|MICHIGAN||Value (Nat. Rank)||Value (Nat. Rank)||ALABAMA||ADV.|
|Rushing Offense (ypg)||221.85 (13)||72.15 (1)||Rushing Defense (ypg)||PUSH|
|Passing Offense (ypg)||182.85 (93)||111.46 (1)||Passing Defense (ypg)||A+++|
|Pass Eff. Offense||139.20 (40)||83.69 (1)||Pass Eff. Defense||A|
|Total Offense (ypg)||404.69 (42)||183.62 (1)||Total Defense (ypg)||A++|
|Scoring Offense (ppg)||33.31 (26)||8.15 (1)||Scoring Defense (ppg)||A|
|Rushing Defense (ypg)||131.69 (39)||214.46 (16)||Rushing Offense (ypg)||A|
|Passing Defense (ypg)||190.46 (16)||215.15 (69)||Passing Offense (ypg)||M+|
|Pass Eff. Defense||120.49 (36)||142.52 (35)||Pass Eff. Offense||PUSH|
|Total Defense (ypg)||322.15 (17)||429.62 (31)||Total Offense (ypg)||PUSH|
|Scoring Defense (ppg)||17.38 (6)||34.85 (20)||Scoring Offense (ppg)||PUSH|
|Net Punting Yards||33.41 (109)||13.00 (14)||Punt Return Yards||A+++|
|Punt Return Yards||9.00 (53)||36.49 (60)||Net Punting Yards||PUSH|
|Kickoff Return Yards||18.43 (117)||21.68 (61)||Kickoff Return Defense||A+|
|Kickoff Return Defense||21.44 (56)||24.90 (19)||Kickoff Return Yards||A|
|Turnover Margin||.54 (25)||.62 (23)||Turnover Margin||PUSH|
|Penalty Yds /Gm||35.2 (5)||28.40 (2)||Penalty Yds /Gm||PUSH|
|Sacks /Gm||2.31 (29)||1.31 (26)||Sacks Allowed /Gm||PUSH|
|Sacks Allowed /Gm||1.38 (33)||2.31 (29)||Sacks /Gm||PUSH|
|Redzone Off. (%)||84.48 (45)||58.82 (1)||Redzone Def. (%)||A++|
|Redzone Def. (%)||68.29 (3)||87.93 (21)||Redzone Off. (%)||PUSH|
|Redzone TD %||63.79 (40)||35.29 (1)||Redzone TD Def. %||A|
|Redzone TD Def. %||51.21 (24)||55.17 (91)||Redzone TD %||M++|
|3rd Down Conv. %||47.02 (16)||26.46 (1)||3rd Down Def. %||PUSH|
|3rd Down Def. %||36.42 (36)||46.43 (19)||3rd Down Conv. %||PUSH|
|1st Downs /Gm||20.80 (50)||10.10 (1)||1st Downs Allowed /Gm||A++|
|1st Downs Allowed /Gm||17.20 (17)||21.50 (37)||1st Downs /Gm||M|
Difference < 20 in national rank = Push
Difference > 20 in national rank = Team
Difference > 40 in national rank = Team+
Difference > 60 in national rank = Team++
Difference > 80 in national rank = Team+++
Couple things to note about the quarterbacks, obviously we all know by now that Devin Gardner is a pretty legit QB, and suddenly now a WR...and will surely see the field Saturday night at that position before he does at quarterback...at least he better. However, should Denard get hurt, I suspect Gardner will shift to QB. If he doesn't, expect 3rd stringer Russell Bellomy to step in. I left him off the list because he has no game experience to speak of.
For Alabama, backup Phillip Sims who was beat out last year for the starting gig by AJ McCarron, transferred to Virginia this off-season. So red-shirt freshman Phillip Ely is the only other starting QB on scholarship at Alabama at the moment. I'm a little surprised this isn't a bigger deal...you don't hear much talk about this.
Alabama has to replace Doak Walker Award winner Trent Richardson at RB. Last year he compiled 1679 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. They have more than capable backs willing to do just that. But the bigger asset to Alabama's running game is not the backs, but the line blocking for them. That group rivals some NFL teams.
Highly touted freshman Dee Hart who picked Alabama over Michigan (after verbally committing to UM), is listed third on Alabama's depth chart. He suffered a season-ending torn ACL last year.
For Michigan, rumors abound about the fate of Fitzgerald Toussaint for this game. My gut tells me he's not going to play, even though he's listed #1 on the depth chart. Official depth charts have proven to be less and less meaningful over the years, often not even done by the head coach.
We all know the receiving issues at hand for Michigan going into 2012. With Junior Hemingway gone, and Roundtree's less-than-stellar junior season, there are many guys who should and need to step up, including Roundtree. I'll address this further in tomorrow's preview.
For Alabama, not a lot of experienced guys returning. Marquise Maze, Brad Smelley and Trent Richardson led the serviceable passing game for Alabama last year...they're all gone. Kenny Bell is probably the biggest go-to guy, but coming out of spring ball, none of these guys were exceptional. Passing and receiving is not the strength of Saban's offense.
Much more coming tomorrow in our full preview.