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Pres-season Game Preview: Vanderbilt

September 2 Vanderbilt

Offensive Starters Returning: 7 (RB, FB, 2WR, 2OT, OG)

Defensive Starters Returning: 6 (DE, DT, 2LB, CB, SS)

Specialists Returning: 2 (P,K)

Offense: Vanderbilt is expected to be a primarily passing team, despite losing demigod Jay Cutler. Their aerial attack will be headlined by sophomore WR Earl Bennett, and with QB transferring in from Arizona, they will have a signal caller who is a veteran, even if he is not experienced in the Vandy offense. Under a new NCAA rule, since he is a grad student, there is no one-year period that he will have to sit out before playing. Bennett will be a good early test for Leon Hall at the corner position. Though he isn't as good as some other Wrs that Hall will face, he should serve as a good measuring stick. Vanderbilt's tackles, who both return after starting last year, are also decent, and should be an indicator of what our Des will be able to do in terrorizing quarterbacks. Obviously, with most of the rest of the line new, and the level of talent that Vanderbilt is expected to have, I don't see them having much of a successful game running the ball on us.

Defense: Vanderbilt's defense last year wasn't any good, and they shouldn't be any better this year, especially after losing their only All-SEC player in LB Moses Osemwgie. Their D-line is fairly thin, and again, at a school like Vanderbilt, the possibility of sleepers being stars is very low. The running game should click on this day. Their secondary is also weak, returning one corner and the strong safety. It should also be a successful passing game for the Wolverines.

Special Teams: Bryant Hannfeldt returns after pulling double-duty as kicker and punter last year. Earl Bennett will serve as a fairly dangerous return man.

Other factors: none

Conclusion: If Michigan doesn't score a lot of points or hold Vanderbilt close to scoreless, it could be a grim sign for the rest of this season. However, the Commodores shouldn't be too much of a challenge, and it should be a good first game in front of the home fans.

“Pres-season Game Preview: Vanderbilt”