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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Purdue Pre-game: Why this is a must win for Michigan

The past two seasons, an undefeated Michigan team lost to rival Michigan State and subsequently saw its season spiral out of control. The Spartans dealt the Wolverines their first loss again two weeks ago, setting up what is, for confidence sake at least, a must win game today for the Wolverines against Purdue (4-3, 2-1) in Ann Arbor.
If Michigan wins today, it will improve to 7-1 and be set up for an 8 or 9 win season. A loss, however, would leave the Wolverines 6-2 heading into back-to-back road games at Iowa and Illinois, followed by home games against Nebraska and Ohio State to finish the season.
That's got late-season swoon written all over it.
This Michigan team has more confidence than talent, and that may be enough to turn in an overachieving season in Brady Hoke's first year. Yet, if that confidence fades, at it very well could with tw0-straight losses, Hokeamania in Ann Arbor could fade into an irrelevant bowl appearance and a bitter tasting offseason.

Safety and defensive team leader Jordan Kovacs it out today for Michigan. He may be able to return next week at Iowa. Troy Woolfolk will start in his place... The Wolverines combined for just 82 yards rushing last game against MSU, 42 of those yards came from Denard Robinson. Look for Fitz Toussaint and Vincent Smith to get more carries today... Despite turning in the worst statistical game of his career as a starter, both passing and rushing, Robinson remains the unquestioned starter at QB for Hoke. Backup Devin Gardner may see time in certain packages, but Robinson remains Michigan's QB going forward.


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