Bowling Green Falcons (1-2 SU, 3-0 ATS) vs. No. 21 Michigan
Wolverines (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS), Week 4 College Football, 12:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, September 25, 2010, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich., TV: ESPN2
by Badger of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: BG +25.5/Mich -25.5
Over/Under Total: 58.5
After nearly falling asleep at the wheel and surviving a big scare
from the UMass Minutemen last weekend, the 21st-ranked Michigan
Wolverines will try and complete the non-conference portion of their
schedule with one more tune up against the Bowling Green Falcons in the Big House of Michigan Stadium Saturday.
One week after an emotional win over rival Notre Dame, the Wolverines
watched their 18-point lead early in the fourth quarter on UMass
whittle away to less that a score as the Minutemen added two late
scores to force Michigan to hang on for a narrow 42-37 victory. Now
the Wolverines will try and stay focused on the task at hand, the
Bowling Green Falcons, for one more week before the start of the Big
Ten Conference portion of the schedule begins next week at Indiana.
The Falcons are coming off of an emotional victory of their own last
week, stomping the Marshall Thundering Herd, 44-28, in the Falcons
home opener last Saturday. Bowling Green scored three straight
touchdowns in the span of six minutes midway through the fourth
quarter to turn what was a 28-28 ball game into a convincing Falcon
But the victory came with a cost for the Falcons, as starting
quarterback Matt Schilz hurt his shoulder and will not be able to
play against the Wolverines this week, leaving Aaron Pankratz as the
likely starter for Bowling Green this week.
With their starting QB on the sideline and facing the ranked
Wolverines in the Big House, oddsmakers out in Las Vegas are not
giving Bowling Green much of a chance in this game as they opened it
with Michigan as large 23-point favorites at home. That number is
already up to 25.5 at most sportsbooks by midweek, as most of the
early money appears to be backing the Wolverines at this point.
The main reason the Falcons face such a large number this weekend is
because of the play of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. The duel-
threat Robinson is currently leading the country with an average of
410 total yards per game, accounting for almost as many with his feet
(186.3 ypg) as he does throwing it (223.7 ypg).
The difference this season for the Michigan offense has been
Robinsons accuracy, up to 69.7 percent, which has allowed the
Wolverines to unleash Darryl Stonum deep over the middle and open up
the Wolverines option attack when teams start stacking the line to
stop the run. With over 500 yards of offense each week the Wolverines
should probably be scoring more than 33.3 points per game, but with
one more week to tighten things up against the Falcons Im sure coach
Rich Rodriguez wont be afraid to pour it on a little if things are
The Bowling Green defense might not pose much of a challenge either. Sure they played great last week against Marshall, allowing only
376 total yards and forcing four turnovers (3 INT, fumble), but the
quotes are around only for a reason. Prior to last weeks home opener
the Flacons defense gave up 475 yards and 30 points to Troy, and 546
yards and 33 points to Tulsa, so the unit is ripe for Robinson to
have another big day.
Pankratz replaced Schilz at quarterback for Bowling Green last week
and played well in relief (5-of-8, 111 yards, TD, INT), but hes not
the player Schilz is and the Falcon offense will likely drop off in
execution. If Pankratz can find a way to keep getting receiver Kamar
Jorden the ball the Falcons could put some points on the board, but
tiny running back Willie Geter might get swallowed up whole by the
much larger Michigan defensive line.
There has been only one previous meeting between these two schools, a
42-7 thumping by the Wolverines at home in the Big House in 2000.
Michigan covered that day as even larger 31-point favorites, so the
prospects of another point spread cover are all pointing at the
Wolverines (so what if its a small sample). Except the Wolverines
failed to cover as big 29-point favorites last week versus UMass at
home, so my one game trend sort of falls apart.
Bowling Green is 3-0 ATS this year too, but again, a new quarterback
means its a whole new ballgame now.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im taking Michigan minus the 25.5 points.