Connecticut Huskies (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Michigan Wolverines (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS), 3:30 p.m. EST, Saturday, September 4, 2010, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich. TV: ABC/ESPN2
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Connecticut +3/Michigan -3
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The UConn Huskies will be riding their late season momentum from last season into the new season, as they open up in Ann Arbor against the Michigan Wolverines. Meanwhile, for the Wolverines, it’s the opposite. After getting off to a great start last season, they finished the year on an awful note, and now will try to forget about their struggles and see if they can knock off UConn at home to start the season.
After starting the 2009 season with a 4-5 record, the Huskies won their last three games over Notre Dame, Syracuse and South Florida to finish 7-5 and receive an invitation to the Papajohns.com Bowl. In the bowl game, the Huskies defeated South Carolina, 20-7. UConn averaged more than 40 points per game in their last four regular season games but also gave up at least 27 points in each of their last six regular season games.
Michigan started off the 2009 season quite well at 4-0, but then they lost seven of their next eight games, including each of their last five games. In fact, they only came within single digits of their opponent in one of those final five games, as they finished with a 5-7 record for the season. The Wolverines scored about 34 points per game at home last season and just 21 per game on the road. Although inconsistent, their offense wasn’t bad last season. But their defense gave up 30 or more points in seven of their 12 games.
Michigan is led by sophomore quarterback Tate Forcier, who got off to a great start as a freshman last season, leading the Wolverines to numerous last-second victories. Forcier threw for 2,050 yards last season, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and completed 58.7 percent of his pass attempts. He also can scramble and run the ball well, as he rushed for 240 yards and three touchdowns.
The Wolverines will be very reliant on Forcier this season on offense. His main targets will be wide receivers Roy Roundtree, who led the team last season with 32 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns, and Martavious Odoms, who had 22 receptions for 272 yards and a touchdown.
UConn is led by senior quarterback Zach Frazer, who threw for 1,461 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season and completed 53.2 percent of his pass attempts while splitting time at quarterback with Cody Endres, who has now been suspended indefinitely. But the Huskies are a run-first team. They ran the ball 521 times last season and they only passed the ball 373 times.
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Jordan Todman, who split time at running back last season with the now-departed Andre Dixon, will be the sole starting running back this season. Todman ran last season for 1,188 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per rush.
The key for UConn will be containing Forcier. He can hurt other teams with his arm and his legs. If the Huskies can stop the pass and force Michigan to run the ball more than it wants to, the Huskies will have the edge. The Wolverines have to try and limit the rush yardage for the Huskies. If Michigan can force Frazer to beat the Wolverines with his arm, they will have the advantage.
Last season, Michigan was 4-7 ATS, 3-4 ATS at home, and 2-4 ATS as a favorite. UConn was 10-2 ATS, 7-0 ATS on the road, and 7-0 ATS as an underdog. Six of Michigan’s 11 games went over, while eight of UConn’s 12 games went over the total.
Dating back to last season, the total went over in seven of UConn’s last eight games overall and four of its last six road games. Michigan failed to cover in each of its last five games.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Michigan fans bring your Pepto-Bismol! Uconn wins straight up at the big house in the biggest trap game on the week 1 card!