Michigan had a great start to the young 2021 season after defeating Western Michigan in the season opener, 47-14.
Although neither the players nor coaches wanted to fully say that the Wolverines played a complete game against WMU, it was as close to a complete game as one can get. Not the same can be said about the maize and blue’s upcoming opponent, the Washington Huskies.
Washington got shell-shocked Saturday when they got upset by the Montana Grizzlies, an FCS program, 13-7.
The Huskies could only muster 291 total yards against a weaker opponent, and their starting quarterback, Dylan Morris, threw three interceptions in the ballgame. Even with the vaunted offensive line that Washington has — they returned all five starters from last season — they only managed 65 yards on the ground.
On the other side of the ball, the defense didn’t look quite as rusty. Montana only had 232 total yards of offense, and the Husky defense only allowed 10 total first downs. They did, however, allow 127 yards rushing to an undersized Grizzlies team.
Washington is fully aware as to what the Wolverines did rushing the ball last weekend, and they are fully prepared to stop the Michigan rushing attack.
Linebackers coach, Ikaika Malloe, along with linebackers, Ryan Bowman and Jackson Sirmon, met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the Michigan game.
Malloe praised the maize and blue on how physical of a team they are, and how the Huskies are bracing the challenge come Saturday.
“I see a physical team, a physical team that will put their will on you,” said Malloe. “You know, it will be challenge for us physically and mentally. They don’t bend or break, I think it will be challenge that our defense looks forward to. There are some big dudes in there, some running backs that are quick and fast, and some receivers that can go. Ultimately, It comes down to the line of scrimmage, and we look forward to the challenge in terms of the matchups up front, and we look forward to the opportunity to get to their quarterback.”
With Washington having an 8:00 p.m. PDT game when it faced Montana, the Huskies got to watch quite a bit of the Michigan game on live TV. Ryan Bowman commented on what the Wolverines were able to do on offense.
“It was clear what they wanted to get done,” said Bowman. “They didn’t hide anything” (on running the football).
Both Bowman and Sirmon had similar sentiments when asked about the Michigan running game. They both believe that the Wolverines will be trying to run the football down their throats.
“We’re excited for that. Good, we look forward to it,” said Bowman. “They’re a physical team and we look forward to the challenge”
“We’re going to stop the run,” said Simon. “They want to run the ball, and we’re going to stop the run. We’re excited to do that, they have some talented guys running the ball. It’s one of those things that one guy, one guy is going to get on the tackle and everyone is going to flock to them. We need to limit yards after contact.”
Tune in Saturday, Sept. 11 at 8:00 p.m. EDT on ABC to see if the Wolverines can keep the running game on track against a Washington team who is hoping to avenge its last loss.