Michigan Season Preview: How Ready Are We for Western Michigan?

David MendenhallCorrespondent IMay 25, 2009

22 Sep 2001:  A flag is hung from a TV camera to remember the victims of the recent attacks as the University of Michigan Wolverines play against the Western Michigan Broncos at Michigan Stadium (The Big House) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan beat Western Michigan 38-21.  DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Danny Moloshok/ALLSPORT

It has been a couple of years since we have won in the Big House on opening day. There was the loss to App State and then against Utah last year. Michigan fans are eager to get the year started off right...I believe that this year is it.

Western Michigan is not going to be an easy game. Their QB, Tim Hiller, was awesome last year. He passed for 3,725 yards and 36 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. He also had a QB rating of 143.81, which is very good. I know the schedule was pretty easy, but he put up some big numbers against Nebraska and Illinois. Tim is very good at spotting open receivers, and has great accuracy. I think he will have a good game against us.

Their running game does not do well in games with decent teams. The line struggles to hold the lineman and is horrible when linebackers blitz. Even though our defensive line is pretty young, I think we will definitely hold the running game down. I don't think they will get over 60 yards, though I know that is hard to say with our defense being unknown. Look for our guys to stop the running game and to make Western Michigan throw the ball most of the game.

Western Michigan's receiving corp was led by Jamarko Simmons last year. Simmons had 1,276 yards on 104 receptions and seven touchdowns. Even though Simmons is gone, they also have two other receivers that went over 700 yards. Another six receivers have touchdowns over 45 yards. Their receivers like the deep ball. I think our corners will be able to slow them down. I think the quarterback will be forcing throws in this game, so I think our corners will be ready for the passes.

Their defense was very suspect last year. They did win a lot of games thanks to their offense. They struggled with stopping the running game. Their corners were horrible about getting burned. I think their defense will struggle with a mobile quarterback with accuracy. I also think our slot receivers will have a big day.

Overall I think our chances of winning the game are good, though Western's passing game might give us some trouble. Other than that, I think our guys are going to pull this one out. This game is going to be huge for us! A win would do a lot for our guys' confidence. I think that we win this game by fourteen points. Look for the Wolverines to get their rhythm going in this game. GO BLUE!!!!!!