Sunday, December 30, 2012

Keys to victory for Michigan against South Carolina

Michigan returns to the football field coming up on Tuesday afternoon. Here are my keys to victory for the Wolverines against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.
Mix it up with Denard – In the loss to Ohio State, Michigan became far too predictable on offense when Denard Robinson was on the field. The Wolverines didn’t have Robinson throw a single pass, which allowed the Buckeyes to stack the box when he was on the field. If Robinson is going to take any snaps at quarterback, he has to make a few throws throughout the game to keep the South Carolina defense honest. Michigan is much more likely to break a big play if the Gamecocks have to respect that Robinson could run or throw each time he touches the ball.
Keep Devin/Denard clean – The Michigan offensive line will be tested by an impressive front line for the South Carolina defense. If Michigan is going to be able to move the ball, the offensive line has to win the line of scrimmage and keep Devin Gardner and Denard Robinson from being sacked. The Gamecocks have an impressive 40 sacks this season, led by stud sophomore defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney, who has 13. If South Carolina is able to consistently get into the backfield, it is going to be a long day for the Michigan quarterbacks and the Wolverine fans.
Create turnovers – This South Carolina defense is good. The Gamecocks are only giving up 17.4 points and 312 yards per game, and that is with a SEC schedule. Michigan probably isn’t going to find a lot of consistent success on offense. The Wolverines can’t expect to drive the field 80 yards each time it needs a score. That means the Michigan defense will need to find a way to create turnovers. South Carolina has been pretty good at not turning the ball over, as it has just 19 for the season. Michigan also hasn’t been great at creating turnovers, as the Wolverines have only 17 for the year. But Michigan has to find a way to make South Carolina cough the ball up, especially when the Gamecocks are in their territory. One key turnover could decide this game.

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