Why Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard like what they’re seeing from Michigan football

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Michigan football is 3-0 with Rutgers on deck on Saturday, with a strong chance that the Wolverines will be 4-0.

Favored by 20 points or so, depending on where you look, the maize and blue are expected to roll all over the fellow undefeated Rutgers Scarlet Knights, which ESPN’s Chris “Bear” Fallica reinforced with his pick for Saturday’s game.

Fellow ESPN College GameDay stars Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard also weighed in on what they expect from Michigan football, not just in Saturday’s game, but beyond — given that we now have a quarter of a season’s data to suggest who and what the Wolverines are.

For Herbstreit, everything starts with the offensive line and the run game from an offensive perspective.

“I’ll tell you what: I have not seen juice in the Michigan backfield since the running back coach played for Michigan back in 2006 — Mike Hart,” Herbstreit said. “When Blake Corum gets the ball it just feels different than it has for the last five, six, seven, eight, 10 years. And then you throw in Hassan Haskins, who can come in and give them a one-two punch, he brings physicality. It’s just fun to see Michigan control the line of scrimmage and run the ball for 350 yards per game.

“(Lee Corso) is right, it’s gonna get tougher. Cade McNamara right now is just chillin’. Very efficient, not turning the ball over. There’s gonna come a game where he’s gonna have to throw and the receivers are gonna have to make plays. It won’t be today.”

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Howard, obviously, has good things to say about his alma mater, concurring with his Ohio State counterpart in Herbstreit, also noting that the team’s identity appears to shadow the Michigan team that existed under Bo Schembechler prior to his tenure with the Wolverines.

“I was watching the Washington game with my son and I’m like, ‘You see this right here? This is exactly how the Wolverines looked right before your dad came to Ann Arbor!’” Howard said. “I said this is what we did! I guess that was a recipe for success back then. But now, when you look at them, they understand that we need to control the line of scrimmage. We talk about other teams that have been dominating at the line of scrimmage. They know that once we can do that, then the passing game can come.

“Michigan’s recipe for success is going to be to run the ball to set up the throw. That’s gonna be the recipe for success.”

Michigan and Rutgers kick off at 3:30 p.m. EDT on ABC.

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Ranking Big Ten teams through 3 weeks according to PFF grades