After coming off of a crushing loss to the now top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the Cowboys Classic, the Wolverines come home to the friendly confines of The Big House. In school history, the Wolverines are 109-18-2 in home openers, with their last home loss coming against Utah in former coach Rich Rodriguez’s debut.
Prediction: Michigan 41 – Air Force 21
Well, in their home opener in 2012, the Air Force Falcons come in with a 1-0 record in the Mountain West Conference, defeating the Idaho State Bengals 49-21 in their home opener.
This game will be the toughest of the season for the Falcons as the Wolverines are currently the only ranked team on the schedule. They did drop from eight to 19 in the poll after the opening week loss.
The Falcons are led by senior quarterback Connor Dietz, who threw 142 yards in only eight completions on 11 attempts. He did score a touchdown of his own in the opening game, a rushing one, along with 74 rushing yards on seven carries. The big part of their roster is going to be senior running back Cody Getz, who ran for 218 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns.
Air Force also spread the ball around a bit in their first game going to four different receivers, but their ground game will look to be the biggest part of their offense.
Michigan lost cornerback Blake Countess to a leg injury for the entire season after getting injured in the game against Alabama. Junior Courtney Avery will take over his spot in the secondary, and should hopefully fill the void.
Senior quarterback Denard Robinson didn’t look great last week, completing only 11 of 26 passes, and rushing only 10 times. The Michigan backfield really missed the suspended Fitzgerald Toussaint, who will be back for this game against the Falcons. It’s not clear whether he will start or not.
A couple of notes from the game included backup quarterback-turned wide receiver Devin Gardner, catching his first pass and scoring his first touchdown.
Third-string backup quarterback Russell Bellomy is now the backup quarterback to Denard Robinson, as he was set to come in after Robinson was slightly injured on a play, but instead the ball was turned over.
Junior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon also emerged as probably the top wide-out on the team, or a close second to Roy Roundtree. He caught four passes for 107 yards on the day, a career best.
The Wolverines will look to go back to the basics against a Mountain West team, that they should easily handle. They found out what it was like to play against the best team in the country and there is some growing to go through. Michigan should handle the Falcons fairly easily both on the ground and in the air. Go Blue!