Michigan still hasn’t named its starting QB. But one thing is clear: No. 7 Michigan will be gigantic favorites for its season opener against Hawaii.
The Rainbow Warriors kicked off the 2016 college football season in Friday’s 51-31 loss to Cal in Sydney, Australia, in Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich’s first game. Rolovich played QB for Hawaii in 2000 and 2001, getting most action during the ’01 season. He passed for 3,361 yards, 34 TDs and 9 INTs that year. Now he’ll try to fix a program that went only 3-10 on 2015 and hasn’t had a winning season since 2010.
In Rolovich’s first game as coach, the offense wasn’t always the major problem, though the five turnovers didn’t help. In fact, the Rainbow Warriors rushed for 248 yards (Diocemy Saint Juste getting 118 of those) and three TDs against the Golden Bears.
No, the most common issue was the defense. Cal QB Davis Webb completed 38 of 54 passes for 441 yards, 4 TDs and zero INTs. The Golden Bears totaled 630 yards.
So, whoever does get the Michigan starting QB job will certainly have an opportunity to win over the fans right from the start. The Wolverines should dominate in the trenches against Hawaii, especially with the Wolverines’ defensive line. One week after committing five turnovers, the Rainbow Warriors must now deal with a dangerous defensive line more than capable of creating excitement on every play.
But there’s something to keep an eye on: Hawaii opened the season with an onside kick. It didn’t recover it, but Rolovich is clearly open to trying different strategies to help his program.
Just don’t expect a crazy result in Ann Arbor. Kick is set for noon on Sept. 3 on ESPN.