UConn was tough. Indiana was a little tougher. Michigan? Well, the UMass Minutemen have their work cut out for them, let's put it that way. No doubt, this will be the biggest test of the season for a young UMass team.
UMass and Michigan will do battle at Michigan Stadium at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Minutemen have dropped the first two games of their first FBS season to UConn and Indiana while Michigan rebounded from a season-opening thrashing from Alabama with a win over Air Force last week.
The last time these schools met, it was a shootout. Michigan got the victory, 42-37, but not before the Minutemen gave the Wolverines quite a scare. UMass trailed 21-17 at halftime, and pulled ahead with 14 unanswered points in the thrid quarter before a fourth quarter push from the Minutemen, in which they outscored the Wolverines, 20-7, but couldn't complete the comeback. Kyle Havens tossed for 222 yards and two scores and Jonathan Hernandez and John Griffin led a Minutemen rushing attack that amassed 217 yards. Saturday's match-up will be the second ever between UMass and Michigan.
UMass opened the year with a tough 37-0 loss to the UConn Huskies in East Hartford, CT, but followed it up with a somewhat encouraging start before falling again to Indiana, 45-6. The Minutemen gave up the game's first score against the Hoosiers but answer with their first points of the FBS era, bringing them within a point, 7-6, before falling back into old habits. UMass won't have the luxury of an adjustment period on Saturday, and if it wants to be competitive, it will have to make noise immediately on its first few drives and make some defensive stands.
Michigan was taken to the woodshed in its first game, thanks to the Crimson Tide's 41-14 embarrassment of the Wolverines. Denard Robinson helped Michigan get back on track last weekend, though, throwing for 208 yards and rushing for 218 more on the way to a 31-25 win over Air Force. All told, Robinson had four touchdowns and accounted for all 422 of Michigan's yards.
The Wolverines, as one might expect, are 45 1/2-point favorites over the Minutemen.
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