The Wolverine

April 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  michigan football the third 10-win season in program history, the future appears bright in Evanston, Ill. 5. Wisconsin — Last Season: 8-6 (4-4) The Gary Andersen era commences following a turbulent offseason in Madison. The Badgers will be without the services of graduated All-American running back Montee Ball, but the combination of senior James White and redshirt sophomore Melvin Gordon should prove to be more than serviceable. 6. Penn State — Last Season: 8-4 (6-2) The Nittany Lions lost a great deal of leadership in quarterback Matt McGloin and linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges, but were able to secure head coach Bill O'Brien for another season. The second-year head man worked wonders in 2012 and possesses several young options in a wide-open quarterback competition, including freshman Christian Hackenberg, a five-star recruit from the 2013 class. 7. Michigan State — Last Season: 7-6 (3-5) A Spartans offense that averaged merely 20.0 points and 359.3 yards per game in 2012 brought in former Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, but the runheavy scheme needs a workhorse to step up after losing leading rusher Le'Veon Bell to the NFL Draft. 8. Minnesota — Last Season: 6-7 (2-6) A staunch defensive backfield from a year ago has become a giant question mark after the graduation of cornerbacks Michael Carter and Troy Stoudermire. Sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson must make strides this spring if he is going to be the answer under center for Jerry Kill's squad. 9. Indiana — Last Season: 4-8 (2-6) Defense has consistently mitigated the Hoosiers' success under boss Kevin Wilson, and will once again be a cause for concern in Bloomington without defensive line stalwarts Larry Black Jr. and Adam Replogle. 10. Iowa — Last Season: 4-8 (2-6) The Hawkeyes' dreadful offense, which ranked 113th in scoring (19.3 points per game) in 2012, must find someone to distribute the ball in place of graduated quarterback James Vandenberg, who took every snap under center last season for Kirk Ferentz's squad. 11. Purdue — Last Season: 6-7 (3-5) The first spring under head coach Darrell Hazell will certainly be trying for the Boilermakers. Senior quarterback Rob Henry, who appeared in 11 games last season, is the early favorite in the quarterback battle, but will be pushed by a pair of redshirt freshmen in Bilal Marshall and Austin Appelby. 12. Illinois — Last Season: 2-10 (0-8) Tim Beckman hired former Western Michigan head coach Tim Cubit as offensive coordinator to help reinvigorate a dismal offense, but it is the Illini defense that will be desperately searching for playmakers along a depleted front seven.

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