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2015 Michigan Football

August 19th, 2015 by Justin Potts


2015 Schedule – Michigan Ranking: #12 (AP), #11 (Coaches), #14 (CFP)
Date Opponent Rank Site Time TV Result
Thu, Sept. 3 Utah NR (23) Salt Lake City, Utah 8:30pm Fox Sports 1  L 17-24
Sat, Sept. 12 Oregon State Ann Arbor, Mich. 12:00pm ABC W 35-7
Sat, Sept. 19 UNLV Ann Arbor, Mich. 12:00pm Big Ten Network W 28-7
Sat, Sept. 26 BYU 22 (NR) Ann Arbor, Mich. 12:00pm ABC W 31-0
Sat, Oct. 3 Maryland College Park, Md. 8:00pm Big Ten Network W 28-0
Sat, Oct. 10 Northwestern 13 (16) Ann Arbor, Mich. 3:30pm Big Ten Network W 38-0
Sat, Oct. 17 Michigan State 7 (5) Ann Arbor, Mich. 3:30pm ESPN L 23-27
Sat, Oct. 31 Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. 7:00pm ESPN W 29-26
Sat, Nov. 7 Rutgers Ann Arbor, Mich. 3:30pm Big Ten Network W 49-16
Sat, Nov. 14 Indiana Bloomington, Ind. 3:30pm ABC W 48-41 2OT
Sat, Nov. 21 Penn State State College, Pa. 12pm ABC W 28-16
Sat, Nov. 28 Ohio State 8 (7) Ann Arbor, Mich. TBA TBA L 13-42
Fri, Jan. 1 Florida 19 Orlando, Fla. 1pm ABC W 41-7

*Ranking for teams Michigan has already played is their ranking at the time of the game. Rankings in (parentheses) for teams Michigan has already played are their current rankings. Rankings for teams Michigan hasn’t yet played are their current rankings.
Future Schedules

Big Ten Standings – End of Regular Season – East
Rank Team Record Big Ten Last Next
1 Michigan State 12-2 7-1 Lost to #2 Alabama 0-38
(College Football Playoff)
Season over
2 Ohio State 12-1 7-1 Beat #8 Notre Dame 44-28
(Fiesta Bowl)
Season over
3 Michigan 10-3 6-2 Beat #19 Florida 41-7
(Capital One Bowl)
Season over
4 Penn State 7-6 4-4 Lost to Georgia 17-24
(TaxSlayer Bowl)
Season over
5 Indiana 6-7 2-6 Lost to Duke 41-44
(Pinstripe Bowl)
Season over
6 Rutgers 4-8 1-7 Lost to Maryland 41-46 Season over
7 Maryland 3-9 1-7 Beat Rutgers 46-41 Season over
Big Ten Standings – End of Regular Season – West
1 Iowa 12-2 8-1 Lost to #6 Stanford 16-45
(Rose Bowl)
Season over
2 Northwestern 10-3 6-2 Lost to #23 Tennessee 6-45
(Outback Bowl)
Season over
  Wisconsin 10-3 6-2 Beat #25 USC 23-21
(Holiday Bowl)
Season over
4 Nebraska 6-7 3-5 Beat UCLA 37-29
(Foster Farms Bowl)
Season over
5 Minnesota 6-7 2-6 Beat Central Michigan 21-14
(Quick Lane Bowl)
Season over
6 Illinois 5-7 2-6 Lost to #16 Northwestern 14-24 Season over
7 Purdue 2-10 1-7 Lost to Indiana 36-54 Season over
2015 Michigan Football Roster (Numerical)
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr./Elig. Hometown (High School)
3 Desmond Morgan LB 6-1 236 RS Sr. Holland, Mich. (West Ottawa)
3 Kyle Seychel K/P 6-2 171 So. Brighton, Mich. (Hartland)
4 De’Veon Smith RB 5-11 228 Jr. Warren, Ohio (Howland)
4 Reuben Jones DE 6-4 225 Fr. Lakeland, Fla. (Lake Gibson)
5 John O’Korn QB 6-4 220 Jr. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
5 Jabrill Peppers DB 6-1 205 So. Paramus, N.J. (Paramus Catholic)
6 Brian Cleary QB 6-3 205 Sr. Detroit, Mich. (Detroit Jesuit)
6 Keith Washington DB 6-2 175 Fr. Prattville, Ala. (Prattville)
7 Shane Morris QB 6-3 209 Jr. Warren, Mich. (De La Salle)
7 Shelton Johnson DE 6-5 225 Fr. Delray Beach, Fla. (Atlantic Community)
8 Channing Stribling DB 6-2 178 Jr. Matthews, N.C. (Butler)
8 Tyrone Wheatley TE 6-6 260 Fr. Buffalo, N.Y. (Canisius)
9 Mike McCray LB 6-4 242 Jr. Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)
9 Grant Perry WR 6-0 185 Fr. Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Brother Rice)
10 Zach Gentry QB 6-7 230 Fr. Albuquerque, N.M. (Eldorado)
10 Da’Mario Jones WR 6-2 199 Jr. Westland, Mich. (John Glenn)
12 Alex Malzone QB 6-2 218 Fr. Farmington Hills, Mich. (Brother Rice)
12 Blake O’Neill P 6-2 215 RS Sr. Melbourne, Australia
13 Terry Richardson CB 5-9 174 Sr. Detroit, Mich. (Cass Tech)
13 Matt Thompson QB 6-5 214 So. Cincinnati, Ohio (Indian Hill)
14 Allen Gant LB 6-2 225 Sr. Sylvania, Ohio (Southview)
14 Drake Harris WR 6-4 174 So. Grand Rapids, Mich. (Grand Rapids Christian)
15 Jake Rudock QB 6-3 208 RS Sr. Weston, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
15 James Ross III LB 6-1 232 Sr. Orchard Lake, Mich. (St. Mary’s Prep)
16 Andrew David K 6-9 170 Fr. Massillon, Ohio (Washington)
16 Garrett Moores QB 6-3 211 Jr. Detroit, Mich. (Detroit Catholic Central)
16 Jack Wangler WR 6-1 201 Jr. Royal Oak, Mich. (Warren De La Salle)
17 Freddy Canteen WR 6-1 185 So. Elkton, Md. (Eastern Christian Academy)
17 Tyree Kinnel DB 5-11 200 Fr. Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne)
18 A.J. Pearson DB 6-0 202 Sr. Johns Creek, Ga. (Northview)
18 Antonio Whitfield RB 5-4 160 Jr. Canal Winchester, Ohio (Canal Winchester)
19 Wilton Speight QB 6-6 235 So. Richmond, Va. (The Collegiate School)
19 Jared Wangler LB 6-2 230 So. Royal Oak, Mich. (De La Salle)
19 Mike McCray LB 6-4 242 RS Fr. Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)
20 Drake Johnson RB 6-0 212 RS So. Ann Arbor, Mich. (Pioneer)
20 Matt Mitchell DB 5-10 179 So. Dexter, Mich. (Dexter)
22 Karan Higdon RB 5-10 190 Fr. Sarasota, Fla. (Riverview)
22 Joe Hewlett RB 6-0 192 So. Novi, Mich. (Northville)
22 Jarrod Wilson S 6-2 210 Sr. Akron, Ohio (Akron Buchtel)
23 Jordan Glasgow RB 6-1 200 Fr. Aurora, Ill. (Marmion Academy)
24 Kevin Gross RB 5-11 195 Fr. Saline, Mich. (Saline)
24 Wayne Lyons CB 6-1 193 RS Sr. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Dillard)
25 Dymonte Thomas DB 6-2 191 Jr. Alliance, Ohio (Marlington)
26 Jourdan Lewis CB 5-10 176 Jr. Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)
27 Derrick Green RB 5-11 234 Jr. Richmond, Va. (Hermitage)
27 Chris Terech LB 6-2 215 Fr. Saline, Mich. (Saline)
27 Travis Wooley CB 6-0 195 Sr. Sault Sainte Marie, Mich. (Sault Area)
28 Brandon Watson RB 5-11 189 So. Elkton, Md. (Eastern Christian Academy)
29 Ross Taylor-Douglas DB 5-10 186 Jr. Avon, Ohio (Avon)
30 Joe Beneducci FB 5-9 207 So. Far Hills, N.J. (West Morris Mendham)
30 Reon Dawson DB 6-2 175 Jr. Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)
31 Nick Benda LB 6-0 223 Sr. Champion, Mich. (Westwood)
32 Shaun Austin S 6-1 202 Sr. Plymouth, Mich. (Plymouth)
32 Ty Isaac RB 6-3 240 Jr. Shorewood, Ill. (Joliet Catholic Academy)
33 Wyatt Shallman RB 6-3 244 Jr. Novi, Mich. (Detroit Catholic Central)
33 Taco Charlton DE 6-6 273 Jr. Pickerington, Ohio (Central)
34 Jeremy Clark DB 6-4 205 Sr. Madisonville, Ky. (Madisonville N. Hopkins)
34 Deyanco Hardwick FB 5-11 225 So. Ann Arbor, Mich. (East Detroit)
35 Joe Bolden LB 6-3 232 Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio (Colerain)
36 Joe Kerridge FB 6-0 249 RS Sr. Traverse City, Mich. (St. Francis)
37 Bobby Henderson RB 5-11 240 Sr. Hopewell Junction, N.Y. (John Jay)
38 John Andrysiak LB 6-1 215 Fr. Flint, Mich. (Powers Catholic)
38 Francois Montbrun DB 5-10 183 Jr. Ishpeming, Mich. (Westwood)
39 Sione Houma FB 6-0 243 Sr. Salt Lake City, Mich. (Highland)
40 Kenneth Sloss WR 5-11 160 Jr. Monroe, Mich. (Monroe)
40 Nick Volk FB 5-10 238 So. Frankenmuth, Mich. (Frankenmuth)
41 Brian Cole WR 6-2 200 Fr. Saginaw, Mich. (Heritage)
41 Ryan Tice K/P 6-1 177 Fr. Saline, Mich. (Saline)
42 Ben Gedeon LB 6-3 241 Jr. Hudson, Ohio (Hudson)
43 Scott Sypniewski LS 6-1 224 Jr. Ottawa, Ill. (Marquette)
43 Chris Wormley DL 6-5 300 Sr. Toledo, Ohio (Whitmer)
44 Delano Hill DB 6-0 204 Jr. Detroit, Mich. (Crockett Technical)
44 Chase Winovich TE 6-3 230 Fr. Jefferson Hills, Pa. (Thomas Jefferson)
45 Brady Pallante DL 6-1 276 So. Naples, Fla. (Barron Collier)
46 Michael Wroblewski LB 6-2 241 Jr. Saint Clair Shores, Mich. (Detroit Jesuit)
49 Tom Strobel DE 6-6 270 Sr. Mentor, Ohio (Mentor)
49 Anthony Dalimonte CB 5-9 176 Jr. Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Brother Rice)
50 Andrew Robinson LS 5-11 209 So. Troy, Mich. (Troy Athens)
51 Tommy Whitted LB 6-1 225 Fr. Winter Park, Fla. (Winter Park)
51 Greg Forelich OL 6-2 270 Jr. Maplewood, N.J. (Montclair Kimberly Academy)
52 Mason Cole OL 6-5 287 So. Tarpon Springs, Fla. (East Lake)
52 Royce Jenkins-Stone LB 6-2 240 Sr. Detroit, Mich. (Cass Tech)
53 Mario Ojemudia DE 6-2 252 Sr. Farmington Hills, Mich. (Harrison)
54 Dan Liesman LB 6-2 233 Sr. Lansing, Mich. (Lansing Catholic)
55 Garrett Miller DL 6-4 270 Jr. Adrian, Mich. (Sand Creek)
55 David Dawson OL 6-4 309 Jr. Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)
56 Jameson Offerdahl LB 6-2 220 Fr. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Cardinal Gibbons)
57 Patrick Kugler OL 6-5 297 Jr. Wexford, Pa. (North Allegheny)
57 William Coleman OL 6-1 320 Fr. Battle Creek, Mich. (Battle Creek Central)
58 Alex Kaminski LB 5-10 215 So. Ada, Mich. (Lowell)
59 Noah Furbush LB 6-4 217 So. Kenton, Ohio (Kenton)
61 Graham Glasgow OL 6-6 303 RS Sr. Aurora, Ill. (Marmion Academy)
62 Blake Bars OL 6-5 281 Sr. Nashville, Tenn. (Montgomery Bell Academy)
63 Ben Pliska OL 6-3 277 Sr. Kirkland, Was. (Lake Washington)
67 Kyle Kalis OL 6-5 292 Sr. Lakewood, Ohio (Saint Edward)
69 Willie Henry DT 6-3 311 Sr. Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville)
70 Nolan Ulizio OL 6-5 293 Fr. West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West)
71 Ben Braden OL 6-6 331 Sr. Rockford, Mich. (Rockford)
72 Logan Tuley-Tillman OL 6-7 309 Jr. Peoria, Ill. (Manual)
73 Maurice Hurst, Jr. DT 6-2 281 Jr. Westwood, Mass. (Xaverian Brothers)
75 Jon Runyan OL 6-4 274 Fr. Philadelphia, Pa. (St. Joseph’s Prep)
76 Juwann Bushell-Beatty OL 6-6 319 So. Paramus, N.J. (Paramus Catholic)
77 Grant Newsome OL 6-7 280 Fr. McLean, Va. (The Lawrenceville School, N.J.)
78 Erik Magnuson OL 6-6 296 Sr. San Diego, Calif. (La Costa Canyon)
80 Khalid Hill TE 6-2 270 Jr. Detroit, Mich. (Crockett)
81 Michael Jocz TE 6-4 231 Sr.. Novi, Mich. (Novi)
82 Amara Darboh WR 6-2 216 Sr. Des Moines, Iowa (Dowling Catholic)
83 Jaron Dukes WR 6-4 204 Jr. Columbus, Ohio (Marion Franklin)
84 A.J. Williams TE 6-6 285 Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio (Sycamore)
85 Maurice Ways WR 6-3 205 So. Beverly Hills, Mich. (Detroit Country Day)
86 Jehu Chesson WR 6-3 207 Sr. St. Louis, Mo. (Ladue Horton Watkins)
88 Jake Butt TE 6-6 248 Jr. Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington North)
88 Jack Dunaway LB 6-3 212 Fr. Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Brother Rice)
89 Brad Anlauf WR 6-4 199 Sr. Hinsdale, Ill. (Hinsdale Central)
89 Ian Bunting TE 6-7 243 So. Hinsdale, Ill. (Hinsdale Central)
90 Bryan Mone DT 6-4 325 So. Salt Lake City, Utah (Highland)
91 Kenny Allen K/P 6-3 220 Sr. Fenton, Mich. (Fenton)
92 Cheyenne Robertson LB 6-3 220 Fr. Union City, N.J. (St. Peter’s Prep)
93 Lawrence Marshall DE 6-4 238 So. Southfield, Mich. (Southfield)
96 Ryan Glasgow DL 6-4 297 Sr. Aurora, Ill. (Marmion Academy)
97 Cody Zeisler DE 6-3 255 So. Ann Arbor, Mich. (Skyline)
99 Matthew Godin DT 6-6 287 Sr. Novi, Mich. (Catholic Central)
Team Stats by Game – Offense
Utah Or. St UNLV BYU Md. NU MSU Min Rut Ind PSU OSU FL Totals (/game)
Pts 17 35 28 31 28 38 23 29 49 48 28 13 41 408 (31.4)
Total Yds 355 405 377 448 378 380 230 296 487 581 343 364 503 5,147 (395.9)
Rush Yds 76 225 258 254 198 201 62 127 150 141 87 57 225 2,057 (158.2)
Pass Yds 279 180 123 194 180 179 168 169 337 440 256 307 278 3,090 (237.7)
1st downs 20 21 17 22 14 21 10 20 25 28 19 20 28 265 (20.4)
Turnovers 3 2 1 0 3 0 1 2 0 1 2 1 0 16 (1.2)
Pen-Yds 3-25 10-105 3-34 5-53 7-65 3-28 8-70 5-47 6-60 13-72 13-117 7-72 4-30 87-778
Punts-Yds 3-130 3-127 5-193 4-163 6-242 5-190 7-312 5-220 3-133 3-123 6-198 4-157 1-57 55-2,245
POS time 30:41 38:01 30:02 38:38 34:19 37:05 29:49 28:55 33:04 32:33 33:22 29:54 38:38 33:28
3rd Down 6-16 6-13 6-13 9-17 5-17 7-14 4-15 5-12 7-13 6-12 7-14 9-18 9-12 86-186 (46%)
4th Down 1-2 1-1 0-2 0-2 1-2 1-1 0-1 0-1 0-0 1-1 0-0 1-3 0-0 6-16 (38%)
Sacks Alwd 0-0 1-17 0-0 2-15 2-11 3-4 3-10 2-10 0-0 1-7 2-10 2-11 0-0 18-95 (1.4-7.3)
FGs 1-2 2-2 0-0 1-1 2-3 1-1 3-3 0-0 2-3 2-3 0-0 2-2 2-2 18-22 (82%)
PATs 2-2 3-3 4-4 4-4 2-2 5-5 2-2 3-3 5-5 6-6 4-4 1-1 5-5 46-46 (100%)
Red Zone 3-3 5-5 2-2 3-4 3-3 3-3 5-5 4-4 8-9 4-4 3-4 3-3 6-7 52-56 (93%)
Red Zone TD 3-3 5-5 2-2 3-4 1-3 3-3 2-5 4-4 6-9 2-4 3-4 1-3 4-7 37-56 (66%) 
Key: Best Performance Worst Performance
Team Stats by Game – Defense
Utah Or. St UNLV BYU Md. NU MSU Min Rut Ind PSU OSU FL Totals (/game)
Pts Alwd 24 7 7 0 0 0 27 26 16 41 16 42 7 213 (16.4)
Total Yds 337 138 235 105 105 168 386 461 225 527 207 482 273 3,649 (280.7)
Rush Yds 129 59 92 50 29 38 58 144 128 307 70 369 118 1,589 (122.2)
Pass Yds 208 79 143 55 76 130 328 317 164 220 137 113 155 2,060 (158.5)
1st downs 20 12 15 8 7 7 20 20 17 32 14 25 14 217 (16.7)
Turnovers 1 1 2 0 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 12 (0.9)
Pen-Yds 6-55 8-62 2-10 5-45 5-66 5-39 5-44 7-53 7-80 9-79 3-30 5-39 7-66 74-668
Punts-Yds 4-192 7-272 8-328 11-475 13-473 8-280 5-186 5-190 7-245 2-79 6-225 2-70 4-216 82-3,231
POS time 29:19 21:59 29:58 21:22 25:41 22:55 30:11 31:05 26:56 27:27 26:38 30:06 21:22 26:32
3rd Down 3-13 1-11 5-15 4-15 1-18 2-13 3-12 5-14 3-13 6-17 3-14 7-13 7-13 50-181 (28%)
4th Down 2-3 0-2 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-4 1-1 0-1 3-5 1-2 1-2 0-2 9-24 (38%)
Sacks By 1-6 2-17 2-13 3-27 3-20 4-23 3-29 2-19 4-32 1-12 4-26 1-2 2-24 32-250 (2.5-19.2)
FGs 1-3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 4-4 3-3 4-4 3-3 0-0 0-0 15-18 (83%)
PATs 3-3 1-1 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 3-3 2-2 1-1 3-3 1-1 6-6 1-1 22-22 (100%)
Red Zone 3-3 1-1 1-2 0-0 0-0 0-0 2-2 3-4 3-4 5-6 3-3 5-6 1-3 27-34 (79%)
Red Zone TD 3-3 1-1 1-2 0-0 0-0 0-0 2-2 0-4 0-4 2-6 0-3 5-6 1-3 14-34 (41%)
Key: Best Performance Worst Performance

M&GB Season Preview Roundtable 2015

Posted August 28, 2015

The last Friday before the first game week is traditionally when we put forth our season previews in roundtable form. That day has come and it’s time to put our predictions in ink. We won’t fully revisit last season’s predictions because, well, why would anyone want to? But our record predictions ranged from 8-4 to 10-2 and we all know how that went. Here’s to hoping this year is a bit more accurate.

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Position Previews

Predicting Michigan: The quarterbacks

Posted July 8, 2015 by Derick

For the past few years, Michigan was haunted by underwhelming performances at the most important position on the football field: quarterback.

While Devin Gardner showed flashes of brilliance and put together a few heroic games, like his 451-yard, 4-touchdown effort against Ohio State in 2013, he never really blossomed into the talent his five-star recruiting ranks hinted at.

Now, with the dual-threat era of Gardner and Denard Robinson firmly in the rear-view mirror, Michigan will look to get back to its John Navarre and Chad Henne-type roots under new head coach Jim Harbaugh.

He’ll certainly have options. Harbaugh brought in a slew of potential contributors under center, likely hoping at least one of them will turn into a quarterback worthy of leading the Maize and Blue.

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Predicting Michigan: The running backs

Posted July 16, 2015 by Derick

It seems long ago that five-star recruit Derrick Green’s commitment to the University of Michigan sent former head coach Brady Hoke into tears of joy. Ever since that day (Jan. 26, 2013), Michigan’s offense has left fans crying for another reason.

Though much of the blame for the team’s poor rushing performance over the past few years belongs to the offensive line, a few highly-regarded running backs have certainly struggled to live up to the hype. Green and classmate De’Veon Smith, once regarded near-elite talents in the running game, have failed to combine for 1,000 rushing yards in a single season midway through their college careers.

With an improving offensive line and even more viable options in the backfield, the rushing game should see a marked improvement in 2015.

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Predicting Michigan: The wide receivers

Posted July 29, 2015 by Derick

For the last several years, Michigan football has seen a drop-off in the production of its wide receiver unit. Though struggling quarterbacks surely deserve a share of the blame, the Wolverines have sorely missed an offensive playmaker of the Braylon Edwards-Mario Manningham-Jason Avant caliber.

Well, Michigan doesn’t have a wideout of that caliber on the current roster; at least, not that we’ve seen so far. But there are a few solid returning options and some new additions with upside that Jim Harbaugh hopes to turn into a dangerous receiving corps.

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Predicting Michigan: The tight ends

Posted August 4, 2015 by Derick

Among its many other offensive deficiencies last season, Michigan’s offense lacked a consistent tight end threat in the passing game. Devin Funchess’ move to wide receiver left the tight end corps scrambling for a playmaker, and only one tight end finished the season with more than 100 receiving yards.

Enter, Jim Harbaugh. In his takeover of Ann Arbor, the new Michigan head coach brings with him a deep history of success at the tight end position. Zach Ertz, Coby Fleener, and Ryan Hewitt are just a few of the tight ends coached and recruited by Harbaugh at Stanford who ended up in the NFL. Ertz and Fleener each caught more than 50 passes for over 700 yards in the league last season, a trend Harbaugh surely had a hand in.

But does Harbaugh have the talent in place to turn Michigan’s tight ends into weapons in 2015? Here’s a look at the current and incoming members that make up the unit.

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Predicting Michigan: The offensive line

Posted August 13, 2015 by Derick

Michigan’s passing game was severely flawed under head coach Brady Hoke, but perhaps the most concerning unit over the last few seasons was the offensive line.

Michigan, recently known for talented linemen like Jake Long and Taylor Lewan, bounced back from a disastrous 2013 season with a marginally better 2014. Michigan quarterbacks were sacked 27 times and the team rushed for an average of 4.6 yards per carry. The line wasn’t dominant, but with most of the core players returning, there’s certainly enough for new offensive line coach Tim Drevno to work with.

Here’s a look at Michigan’s offensive line unit heading into the 2015 season.

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Predicting Michigan: The defensive line

Posted August 19, 2015 by Derick

For fans who watched Michigan football struggle through a miserable 5-7 season a year ago, including the team’s first shutout loss in decades and another pounding at the hands of Michigan State, encouraging signs were few and far between.

But the defensive line stood out as a strong unit in 2014, holding opponents to just 3.2 rushing yards per carry and picking up 29 sacks on the season. Michigan was the 11th toughest team to run against in the country and the second toughest in the Big Ten, behind Penn State (No. 1 in the nation).

Unfortunately, Jim Harbaugh will have to fill a huge hole on both ends of the defensive line as Frank Clark and Brennen Beyer have moved on to the NFL. Some of the depth players who contributed in the regular rotation last season will have to step up and take on a bigger role.

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Predicting Michigan: The linebackers

Posted August 25, 2015 by Derick

Michigan’s linebacker corps was rock solid last season, but with its fearless leader Jake Ryan graduating to the NFL, it’ll be critical for a largely unproven group to fill the void.

As a unit, the Michigan linebackers were great in the run-stopping game last season, flocking to the ball, and for the most part, keeping running backs from getting to the outside. For the defense to take a step forward in 2015, the three starters will have to lock down the middle of the field and support the defensive line in the run game.

Here’s how the linebackers stack up.

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Predicting Michigan: The secondary

Posted August 26, 2015 by Derick

The unit with the most room to improve on Michigan’s defense under Jim Harbaugh is the secondary, which has been a weakness over the past few seasons. With the departure of both preseason starting cornerbacks from last season, Blake Countess and Raymon Taylor, there’s room for new guys to step in and make some noise under the new regime.

Luckily, there’s plenty of depth at both cornerback and safety for the Wolverines. A few younger players stepped in and played heightened roles during the 2014 season and figure to hold the reins heading into Week 1 against Utah.

Here’s a look at how the secondary will line up.

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Predicting Michigan: The special teams

Posted August 27, 2015 by Derick

Michigan will welcome back most of its offensive and defensive starters in 2015, but the special teams stars will see a huge turnover.
Matt Wile, who went 15-of-21 in field goal attempts last season, and Will Hagerup, who averaged 42.9 yards per punt, both graduated and left two starting kicking spots open. Returner Dennis Norfleet is also absent from the roster after being dismissed by Jim Harbaugh.

Here’s a look at the guys ready to step up as special teams leaders.

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Tailgate Tuesday

Gator kabobs

Posted Nov. 24 by GoBluBBQ

IMG_1261It’s our last recipe of the year, so let’s go out with a bang. SInce we are facing the Florida Gators, Justin suggested I find some gator meat and come up with a tasty treat for the Citrus Bowl. I think we have done that and hope you will give this one a try. It’s healthy, tender and extremely flavorful. I recommend that if you can find gator in your local meat or seafood market, you pick some up and toss it on the grill.

Ingredients

1 pound gator tail meat (cut into 1-inch cubes)
Onions
Mushrooms
Polish sausage

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Planked brie with cranberry chutney

Posted Nov. 24 by GoBluBBQ

IMG_0895It’s “The Game” week…AKA…Turkey Day week. Things are rolling along nicely for the guys in Maize and Blue with the biggest game of the year quickly approaching. I am so geared up for this one and wanted to try a new recipe for this week. This has been on my “t0 do” list for a long time and is a nice addition to any Turkey Day tailgate. This is sweet…oozy…gooey and delicious all in one. Give it a try for the big game as a perfect appetizer. I guarantee your guests will “GOBBLE” it up in no time.

Ingredients

1 Wheel of brie
1 Cedar plank
3 Cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1.5 Cups pure maple syrup
1.5 Cups sweet BBQ sauce (Stubbs Sticky Sweet or Sweet Baby Rays)
1 TBSP Meat Church Bacon BBQ Rub

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Grilled shrimp and scallops

Posted Nov. 17 by MmmGoBluBBQ

IMG_0761One of my favorite things to grill has always been shrimp. They are quick and easy and relatively healthy. Throw on some scallops and we have a great seafood feast. Add some Meat Church rub and we have one of the best meals of the season. Put it all on some skewers and now we have a PARTY. Everything is better on a stick (or skewer in this case).

Ingredients

Jumbo Shrimp (21-25 size) peeled and de-veined
Jumbo Scallops (20-30 size)
Meat Church Fajita Seasoning
Meat Church Honey Hog Rub
Lemon (cut in half)

Directions

Set grill up for high, direct heat. If you have a set of Grill Grates, get them scorching hot. If not, make sure your grates are hot and clean. While the grill is heating up, set your scallops and shrimp on paper towels and pat dry.

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Smoked eggs

Posted Nov. 10 by MmmGoBluBBQ

IMG_0628I’ve been wanting to do some experimenting on the grill for awhile and had the perfect opportunity over the weekend. I had a hot smoker and all the meats were done. It seems like a waste to have a smoker filled with smoking hot coals and EMPTY GRATES. So after finishing another chub of smoked bologna this past Saturday, I tossed on a dozen semi hard build eggs and and finished em off in some smoke. These will be great for smokey deviled eggs or a smoked egg salad and bacon sandwich….MEAT CHURCH STYLE.

Ingredients

12 large eggs
Meat Church Bacon BBQ Rub
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Bacon
Bread

Directions

Boil the large eggs for eight minutes. Once you reach eight minutes, move them to an ice bath and let cool. Once the eggs are cool, crack the shells by rolling under the palm of your hand. Apply medium pressure, assuring the entire shell cracks. Leave the shells on the egg.

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Smoked bologna

Posted Nov. 4, 2015 by MmmGoBluBBQ

IMG_6755Trust me, you will fall in love with this recipe. You don’t have to admit that you love it, but you will. This always gets the most “Huh” and “Whaaaat” looks, but disappears five minutes later. Don’t forget your mustard, cheese and Texas Toast for this one. It makes a great sandwich and is as easy and cheap as it gets. Your guests will think you are a “BBQ Harbaugh”.

Ingredients

5-pound chub of bologna
Mustard
Meat Church Deez Nuts Rub
Texas Toast bread

Directions

Fire up the smoker or grill for indirect heat. We’re shooting for a grill temp of 225-250 degrees. I added a few chunks of apple and hickory wood for some tasty smoke. Any wood will do as you won’t get a huge amount of smoke flavoring on this one. The bologna chub is already cooked so it won’t take on much smoke. You can usually find this in the grocery section of your nearest Wal-Mart.

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Pork belly sliders

Posted Oct. 27, 2015 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Pork Belly Sliders 1I’m a huge lover of bacon. All things bacon. Heck, who isn’t? Whether it’s wrapped around a onion ring forming my favorite grilled appetizer, the Oinkion, or served next to a few sunny side up eggs, bacon is greatness. One of my new favorite things to toss on the smoker is PRE-BACON. No, it’s not a baby pig, it’s a pork belly. This couldn’t be any easier to prepare and is rather inexpensive. It’s about a six hour process, which is perfect for a 7pm game against the Golden Gophers. Fire up the smoker around 10am and enjoy some pork belly sliders at kick-off.

Ingredients

• 2-4 pound pork belly
• Meat Church Deez Nuts Honey Pecan Rub and Honey Hog Rub
• Apple juice
• Slider buns

Mustard Maple Sauce:

• 2 TBSP stone ground mustard
• 2 TBSP pure maple syrup

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Country style ribs with bock glaze

Posted Oct. 14, 2015 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Country Style RibsThis week is the biggest week in 10 years where Michigan football is concerned. Not only are the state bragging rights on the line, but a probable top-8 ranking if things go as they should. I don’t want to get too excited, but this is HUGE!!! Five-star recruits are in town and they want some tasty BBQ pre- and post game. I say we serve em some of the tastiest treats possible — a good batch of country style ribs. These are always easy and a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients

• Country style ribs
• Meat Church HONEY HOG Rub
• Ketchup
• Maple syrup
• Bock style beer

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Flat Iron Fajitas

Posted Oct. 7, 2015 by MmmGoBluBBQ

IMG_9746The flat iron steak is quickly gaining in popularity and for good reason. This cut is from the shoulder or chuck area and has some fantastic marbling throughout. While I typically go for the ribeye or t-bone, this is a close second when I’m firing up the grill. It is extremely versatile and flavorful and can be very tender when cooked properly.

I first discovered this steak when I was up in the Chicago area visiting some friends. We pulled out the Weber grill and and lit the coals. Several of the BBQ’ers were Northwestern Wildcat alum and swore by two things. The first was just how menacing and intimidating purple is on the football field. The second was how great the flat iron steak is. One out of two ain’t bad, right? I decided to give this one a go with Meat Church’s crazy tasty fajita rub and was not disappointed. Whether you are serving it as the main dish, steak style or slicing up for tacos, you will love this cut of beef.

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Lamb Shank

Posted Sept. 30, 2015 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Week 5 Tailgate TuesdayI am not sure the HYPE TRAIN could gain any more momentum than it has in the last four days. This thing is moving along much faster than anyone could have imagined. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but excuse me as I get way ahead of myself. At this time last year, Ohio State was ranked #22 in the nation. I think things turned out okay for them from what I hear. Keep it up boys. This HYPE TRAIN also picked up some lamb shanks along the way and tossed em on the BGE. Sure, it would have been easy to whip up some crab cakes or bacon wrapped squid skewers in honor of our Maryland tailgate pals, but I wanted to go outside the box a little. I hear lamb is huge on the east coast and goes great with a little bacon rub.

Ingredients:
• Lamb shanks
• Garlic cloves
• Rosemary
• Thyme
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Meat Church Bacon BBQ Rub

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Pig Shots

Posted Sept. 22, 2015 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Pig ShotsThis is the week we see what the defense is made of. I assume coach has the team working on knocking down the Hail Mary as this accounts for 25 percent of BYU scores so far this year. Don’t check my math as I may be exaggerating just a bit.

Anyway, I have a buddy that attended BYU back in the 90s and he claims this recipe was his “GO TO” on game days. I could not wait to make this as it includes several of my favorite grilling ingredients. I have bacon, polish sausage, and cream cheese, so how can this not be great? Sprinkle on some MEAT CHURCH Honey Hog rub and we’re in business. You will love this quick and easy appetizer and your guests will too.

Ingredients
• Polish Sausage or Kielbasa
• Bacon
• Pineapple Cream Cheese
• Meat Church Honey Hog Rub

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Build the perfect tailgate smoker

Posted Sept. 15, 2015 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.55.22 PMI am a sports junkie and I love my Michigan teams. I can’t get enough of my Detroit Lions, Tigers, Red Wings, and of course the Michigan Wolverines. I even enjoy watching a game with Sparty every now and then. One weekend, while tailgating with some friends, we ran across a smoker covered in sports stickers. I can’t begin to tell you how horrible this thing looked due to the stickers burning up on the side of a hot piece of metal. Go Figure. It got me thinking about tailgating and showing my team spirit. I started Googling smokers and tailgating and came across a several sites that featured this Mini WSM build. I had to give it a try. The sites I am referring to are Steve’s BBQBros and Chris Allingham’s The Virtual Weber Bullet. Both are great sites and full of great recipes, tips, and overall BBQ greatness. Give them a look.

WSM stands for Weber Smokey Mountain and is a great overall smoker. I love this Mini WSM for a few reasons. First, is the ease of operation. It’s easy to transport and set up. It’s perfect for tailgating. Just throw it in your trunk and head to the game. Secondly, it cooks great food. This little thing keeps it’s temps like the big boys and holds a surprising amount of meat (or those veggie things, if your into that). I have cooked 50 stuffed jalapeños in the mini along with a Tri-Tip roast. I can also get six racks of Baby Backs (rolled) inside. 12-pound pork butt, also, not a problem. Thirdly, this smoker does not eat up a bag of charcoal like my big boys. Dare I say, it’s the Prius of smokers. I can go 10 hours with this smoker on less than half a bag of charcoal and keep the temps in the 250 range. Simply awesome. Lastly, the team colors and logo make tailgating even more fun. Everyone wants one.

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Smoky Spiced Beaver Nuts

Posted Sept. 8, 2015 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Nuts 6Trying to find a “go to” BBQ recipe that the Beaver fans prefer proved a little tougher than I expected. The one dish that kept coming up (thanks Google) was Buffalo chicken dip. While I love this dip and make it a few times each season, I wanted to make something that you can’t find on the side of every single buffalo sauce bottle at your local grocery store. And since we have a brand new sponsor, I decided to go with one of Meat Church’s favorites, the Smoked Spicy Nuts. Beavers like nuts, right?

Ingredients:

• 1 pound of nuts (almonds, cashews, and peanuts are all great choices)
• 2 TBSP olive oil
• 1/4 cup Meat Church rub (Bacon BBQ or Deez Nuts)

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Frog Legs

Posted Sept. 1, 2105 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Frog legs 1It’s been a long off season with plenty of change. The hype train is operating at full speed and will only pick up steam as the season progresses. I cannot wait to see how this team matures and takes shape over the next few months. The same goes for our tailgatin’ journey. We have some fun and tasty recipes on tap and a great new sponsor.

If you watch BBQ Pitmasters, you will no doubt recognize Meat Church, a.k.a. the “GREATEST HAIR in BBQ”. Matt has agreed to sponsor our weekly tailgate posts as well as the weekly Five Spot Challenge. Matt is a HUGE Bama fan, but an even bigger football fan, so he’s okay with us. He has some of the best rubs on the market and is a good dude, so give the MEAT CHURCH rubs a shot.

For this week’s recipe, I decided to go with something a little off the wall and get things “HOPPING” in the right direction. (RIM SHOT).

Ingredients:

• Frog legs
• 12-pack of your favorite beer
– Note: only one will be used for the marinade. The other 11 can be disposed of at your leisure
• 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
• 1/4 cup honey
• 2 TBSP mustard
• Meat Church Bacon Rub

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