Blue and Gold Illustrated

June July 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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34 JUNE/JULY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY LOU SOMOGYI Michigan (8-5) — Sept. 1 Top Three Items Since January • Despite a disappointing 8‑5 result last year that ended with a three‑game losing streak, Michigan is ranked No. 5 by Athlon, No. 9 by Street & Smith's, and No. 10 by ESPN, three of the initial media outlets to release their outlooks. • The primary reason for the opti‑ mism is defensive coordinator Don Brown, whose inexperienced troops finished No. 3 nationally in total de‑ fense (271.0 yards allowed per game) and No. 13 in scoring defense (19.9 points given up per game). The unit is headlined by defensive ends Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich up front, while David Long and Lavert Hill comprise one of the nation's top cor‑ nerback tandems. • After an anemic season on offense in which the Wolverines finished 91st in scoring, 105th in total offense and 110th in passing, three new faces are expected to revive that side of the ball. Former Florida head coach Jim McElwain (2015‑17) will help coor‑ dinate the offense, former Ohio State assistant Ed Warinner — who coached at Notre Dame from 2010‑11 — was hired to upgrade the line, and 2017 Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson was given a waiver by the NCAA to be eligible in 2018. Notable Stat The Wolverines beat only one team — Purdue (7‑6) — that finished with a winning record last season. Summary There is anticipation that fourth‑ year head coach Jim Harbaugh will have his charges hungry to atone for last season, similar to Notre Dame un‑ der Brian Kelly in 2017. If Patterson provides a boost at quarterback and the Wolverines win this opener, they could become a viable College Foot‑ ball Playoff contender. KNOW THY FOE The post-spring outlook for Notre Dame's 2018 opponents Junior end Rashan Gary leads the way for a Michigan defense that ranked No. 3 in the country in yards allowed per game (271.0) last season. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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