Wojo, Niyo, Chengelis, Charboneau preview UM, MSU's opening games The Detroit News
Angelique S. Chengelis, Matt Charboneau, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Saturday’s Michigan at Notre Dame game (7:30 p.m., NBC, WWJ 950).
Angelique S. Chengelis: Notre Dame Stadium is always a tough place to play, and under the lights in primetime will make it more of a challenge for the Wolverines. All eyes will be on Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson and how different this offense will look. The key will be the offensive line. But what will lift Michigan is its defense, which coordinator Don Brown believes is the fastest he’s been around. Michigan’s defense is determined to contain Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush. The weather could be a factor, considering rain is in the forecast. Michigan, 21-14
Matt Charboneau: The optimism is high with the Wolverines as they believe they have their quarterback with the arrival of Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson. His first test won’t be simple as he’ll be tasked with ending Michigan’s woes against ranked teams on the road, and he’ll have to do so with a solid Notre Dame defense. The Fighting Irish have had their problems in the passing game, too, meaning there might not be a ton of points in this one as the defenses will likely take center stage. It will be tight, but stick with the home team. Notre Dame, 16-13
John Niyo: Michigan’s road woes against ranked foes have to end sometime, and now should be as good a time as any. Notre Dame has big shoes to fill up front, where Michigan’s defense figures to have the Irish on their heels early and often. Beware the special teams, though. Michigan, 28-16
Bob Wojnowski: Michigan has the better defense, and if Shea Patterson is who we’ve been told he is, should have the better offense. Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush is dangerous on the run but completed only 49 percent of his passes last season, and the Irish return only five starters on offense. Don Brown’s defense should control this. Strange things happen when these teams meet, so how’s this for strange – Michigan will win on the road against a ranked team for the first time in 12 years. Michigan, 27-16