Michigan football opens the 2022 season at high noon Saturday, facing off against Colorado State at 12 pm EST on ESPN.

Michigan vs. Colorado State Preview

Head coach Jim Harbaugh recently revealed plans for how the Wolverines will address the quarterback situation early in the season. With Cade McNamara and JJ McCarthy locked in a tight QB battle, both players will receive starts across the first two weeks of the season.

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In Week 1, McNamara – the returning starter for last year’s B1G Champions – will get the start against the Rams. He will face a Colorado State squad that went 3-9 but surrendered just over 200 passing yards per game in 2021.

Regardless of who is under center for the Wolverines, the offense should get off to a strong start in Week 1. The unit returns a lot of firepower, including running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, tight end Erick All and a deep and explosive group of receivers led by Ronnie Bell.

On the defensive side of the ball, Michigan must replace star power with Aidan Hutchinson, David Ojabo, Dax Hill and Josh Ross all off to the NFL from a year ago. Harbaugh’s defense is already in the process of retooling the defense with one true freshman prepared for a role on the defensive front and graduate transfer Eyabi Anoma making an immediate impression upon arriving.

The good news for Harbaugh and the Wolverines is that they will get a new head coach at Colorado State in the season opener. Jay Norvell will make his Rams debut in Week 1 after replacing Steve Addazio in the offseason.

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Norvell joins the Rams after going 33-26 in 5 seasons at Nevada with the program winning at least 7 games every season from 2018-21. While Norvell is known for explosive offenses (Nevada averaged 35.7 points per game and threw for over 4,400 yards in 2021), there are bound to be some growing pains in his first season with Colorado State.

Michigan vs. Colorado State Prediction

The Wolverines are breaking in two new coordinators for 2022, but those coordinators are inherting systems that are already clicking and should not experience much of a letdown out of the gate. The same cannot be said for Colorado State and new head coach Jay Norvell.

Anytime a line gets to the mid-20s or higher, there is understandably some concern for how the game will develop, but Michigan should be able to run up and down the field against the Rams.

Prediction: Michigan 45, Colorado State 10