#21/22 MICHIGAN VS. SAN DIEGO STATE
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
September 24, 2011, 12:00 PM
TV: Big Ten Network (Eric Collins, Chris Martin, Dionne Miller)
Radio: WWJ-950 AM, WTKA-1050 AM, Sirius/XM 91 (Frank Beckmann, Jim Brandstatter, Doug Karsch)
Line: UM -10
Series Record: UM leads 1-0
Last Meeting: 2004: UM 24 - SDSU 21
UM Record/Rank: 3-0 (0-0), #21/22 (AP/Coaches)
SDSU Record/Rank: 3-0 (0-0), NR
Forecast: Mostly cloudy (30% chance of showers), 60º-65º, winds calm
A little background
Six coaches from Michigan's football staff, including of course Brady Hoke, coached at San Diego State last year. How's that for starters? Al Borges was the OC at SDSU last year, and things haven't changed very much since he left. You can make the argument, and many already have, that Michigan has a very unique advantage going into this game. I believe they do.
Michigan and San Diego State have only a brief head-to-head history. They met only one time, in 2004 when Michigan topped the Aztecs 24-21. Oddly, that was the very same day I moved from Ohio to Michigan (Columbus to Ann Arbor to be more specific).
Statistical Breakdown (based on stats through week 3)
Remember that Michigan's stats against Western Michigan in week 1 are not taken into account here.
|MICHIGAN||Value (Nat. Rank)||Value (Nat. Rank)||SAN DIEGO STATE||ADV.|
|Rushing Offense (ypg)||245.00 (13)||197.00 (98)||Rushing Defense (ypg)||MICH+++|
|Passing Offense (ypg)||216.50 (68)||186.00 (36)||Passing Defense (ypg)||SDSU|
|Pass Efficiency||157.60 (30)||129.77 (72)||Pass Efficiency Defense||MICH+|
|Total Offense (ypg)||461.50 (24)||383.00 (80)||Total Defense (ypg)||MICH+|
|Scoring Offense (ppg)||33.00 (48)||21.67 (48)||Scoring Defense (ppg)||PUSH|
|Rushing Defense (ypg)||202.50 (103)||220.67 (24)||Rushing Offense (ypg)||SDSU++|
|Passing Defense (ypg)||172.00 (26)||207.33 (78)||Passing Offense (ypg)||MICH+|
|Pass Efficiency Defense||139.58 (92)||141.37 (49)||Pass Efficiency||SDSU+|
|Total Defense (ypg)||374.50 (76)||428.00 (42)||Total Offense (ypg)||SDSU|
|Scoring Defense (ppg)||17.00 (35)||38.00 (27)||Scoring Offense (ppg)||PUSH|
|Net Punting Yards||34.00 (101)||9.17 (47)||Punt Return Yards||SDSU+|
|Punt Return Yards||9.50 (44)||31.81 (46)||Net Punting Yards||PUSH|
|Kickoff Return Yards||18.43 (102)||26.06 (105)||Kickoff Return Defense||PUSH|
|Kickoff Return Defense||22.17 (75)||24.17 (39)||Kickoff Return Yards||SDSU|
|Turnover Margin||1.50 (11)||2.00 (5)||Turnover Margin||PUSH|
|Penalty Yds/Game||34.70 (16)||33.70 (14)||Penalty Yds/Game||PUSH|
|Sacks||0.50 (111)||0.33 (6)||Sacks Allowed||SDSU+++|
|Sacks Allowed||0.50 (12)||3.00 (22)||Sacks||PUSH|
|Redzone Offense (%)||100.00 (1)||100.00 (106)||Redzone Defense (%)||MICH+++|
|Redzone Defense (%)||60.00 (15)||90.91 (34)||Redzone Offense (%)||PUSH|
|Redzone TD %||90.00 (7)||100.00 (118)||Redzone TD % Defense||MICH+++|
|Redzone TD % Defense||40.00 (20)||90.91 (6)||Redzone TD %||PUSH|
|3rd Down Conv. %||51.72 (18)||43.18 (86)||3rd Down Defense %||MICH++|
|3rd Down Defense %||48.65 (106)||47.73 (34)||3rd Down Conv. %||SDSU++|
|1st Downs Per Game||19.00 (81)||18.70 (58)||1st Downs Allowed Per/Gm||SDSU|
|1st Downs Allowed Per/Gm||19.00 (62)||21.00 (53)||1st Downs Per Game||PUSH|
Difference less than 20 in national rank = Push
Difference more than 20 in national rank = Team
Difference more than 40 in national rank = Team+
Difference more than 60 in national rank = Team++
Difference more than 80 in national rank = Team+++
This is the part of the preview where I breakdown what happens when Michigan has the ball, San Diego State has the ball, and of course special teams. Well, due to time constraints and external forces, we're going to feature a slightly* more condensed version.
What you should know about San Diego State is, they are probably better than Western Michigan, but probably not as good as Notre Dame. They feature a very good running back in Ronnie Hillman, the #2 overall rusher in the nation. He averages 165.67 yards per game and has 8 touchdowns so far this year. He's tied atop the NCAA in scoring with 16 points per game. Throwing the ball, while not SDSU's biggest weapon, is Ryan Lindley. He's best described as a "serviceable" QB. They best thing he can do is turn around and hand the ball to Hillman.
If San Diego State is going to win this game, it will be because Michigan's defense broke down and never got back up and running. We've shown so far this year, especially early in games, that we're susceptible against the run. We're going to need to be much stronger in that respect this week.
Like we said before, Michigan has a huge advantage in that we know exactly what they're going to do, and we know their personnel probably better than the current coaching staff. You can't discount how big this is.
Running the ball is going to be a big part of Michigan's gameplan tomorrow. Vincent Smith might start at RB, but he will be helped out by Fit Toussaint and probably Denard Robinson. Let's not kid ourselves, the designed QB run is still alive and well in the Al Borges offense. But Denard must get some help from his running backs. He can't shoulder the load all year. SDSU is not a very good rush defense.
Overall, Michigan should win this game. SDSU will have the chip on their shoulder, for sure. But I think Hoke has secretly had this game circled on the schedule since he got here. I would expect the Aztecs to do some weird things -- fake punt, onside kick, going for it on 4th down -- to try and rattle the Michigan coaches to throw them off.
If Michigan plays the way they played in the 4th quarter of the Notre Dame game, we should win by a couple touchdowns. If we can establish a good running game and control the line of scrimmage, then we'll be fine. But SDSU could hang around, they certainly have the talent on offense to do so.
• B1G Breakdown: Week 4
• Hoke Presser Video (9/19)
• Coordinators Presser Video (9/20)
• Hoke, Denard Presser Video (9/21)