Masslive: 3 Keys To Upsetting Michigan - UMass Athletics

Masslive: 3 Keys To Upsetting Michigan

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Check out Masslive.com which has a great feature on "3 Keys To UMass Upsetting College Football Power Michigan."

By now college football fans --- and UMass football fans, in particular --- have pondered the question: Can UMass make it two straight weeks for the CAA against a BCS power?

Just last week, Colonial Athletic Association rival James Madison took down ACC powerhouse Virginia Tech. On Saturday, the Minutemen have a shot to take down an even bigger college football powerhouse in No. 20 Michigan.

Even if expectations for the Minutemen --- ranked No. 15 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 16 in the Sports Network Poll --- were low going into the weekend, UMass fans should now be wondering if their team can pull off the next big upset.

3 keys to UMass upsetting college football power Michigan

Published: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 10:27 AM     Updated: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 11:29 AM
MassLive.com Staff MassLive.com Staff 
Denard Robinson, Manti Te'oMichigan quarterback Denard Robinson (16) looks to get around Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, in South Bend, Ind. Michigan won 28-24. (AP Photo/The Michigan Daily, Sam Wolson)

By now college football fans --- and UMass football fans, in particular --- have pondered the question: Can UMass make it two straight weeks for the CAA against a BCS power?

Just last week, Colonial Athletic Association rival James Madison took down ACC powerhouse Virginia Tech. On Saturday, the Minutemen have a shot to take down an even bigger college football powerhouse in No. 20 Michigan

Even if expectations for the Minutemen --- ranked No. 15 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 16 in the Sports Network Poll --- were low going into the weekend, UMass fans should now be wondering if their team can pull off the next big upset.

Here are three keys to a UMass upset over Michigan:

1.) Contain Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.

Of all the things the Minutemen are up against in this seemingly lopsided affair, corraling the talented and slippery Robinson may be the toughest. Robinson became a household name in last week's Wolverines win over Notre Dame, scoring the game-winning touchdown late in the game.

It's was his game totals --- and season totals, for that matter --- that tell the whole story for Robinson, though. Through two Michigan games, which also includes a win over UConn, Robinson has 455 yards rushing and 430 through the air, including five total touchdowns (2 passing, 3 rushing).

The Republican's Ron Chimelis wondered if this may be a week in which Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez may try to limit Robinson's touches as he has carried the bulk of the offense --- and the hits --- in the Wolverines' first two game. If that's the case, UMass could have a much easier time keeping the lid on the athletic quarterback but, of course, there's always the chance for Robinson to explode for a gamebreaking touchdown run.

2.) Play up to the 'Moment'

As in any game, there are sure to be key moments in Saturday's UMass-Michigan contest. That said, the overall moment and electrifying atmosphere is certainly something that will be new to many of the Minutemen players. Michigan Stadium, otherwise known as 'The Big House' typically welcomes more than 100,000 fans and set the modern attendance record just a few weeks during the UConn game with a recorded attendance of 113,090.

UMass can either play up to the moment and use the stadium's electricity to its advantage or become overwhelmed by the scene. If the Minutement can act like they've been their before, it's anyone's game.

3.) Repeat history and follow the line of CAA teams with success against FBS teams

For those that haven't checked up on history of FCS teams --- and Colonial Athletic Conference teams, in particular --- UMass has had some success playing against FBS teams. In fact, the Minutemen were the first of the CAA teams to defeat larger opponents, taking down Boston College in 1978 and Ball State in 1984.

UMass also played well in defeat last year against Big 12 power Kansas State, falling late, 21-17. And we should also bring up the then No. 5 Wolverines' loss to Appalachin State in 2007. In fact, UMass' CAA rival James Madison pulled off an upset just last week.

While the upset over Michigan remains a tough task for UMass, it goes without saying that anything can happen and there are plenty of examples of it happening before.

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