Aaron McMann, senior reporter: Season openers are for getting the kinks out and seeing what you have talent-wise, and because of that, CMU might hang around a little longer against the Wolverines than usual.
For the Chippewas to even stay close, they’re going to have to feature a balanced offense. That is going to be tough, with first-year starter Cody Kater behind center. And Michigan knows this, likely to stack the defensive line, anticipating carries from senior running back Zurlon Tipton. Michigan is just too quick and too big for CMU and will run away with a victory.
Michigan 38, Central Michigan 7
Jeff Papworth, staff reporter:
Head coach Dan Enos has earned a big win in each of his first three seasons at the helm, beating rival Western Michigan in his first year, Northern Illinois in 2011 and Iowa in 2012.
But, in 2013, a major victory will not be coming at Michigan. Quarterback Devin Gardner alone will be too difficult to contain. He had the best Total Quarterback Rating, a new ESPN statistic, among all FBS quarterbacks who had at least 175 action plays in 2012.
Additionally, CMU quarterback Cody Kater will be making his debut against a defense that finished in the top 20 in the past two seasons in points allowed per game.
Michigan 56, Central Michigan 14
Seth Newman, staff reporter: Central Michigan can emulate the Big House in practice, but it won’t be anything like they’ve heard before when they take on Michigan in the season opener.
Michigan will jump on CMU early and put the game on cruise by the third quarter. CMU senior running back Zurlon Tipton will make it over the 100-yard mark and score a few second half touchdowns, but it won’t be enough to overcome Michigan’s high powered offense. The Chippewas won’t get blown out, but it won’t be a close game.
Michigan 35, Central Michigan 17.
Kristopher Lodes, sports editor: Central Michigan finished the 2012 season hot, winning five of its final six games, including a bowl win.
Make it five wins in its last seven games after Saturday.
The Chippewas have the firepower with a strong receiving core and running backs to keep up with the Mid-American Conference, but they can’t keep up with Michigan, one of the best teams in the Big Ten.
I think junior first-time starting quarterback Cody Kater will be better than expected, but the Wolverines are too much. But, if the men’s basketball team can go into Ann Arbor and beat the spread, so can football.
Michigan 41, Central Michigan 14