Exactly three weeks from today, the Michigan Wolverines will kick off the 2019-20 campaign against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. To say this is a huge season for coach Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines is an understatement.
Can the Wolverines live up to the hype and make the College Football Playoffs for the first time under coach Harbaugh?
QB is key
Michigan’s offense will be returning several starters from last season. In fact, the Wolverines may boast the most experienced offense in the Big Ten this season.
Led by playmakers Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tru Wilson and Nico Collins, the Wolverines look to have one of the top offenses in the country. But make no mistake, quarterback Shea Patterson is the straw that stirs the drink.
Coach Harbaugh is hoping the senior QB will have his best season yet in 2019. Patterson should rank as one of the best quarterbacks in the conference this season.
While rumors are still swirling that Harbaugh may go with a two-quarterback system by alternating Patterson with junior Dylan McCaffrey, either way, the Wolverines should have the strongest quarterbacks running the show in quite a long time.
McCaffrey is poised to take the starting job next season, but don’t be surprised if he sees quite a bit of action in 2019.
Projected starters, schedule
Experience helps in all walks of life. This season, Jim Harbaugh can claim that this is “his team” (meaning after being the coach for the past four seasons, he has directly recruited all of these kids in one way or another) and he will boast an offense with a ton of experience.
Harbaugh has brought back a winning tradition to Michigan, but 2019 is the year that many experts, including Big Ten insiders, believe that this Michigan team could – and should win the conference title.
The offense is full of junior and senior leadership, while the defense, which lost several key members last season to the NFL, including Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary, should still be strong in 2019.
Top 10 favorites to win the NCAA football title (via Vegas Insider)
Clemson Tigers 9/4
Georgia Bulldogs 6/1
Michigan Wolverines 14/1
Ohio State 16/1
LSU T 25/1
— Sports Odds Daily (@Sportsoddsdaily) August 10, 2019
Las Vegas oddsmakers believe in the Wolverines more than they have in a long, long time. Vegas Insider has Michigan listed at 14/1 to win the NCAA Championship. That puts them only behind the defending champion Clemson Tigers, Alabama and Georgia.
Below is a look at the projected starters for the Wolverines in 2019 along with their schedule.
- QB: Shea Patterson, sr.
- RB: Tru Wilson, sr.
- WR: Donovan Peoples-Jones, jr.
- WR: Nico Collins, jr.
- Slot: Mike Sainristil, fr.
- TE: Sean McKeon, sr.
- LT: Jon Runyan Jr., sr.
- LG: Ben Bredeson, sr.
- C: Cesar Ruiz, jr.
- RG: Michael Onwenu, sr.
- RT: Andrew Stueber, jr.
- DE: Aidan Hutchinson, so.
- NT: Donovan Jeter, r-so.
- DT: Carlo Kemp, sr.
- DE: Kwity Paye, jr.
- MLB: Josh Ross, jr.
- VIPER: Khaleke Hudson, sr.
- CB: Lavert Hill, sr.
- Nickel: Brad Hawkins, jr.
- FS: J’Marick Woods, jr.
- SS: Josh Metellus, sr.
- CB: Ambry Thomas, jr.
- Aug 31 — Middle Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ET
- Sept. 7 – Army – Noon ET
- Sept. 21 — @ Wisconsin – Noon ET
- Sept 28 – Rutgers – TBD
- Oct. 5 — Iowa – Noon ET
- Oct. 12 — @ Illinois – TBD
- Oct. 19 — @ Penn State – TBD
- Oct. 26 — Notre Dame – TBD
- Nov. 2 — @ Maryland – Noon ET
- Nov. 16 – Michigan State – TBD
- Nov. 23 — @ Indiana – TBD
- Nov. 30 – Ohio State – Noon ET