Michigan -7.5 -1.05
This game reminds me a lot of Michigan's bowl game 2 years ago against a Florida team that had a very bad offense and good defense. Michigan defeated them 41-7 in that bowl game. I think the extra time off helps Michigan more than it does South Carolina, and I think Michigan is looking to make a statement. Brandon Peters will start at QB which makes a world of difference as he is more mobile and has a better arm. He is also trying to make a statement that this is his team and that incoming transfer Shea Patterson is not just going to take over. I think it starts with Michigan's defense that should dominate allowing for the offense to be on the field a ton.
Michigan's defense has been dominant and is #3 in the country. South Carolina lacks any difference makers on offense after they lost Deebo Samuel vs. Kentucky for the season. They faced two similar top 10 defenses in their last 4 games of the season and put up 10 points against Georgia, and 10 points against Clemson. Michigan is the same type of defense with extra time to prepare against a South Carolina team that fired their offensive coordinator. We have seen how teams have done playing without their coordinators this bowl season.
I think we are getting line value here as South Carolina were out gained on the season by 35 yards per game, but managed to go 8-4. They went 0-4 against teams that were able to run the ball which is exactly what I think Michigan can do in this game. With Peters at QB Michigan's running game was as good as it was all year rushing for over 230 yards per game and 12 TD's in 4 games. They were even moving the ball on Wisconsin on the road early in that game before Peters was knocked out with a concussion. When Peters took over it was evident the difference between the two and the offense. South Carolina does have the #37 run defense, but they have faced an average opponent ranking 70.1 in rushing yards per carry in their wins while their losses have come against #48.5. Michigan is #50 having faced a very challenging schedule of 5 TOP 25 run defenses. South Carolina not in that boat and when Michigan did not face a top 25 run defense they won on average by 18.5 points per game.
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