Final Team 135 Season Prediction

With the arrival of the first game week of the year, I have put together my final prediction for the 2014 Michigan Wolverines aka Team 135. And yes, I\’m sipping on the Maize and Blue Kool Aid thanks to the look of the defense and the offseason several opponents have had. Check it out:

August 30th vs Appalachian State

– In front off 103,000+ fans (yes, the people will come), Team 135 will come out like their hair is on fire. Coach Nussmeier will want to prove his worth and flex his muscle. That is why I think the offense will put up a lot of points while the defense gives us the first look at what is to come all season long. Oh yeah, and I believe Jabrill Peppers will have at least one big play (punt return/ interception/ fumble recovery/ big hit) to start his highlight tape. Win 62-13 (1-0) 

September 6th @ Notre Dame

– The last match up between two of the biggest programs in college football history should be a good one. Under the Lights, the Wolverines fall on a late touchdown and are dealt the first big blow of the season. Even with the suspensions, ND is able to pull out a close one thanks to a great defensive showing from the Fighting Irish and some questionable moments from Gardner. Loss 24-21 (1-1)

September 13th vs Miami (OH)

– The easiest game on the schedule comes after the first big road test, and it\’s perfect timing. Both the offense and defense put on shows as Gardner, Funchess and the running game pace the scoring while Frank Clark and the secondary stifle the Redhawks. This will be a dominant performance that gets the Wolverines back on track. Win 42-9 (2-1) 

September 20th vs Utah

The first trap game of the year comes when the Utes visit Ann Arbor with the Big Ten season in the sights. However, Michigan is ready, even after a shaky start to the game. The game will be much closer than it should be in the 1st half thanks to bad turnovers but a quick halftime \”speech\” from Hoke will bring out a different team that lays the hammer and all three facets put up an impressive half. Win 37-17 (3-1)

September 27th vs Minnesota

– Hello, Big Ten season and hello first true close call of the season. The Golden Gophers are always dangerous and they show it again in the Big House. The offense will get hung up while the defense will bail them out with big plays and turnovers. The game will come down to the wire as Amara Darboh makes a big catch in the corner of the end zone to put Michigan up two scores with under five minutes to play and moves the Wolverines into the top 25 for the first time of the year. Win 24-14 (4-1) 

October 4th @ Rutgers

– In the first every conference match up between new conference foes, Michigan battles the raucous crowd and a hyped up Scarlett Knights squad in a hard fought battle. But the defensive depth and big play ability of the Devins push the Wolverines out front for good late in the 2nd quarter. It is wrapped up half way through the 4th quarter with a Jeremy Clark interception and return that sets up a Derrick Green goal line score. Win 32-17 (5-1) 

October 11th UTL III vs Penn State

– The Wolverines are feeling good and flying high for the Under the Lights match up with the Nittany Lions. When the lights come on, the stars come out and Michigan\’s top players, including Gardner, Funchess, Green, Smith and Jake Butt, route a young Penn State squad. Add in a Peppers punt return touchdown and a commitment from Keisean Lucier-South, and the event will feature plenty of fireworks, just like Dave Brandon wanted. Win 38-20 (6-1)

October 18th Bye

– The bye week comes at a great time as Team 135 is coming off a huge win and now has time to rest up and get ready for their trip to East Lansing.

October 25th @ State

The rivalry plot thickens as Michigan heads to EL to match up with the 5-2 Spartans (losses to Oregon and Nebraska) for one of the most physical games in the college football calendar year. Both sides of the ball have solid showings but it\’s not enough. The home field advantage and a late, heartbreaking field goal from MSU knocks off the Wolverines for the 2nd year in a row but unlike last year, it is used as a motivator instead of a derailer. Loss 20-17 (6-2) 

November 1st vs Indiana

Coming off another brutal loss to State, Brady Hoke will really see what his team is made of as they take on the fast paced Hoosiers. And thanks to a stout defensive showing and a great power running game, Team 135 puts on a show Bo would have been happy to see. Derrick Green and DeVeon Smith both score multiple touchdowns while the defense sets up two of the scores with turnovers as the Wolverines pick up their 7th win of the year. Win 43-24 (7-2) 

November 8th @ Northwestern

The game that the Wildcats are circling on their schedule after close, heartbreaking losses the last two years. But even with a crazy crowd and a young, hungry team, the Wolverine\’s defense is able to hold on and win another close one in Evanston. Thanks to a big game from the front seven, which includes 6 sacks and multiple QB hurries, the offense is able to take advantage of great field position and AJ Williams catches a game winning touchdown in overtime. This win will help move Team 135 back into the top 20 and in the thick of things to make it to Indianapolis. Win 30-27 (8-2)

November 15th Bye

Another bye week comes at a great time to rest up and get ready for the trap game before The Game.

November 22nd vs Maryland

Seen as the ultimate trap game every year, the game before The Game is always scary but thanks to the bye and the motivation behind winning the division, Hoke will have the guys ready to go in their first ever conference matchup with Maryland. Though the Terrapins have one of the most electrifying talents in the conference, the Wolverine defense is up to the task and the receivers put on a show in front of 110,000+. Win 33-18 (9-2)

November 29th @ OSU

Here it is. The Game. The biggest rivalry in football is about to add another chapter to it\’s long history as Michigan heads into the final week of the year with the East division championship on their mind. The game is extremely hard fought, with solid defense mixed with big plays. But thanks to a late turnover, Michigan is able to come down and kick the game winning field goal with under 1 minute to go. Celebrating the first win in Columbus since 2000, Team 135 gets even bigger news when Penn State upsets MSU in Happy Valley and the Wolverines win the first ever Big Ten East Division crown. Next stop, Indianapolis. Win 34-31 (10-2)

December 6th Big Ten Championship vs Wisconsin

In the first ever Big Ten Championship game appearance, Team 135 and the West Champion Wisconsin Badgers put on a show in front of a packed house in Indianapolis. The game will be physical and hard fought, with plenty of ups and downs, but the Badgers pull it out in the end after a late rushing touchdown from Melvin Gordon. Loss 34-28 (10-3) 

December 31st Peach Bowl vs UCLA

Coming off of a disappointing loss in the B1G Championship, the coaching staff has Team 135 ready and pumped up for their match up with UCLA at the Georgia Dome. Gardner and the passing game, including Funchess, Canteen and Butt, have a big game as Jake Ryan leads the defense to a memorable performance and a Peach Bowl championship. Win 31-28 (11-3)

Record: 11-3 (6-2), Big Ten East Division Champs and Peach Bowl Champs

Award Winners

  • Brady Hoke: Hayes-Schembechler B1G Coach of the Year
  • QB Devin Gardner: 2nd Team All-B1G
  • RB Derrick Green: 2nd Team All-B1G
  • WR Devin Funchess: 1st Team All-B1G, Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year
  • WR Freddy Canteen: Freshmen All-B1G
  • OT Mason Cole: Freshmen All-B1G, Freshmen All-American
  • OL Graham Glasgow: 2nd Team All-B1G
  • DE Frank Clark: 2nd Team All-B1G
  • DT Willie Henry: 1st Team All-B1G
  • DT Maurice Hurst: Freshmen All-B1G
  • LB Jake Ryan: 1st Team All-B1G
  • LB Joe Bolden: 1st Team All-B1G
  • CB Blake Countess: 2nd Team All-B1G
  • CB/PR Jabrill Peppers: 1st Team All-B1G (Punt Returner), Thompson-Randle El B1G Freshmen of the Year, Freshmen All-B1G, Freshmen All-American
  • CB Jourdan Lewis: 2nd Team All-B1G
  • S Jarrod Wilson: 2nd Team All-B1G