The Wolverines are off to a 1-0 start along with a No. 4 ranking. Michigan started the season by defeating Colorado State 51-7 in Week 1. The Wolverines amassed 440 yards on offense and 234 of those yards came from the ground attack.
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The most impressive thing about Week 1 was Michigan’s defense. The Wolverines sacked Clay Millen seven times and recorded 11 tackles for loss. What may be even more impressive than those two stats is that Michigan was second in the entire country in generating 33 quarterback pressures. For a team that lost three starting defensive linemen and a starting linebacker, that’s a pretty good start for the Wolverines.
In Week 2, Michigan will face another Mountain West Conference foe in Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors have had a very poor start to the season going 0-2. Hawaii lost to Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky by a combined score of 112-27. Nor is it because the opposing teams are giants.
The Rainbow Warriors have a first-year head coach in Timmy Chang. Chang was a former Hawaii quarterback who played from 2000 to 2004 and put up big numbers under center for Hawaii.
Under Chang, he wants to implement a run-and-gun offense, which should include a lot of passing, especially if Michigan gets a big lead early. Like Michigan, Hawaii has played with two different quarterbacks this season. Brayden Schager, who has started, and Joey Yellen have played in both games. They have combined to throw for 516 yards, five interceptions and zero touchdowns through the first two games.
According to Stephen Tsai, a reporter from Hawaii, Joey Yellen will start this weekend. Schager will be available to play, but he has an undisclosed injury that he is working on.
#HawaiiFB begin to @JoeyYellen at quarterback against Michigan, for @CoachTimmyChang. @BraydenSchager has an undisclosed injury but is cleared to play. @CammonC will not make the trip. @jake_farrell12 Y @ACE_DEUCE07 are the backups. @announcerstar @HawaiiFootball
— Stephen Tsai (@StephenTsai) September 7, 2022
The running game hasn’t been able to get going for Hawaii this season as it has given up big leads early in the game. But the Rainbow Warriors will hope to lean on senior Dedrick Parson, who has rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
Coach Chang has stated that Hawaii’s offensive line is the strongest unit the Rainbow Warriors will bring to the fore. The line has plenty of experience, but the Wolverines sacked state-best Colorado seven times last weekend, so it’s going to be a major uphill battle for Hawaii’s offensive line. If the Rainbow Warriors can get any shots, then the line should allow Parson to gain some rushing yardage to keep Michigan’s offense off the field.
But with the way the first two weeks have gone for Hawaii, it looks like it will hinge on the passing game against a strong Michigan secondary. The Wolverines intercepted a pass last weekend against the Rams, thanks to Rod Moore. Hawaii has two receivers who have 100-plus yards so far this season. Jonah Panoke is the leading receiver who has nine receptions for 133 yards. Freshman Jalen Walthall is right behind him with eight receptions for 114 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Hawaii is the 116th ranked team in the country allowing 506 yards per game. The Rainbow Warriors allow 272 yards on the ground and 234 yards through the air.
JJ McCarthy will start Saturday against Hawaii. Not only is he fighting for the starting job, but the Rainbow Warriors have yet to record a sack against an opposing quarterback. Hawaii has one interception on the season from Malik Hausman.
Hawaii has three tackles for loss in two games on defense, compared to Michigan, which only had 11 in one game.
This game needs to be set up for Michigan to really come into its own on the offensive side of the ball on Saturday night.
The game can be seen on the Big Ten Network at 8 pm EDT this Saturday.
See the next page for our staffing predictions.