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Posted on Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Your mega guide to No. 17 Michigan vs. Central Michigan

By Pete Cunningham


No. 17 Michigan and Central Michigan will face off for the first time since 2006 on Saturday.

Ann Arbor News file photo

GAME STORY: Devin Gardner racks up 3 touchdowns, Michigan defense dominant in 59-9 win over Central Michigan

PHOTO GALLERY: Images from the Michigan football team's dominating 59-9 win over Central Michigan

LIVE BLOG: Michigan hosts Central Michigan, kicks off Brady Hoke's third season in Ann Arbor

WHO: No. 17 Michigan vs. Central Michigan.

WHERE: Ann Arbor.

WHEN: 3:30 p.m.

ODDS: MIchigan is favored by 31.5 points according to

SERIES RECORD: Michigan (3-0).

LAST MEETING: September 9, 2006, Michigan beat Central 41-17 .

WEATHER: 78 degrees, partly cloudy, 10 percent chance of rain with the wind blowing north around 7 miles per hour. Or...

BROADCAST INFORMATION: TV: Big Ten Network; Radio: Michigan Sports Network (local affiliates).

MICHIGAN: Roster | Schedule

CENTRAL MICHIGAN: Roster | Schedule

Coverage: Most people don't know much about the current Central Michigan football team, except that the Chippewas had the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft in 2013, offensive lineman Eric Fisher. Many have wondered if Fisher would have been No. 1 if Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan had turned pro. It won't matter on Saturday as Fisher's money is in the bank and Lewan is on the field as the Wolverines are set to square off with the Chippewas. Here's everything you need to know about the matchup:

5 Michigan keys: Devin Gardner and the downhill running game, how will it look? (with predictions)

Michigan was able to catch a glimpse into its future last season when Denard Robinson was unable to throw a pass at Minnesota. The Wolverines turned to Devin Gardner in Minneapolis last November, and they really never looked back. How will the season go for Gardner, the Wolverines, Fitz Toussaint, the "Js" at wide receiver Jehu Chesson, Jeremy Jackson and Joe Reynolds.

Matchups: Michigan has more talent than Central Michigan, but the Chips aren't punchless

Michigan enters Saturday's season-opener against Central Michigan as a mighty 32-point favorite. Not a surprise. But will the Wolverines re-live the sins of former Michigan teams by overlooking the Chippewas on Saturday with Notre Dame staring them in the eye on Sept. 7?

With Amara Darboh out, Michigan's focus on three J's: Jehu Chesson, Joe Reynolds, Jeremy Jackson

Michigan will be without its perceived No. 1 deep threat this season in Amara Darboh. The 6-foot-2 sophomore, who suffered a season-ending foot injury in fall camp, hasn't made a college catch -- but, according to coaches, had all the physical tools the Wolverines were looking for on the outside. So who will step up in his absence?

Michigan ready to play Shane Morris if opportunity arises Saturday; not hiding anything vs. CMU

Shane Morris won Michigan's backup quarterback battle this month fair and square. So, if the situation presents itself at any point this season, the true freshman signal caller will be put into the game for work. And that includes Saturday vs. Central Michigan according to coaches.

Analysis: As Michigan coaches rave about Fitz Toussaint, Wolverines need 2011 version back

Fitz Toussaint is back. Literally, the statement is true. But when Brady Hoke and his coaching staff continually speak of seeing the "old Fitz," it's impossible to know, for now, whether it's just nostalgia for the sophomore back they first encountered in 2011. Who will we see on Saturday?

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Nick Baumgardner answers questions on Michigan's most important position, Jabrill Peppers, Drake Johnson and more

What position is most important for Michigan this year? Is Drake Johnson being designated the No. 2 actually mean he's the No. 2? What about freshman Derrick Green and the other vetran running backs? Nick Baumgardner answers all these questions and more.

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Michigan's Brady Hoke expects Jarrod Wilson to start at free safety Saturday vs. Central Michigan

Brady Hoke said Wednesday that sophomore Jarrod Wilson will "probably" be in the starting lineup Saturday while senior Courtney Avery rehabs from a knee injury. What probably means to most isn't always what it means to others. Like the time Denard Robinson's staph infection was "probably" a boo-boo.

Drake Johnson listed as Michigan's No. 2 RB, but Al Borges not promising snaps for young guys

The Wolverines allowed six running backs to fight for the No. 1 job this fall, and listed all six on their depth chart Monday. Fitz Toussaint is No. 1, redshirt freshman Drake Johnson is listed as the team's No. 2 runner, followed by Justice Hayes and Thomas Rawls. Freshmen Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith appear to be tied for the No. 5 spot on the depth chart.

Michigan's Jack Miller wins center battle, Graham Glasgow to start at left guard and more notes

Michigan's center battle has been settled. And, as of now, both candidates will be in the starting lineup Saturday when the Wolverines' open the season against Central Michigan Sophomore Jack Miller (6-foot-4, 290 pounds) will be the team's starting center to open the season, and sophomore Graham Glasgow (6-foot-6, 305) will play alongside him at left guard.

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Taylor Lewan expects Michigan's new offensive line to be 'punishing' and consistent

In Taylor Lewan's eyes, there are two types of offensive linemen in college football. There are those who earn starting jobs, and those who play well. And, as the unquestioned leader of Michigan's offensive line this season, the Wolverines' All-American left tackle isn't accepting anything but the latter.

Brady Hoke: Michigan 'in pretty good shape' health-wise on eve of season opener

Michigan opens its 2013 season Saturday against Central Michigan. And, it'll be healthy -- for the most part. "We're good," Hoke said Friday evening during an interview on after the team's final walk through.

This and that:

Associated Press preview capsule


Michigan has a chance to make a good first impression with its return to a traditional offense after running a spread-heavy scheme that took advantage of Denard Robinson's ability to run in Brady Hoke's first two years after the three-season Rich Rodriguez era.


The Wolverines will lean on their running backs, starting with Fitzgerald Toussaint, who is coming off a season-ending leg injury, to establish a ground game behind an offensive line with new starters at both guards and center. Central Michigan's best chance to stay competitive might a good rush up the middle on QB Devin Gardner against inexperienced linemen.


Michigan: Toussaint. The last time the senior was on the field in a game, he was sent to a hospital for surgery soon after breaking his left leg — between the ankle and knee — in a gruesome injury on Nov. 17, 2012, against Iowa. He finished last season with less than half of his total from 2011, when he ran for 1,041 yards.

Central Michigan: RB Zurlon Tipton. The senior ran for 1,492 and scored 20 touchdowns. He had at least 100 yards rushing in his last seven games and earned second-team All-MAC honors.


Michigan is 31-1 against Mid-American Conference teams and the lone loss was under Rodriguez against Toledo in in 2008 in what stands as its last loss at home against a nonconference team. ... Michigan hasn't lost at home in Hoke's two seasons in charge of college football's winningest team, making him the school's first coach to win every game in Ann Arbor in his first two seasons since Fielding Yost in 1901 and 1902. ... Central Michigan coach Dan Enos, a former Michigan State quarterback, won his first three season openers easily by beating Hampton, South Carolina State and Southeast Missouri State.

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.


Use Logic

Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 1:59 a.m.

So Michigan dominated a vastly inferior team. Yawn. This reminds me of that South Park episode, where the Red Wings played against that kindergarten hockey team. When the Wings destroyed them, everyone celebrated like it was some kind of amazing victory.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 9:56 p.m.

"Michigan having its way with Central" That is a very sexist headline and indicates that violence is ok. IT IS NEVER ok to "have your way" with anyone or anything. This is why I hate sports, it turns normal good people in to animals. Once again, I am disappointed in this blog.

Pete Cunningham

Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

I really don't know how "Michigan having its way with Central" is sexist in any way shape or form. Please explain.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 11:02 p.m.

I am not a big sports fan myself, and I think playing football is unwise due to the short-term and (especially) long-term risks for injury (particularly neurological). However, to interpret the headline in a sexist fashion is, in my opinion, sexist in itself. While it can refer to nonconsensual sexual intercourse with someone, that is only one definition (and the third one at that on one website - see ). I see nothing wrong with the headline.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

Michigan favored by 32 points. Start the season with a sure thing blow out... great for morale. Reminds me of the Monty Python boys team vs the masters rugby match.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

Welcome back, Mega Guide!


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

"Paul Revere warned the British." – S. Palin "Don't misunderestimate me." – G. W. Bush "All most people only know about the Central Michigan football team..." – Anyone writing for Ann Arbor dot com during the past year or so. :-) Back to football [optimistically assuming that's the topic of the article]: Despite Coach Hoke's laconic habit of minimizing the significance of injuries, I can't help but wonder if this season won't be marred by injuries to key players. Thank goodness that the coaches believe they have a talent-deep rotation plan in place. Rhythm: I'll be mainly trying to change away from my habit of waiting to see if / when Denard will break another big, dazzling run. It will be a minor shock to see actual running backs take over that assignment.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

"All most people only know about..." Really?? Really??

Pete Cunningham

Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

The correction has been made. Thanks for pointing out the error.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

You spotted that right off too, didn't you. Even the most basic rules of writing seem lost on these people. When Ann Arbor dot com got started, I was honestly grateful to have an alternative local haven where trash-talking wasn't the norm (compared to MLive). Now it's completely reversed: everything from comments policy to articles is uniformly, embarrassingly amateurish. I'm going back to MLive (and even the Freep) for my main reading fare.