Breaking it down: Michigan looking to bust loose in Week 2
Who: Oregon State vs. Michigan
When: 12 p.m. ET
Where: Michigan Stadium, Michigan
Spread: Michigan -15.5
Matchup to watch: Seth Collins vs. Chris Wormley
Oregon State will trot out a true freshman quarterback making his second career start. He’ll do so in front of the nation’s largest crowd. On top of that, he’s going to have Chris Wormley chasing him around all over the place. Collins showed off his mobility with 152 yards rushing in his debut. But that was against Weber State. He hasn’t seen somebody that can get into the backfield like Wormley can. His three tackles for loss last week helped Michigan to some key defensive stands. If he can keep contain, the Wolverines shouldn’t have too difficult a time bottling Collins up.
Thing I’m excited to see: More of Jabrill Peppers
The redshirt freshman had a stellar second half in his 2015 debut. He made a pair of impressive TFL’s, including one that saw him completely blow up a swing pass. We didn’t, however, get to see much of Peppers in the open field. He only got to return one kick and didn’t get any action on offense. Jim Harbaugh doesn’t want to complicate things for Peppers, but he knows that he has a special talent that should be on the field for the majority of the game. Hopefully the playbook opens up a little more to get the former five-star recruit involved. At the very least, it’d be nice if the Beavers punted to him.
Number to remember: 2
That’s the amount of starters the Beavers have back on the defensive side. The team that many projected will finish last in the Pac 12 will give Michigan what it needs right now — offensive confidence. Jake Rudock needs it, as does a running game that was stifled at Utah last week. Ty Isaac might be in line for more carries out of the backfield, which could give the Wolverines the boost they need. If the Wolverines are still struggling at home against a team as inexperienced as Oregon State, there would be some serious cause for concern in Ann Arbor.
Prediction: Michigan 28, Oregon State 14
I still don’t think the Wolverines come out of this one satisfied with their offensive performance. I do, however, think Rudock and the younger receivers will look much more in sync. Big games from veterans Amara Darboh and Jake Butt will be what fuels the offense. I’ll also go out on a limb and predict a Peppers punt return for a touchdown. That will provide the exclamation point on Harbaugh’s first win at Michigan.