Alright folks, it’s game week and Michigan Football will begin the 2013 season when they host Central Michigan on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:42pm and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. The Wolverines begin the season ranked #17 in both polls.
With the arrival of the first game week of the season, comes the arrival of the first official depth chart of the season. There were a few surprises on the Wolverines inaugural two deep.
At left guard, former walk-on and redshirt sophomore, Graham Glasgow has earned the starting assignment. He is backed up by Chris Bryant. Ben Braden, who had been the favorite to win this spot, is now listed as Taylor Lewan’s back up at left tackle.
Amara Darboh was likely to start opposite of Jeremy Gallon, but his season-ending injury has opened up the door for redshirt freshman Jehu Chesson, who is listed as the starter.
As expected Fitzgerald Toussaint will start at running back. However redshirt freshman Drake Johnson has emerged out of a crowded pack and is listed as the back up.
Defensively, a pair of true freshmen, Jourdan Lewis and Channing Stribling, are listed as the back ups at both cornerback positions. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said that Stribling is picking things up faster than most freshmen. He also said he doesn’t consider Dymonte Thomas or Taco Charlton as freshmen anymore because they enrolled early and aren’t preforming like freshmen. Look for both Thomas and Charlton to get a lot of playing time against Central Michigan.
In addition to returning kicks, Dennis Norfleet will also be the primary punt returner this season.
As for the opponent, Central Michigan’s best offensive weapon will be senior running back Zurlon Tipton who rushed for 1,492 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. On defense, the Chippewas will struggle to slow down Michigan’s high-powered offense.
Speaking of the offense, I for one am excited to see how it looks on Saturday. By all accounts, Devin Gardner is primed for a huge season. He has all the tools and the intangibles to be a great quarterback. His pinpoint passing ability will help open up the running game and give the Wolverines a dynamic offensive attack.
Despite breaking in three new starters, the offensive line should be very good this year. “I expect this team to be a punishing offensive line,” Taylor Lewan explained at Monday’s press conference. “That’s what we should be. We’re Michigan football.” Here are your starters on the O-line; LT: Taylor Lewan, LG: Graham Glasgow, C: Jack Miller, RG: Kyle Kalis, RT: Michael Schofield.
Michigan should win by a hefty margin here. Then it will be time to get ready for Notre Dame. Final score: Michigan 56-10
If you would like to receive an email notification each time a Michigan Football and/or Basketball story is posted you can fill out the Email Notification Form.
You can follow me on twitter @isportsRob