting to put the pieces of their offense together in this game. I hope to see more McGuffie and Shaw on the ground. It will take time for Threat to settle into the QB role, and it will be up to the rushing game to ease his transition. Of course moving the ball down the field would be nice. Long sustained drives and getting into the red-zone would be great too.

Long story short, this post barely lives up to what it was initially intended to do. It's a somewhat distant look at Miami. Again, should we win? Yeah, sure. Will we win? I think so. Will it be close? If they play like last week's 1st half...yes. If they play like last week's 2nd half, no. If we can find some kind of running game, that would help. Hey, did ya hear? Kevin Grady is going to play! Great...a 230 pound fullback! That's all we need.

As of right now, Miami is barely on the radar when it comes to contenders in the MAC East. If I were less of a Michigan fan or if I was a half-glass-empty kind of guy, I'd still take Michigan this week...and the points. Go Blue!

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