Michigan: Strong Up the Middle, with Experienced Coordinators

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

The national commentators who are fussing about whether VT
“deserves” a bid to the Sugar Bowl are overlooking one of the more
compelling points about this game: it’s a good matchup. The Hokies are ranked
slightly higher than the Wolverines, but Michigan is strong in the middle on
offense and defense, and is headed up by talented, experienced offensive and
defensive coordinators. This is going to be a stiff test for Virginia Tech.

I hope you didn’t open this article looking for an analytical breakdown of
the player matchups. You know that’s not what I’m about. But in my travels
around the Web, reading a few articles, I did want to discuss some of the guys
associated with Michigan football — players and coaches — who will make a
difference.

Let’s start with Michigan’s offensive line. Much of this will be covered by
Chris Coleman in his game preview, but I want to highlight some of the players
here.

Michigan center David Molk is this year’s recipient of the Rimington Trophy,
awarded to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I-A football. Molk’s
Rimington Award comes one year after he was one of the seven finalists for the
trophy, and as a four-year starter for the Wolverines he has been playing at a
high level for a long time. He has started 41 games, and if not for an injury
plagued sophomore season, would be getting ready to start his 50th game for the
Wolverines.

Molk anchors a Michigan offensive line that features four players who have
started over 20 games in their careers. In addition to Molk, LT Taylor Lewan has
21 straight starts, RG Patrick Omameh has 28 straight starts, and RT Mark Huyge
has 28 career starts. LG Michael Schofield is the baby of the bunch as a
first-year starter, with nine starts to his credit.

That makes the Wolverines very experienced on the OL, and particularly strong
right in the middle at the center spot. They’ll put that offensive line up
against a Hokie defensive line whose most experienced players are redshirt
sophomores, and one of the starters, Luther Maddy, is

...