Print this story

The University of Michigan...A storied program comes to The Rent.

POSTED September 18, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


STORRS: Even the Michigan press release is a little intimidating.

Take the top portion that lists 11 National Titles, 42 Bowl Game Appearances and 42 Big Ten Titles in 134 years of Michigan Football.

Yikes.

It’s a big game for the UConn Huskies as they welcome the Wolverines for a Prime Time appearance on ABC television starting at 8 p.m. at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

UConn has lost their first two games and are in desperate need of something positive for a program that has been reeling the past two seasons.

Let’s look at what this year’s Michigan team brings to the table.

The Wolverines come in with a 3-0 record and a top 20 national ranking (14 in the USA Today poll, 14 in the AP and ESPN.com) and brand new attendance records at Michigan Stadium.

In their three home games, Michigan has drawn 334,847, an average of 111,615.

The matchup with Notre Dame (115,109) set a record for both college and pro football crowds.

The school has but 41,942 students enrolled, showing the programs incredible drawing power.

Michigan was founded in 1817 and started their football program in 1879, compiling a 903-315-36 record over that time frame.

They have had 247 consecutive crowds of over 100,000. Really? That’s amazing. We here on the East Coast have never shown up in those kind of numbers.

College football is off the charts in the middle of the country out to some parts of the West Coast.

Take the great head coaches who have called Michigan their job site.

Bo Schembechler posted a 194-48-5 record from 1969-1989 while Fielding Yost is second on the list with a 165-29-10 (highest winning percentage) from 1901-23 and 1925-1926.

Third year head coach Brady Hoke has some catching up to do with a 22-7 mark since taking the top spot in 2011.

Hoke is off to a great start at home though, posting undefeated seasons in his first two years, the first time that had been done since Yost did it back in 1901-1902.

From 1901-1907, the Wolverines won 50 in a row.

An amazing 40 radio stations carry the Michigan games via the Michigan IMG Radio Network that starts at WWJ-AM (950) in Detroit.

That’s a well-known and impressive resume but what does the 2013 team bring to The Rent?

Only an offense that is averaging 42.7 points per game versus the Huskies 19.5.

Michigan has an advantage on the ground with an average of 195 yards per game to the UConn 57.5.

The home team Saturday has averaged more passing yards (277.5 to 254.3) but only because their running game has been completely ineffective in the first two games.

Michigan scores almost eighty percent of the time they enter the red zone versus twenty five for the Huskies.

The Wolverines run defense has been stubborn, allowing just 89.7 per game while giving up 256.3 per game in the air.

A glaring statistic that the Huskies need to change is their sack total that sits empty at the moment while their quarterback (Chandler Whitmer) has been sacked 10 times in two games.

After their 28-24 win over Akron on Saturday, a game they secured with a last second goal line stand, don’t count on a second straight let down game for the Wolverines.

Akron got that gift. It’s highly doubtful another is on the table this week.

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here