LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Angelique S. Chengelis of The Detroit News breaks down Saturday's game between Michigan (2-1) and Utah (2-0) at Michigan Stadium:

Utah players to watch

Travis Wilson, QB: He's back after missing the final portion of 2013 following a diagnosis for an issue with a preexisting intracranial artery. He had a 4-5 record last season and threw 16 TD and 16 INT. Through two games this season, Wilson has completed 63 percent of his passes for six TD and no INT and averaging 247.5 yards offense.

Nate Orchard, DE: At 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, the senior is a versatile defensive playmaker and tied for first on the team in tackles (14). The top pass rusher, Orchard leads the team with three tackles for loss, and has 2.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.

Dres Anderson, WR: The Utes have two receivers to look for, the 6-2 Anderson and 6-3 Kenneth Scott (10 catches, three TDs). Anderson has seven catches for 195 yards and two TDs.

Intangibles

Road blues: Much has been made of Michigan's road record in big games under coach Brady Hoke (0-5 at Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State), but Utah is 1-8 the last two seasons outside the state of Utah.

Big House not an issue: The Utes arrived a day early to get acclimated to the time change and get a feel for the environment. The players said that while the Big House is, indeed, a big stage, being in the Pac 12 (Rose Bowl, L.A. Coliseum, Autzen Stadium) has prepared them.

All-star staff: Joining Utah coach Kyle Whittingham on his staff are familiar names — Dennis Erickson, Dave Christensen and Taylor Stubblefield. Erickson, who's coaching running backs, has been the coach in the NFL (49ers, Seahawks) and in college (Miami, Oregon State, Arizona State). Christensen, the offensive coordinator, was Wyoming's coach from 2009-13. Stubblefield, a receivers coach who has made stops at Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan, was a Biletnikoff Award finalist in 2004 at Purdue.

Turning over a new leaf: Michigan has been plagued with turnover issues — eight through three games and are minus-7, among the worst nationally. It's one thing to turn the ball over against overmatched opponents like Miami (Ohio) and Appalachian State, and another against strong teams, as Notre Dame proved. Michigan can't afford to lose the ball against Utah.

Run, run, run: The Wolverines have shown in their two home games they are running the ball well, mainly behind Derrick Green (332 yards, three TD). Michigan will have to have its run game going to burn the clock and keep the high-powered Utah offense off the field.

Facts and figures

* Utah is ranked third nationally in scoring (57.5 points) and are averaging 557.5 yards. Meanwhile, Michigan is first in the Big Ten and seventh nationally in total defense (252.7 yards).

* The quick-tempo Utah offense has been efficient on third down, converting on 16-of-31 for 52 percent. Defensively, Michigan is ranked third in third-down defense (31.8 percent, 14-of-44). Notre Dame, however, was 7-of-15 on third down against Michigan.

* Michigan has won 18 straight non-conference games at Michigan Stadium, the second longest streak in the Big Ten. Michigan coach Brady Hoke's teams are 11-0 in non-conference home games and have won 20 straight in September since he became coach in 2011.

* Michigan never found the end zone or the red zone at Notre Dame in losing 31-0, but at home they're 10-for-10 at home in two non-conference games. They have scored touchdowns in eight red-zone trips.

* Michigan's defense held its last two opponents, Notre Dame and Miami, to 87 yards rushing, the lowest two-game total since 2008. Michigan is 10th nationally, allowing an average of 80 yards.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE