Michigan Coaches Getting a Leg Up on Notre Dame

Michigan Coaches Getting a Leg Up on Notre Dame

Football

Michigan Coaches Getting a Leg Up on Notre Dame

ANN ARBOR, Mich — The players might not be focusing on Notre Dame just yet, but the coaches certainly are.

Michigan’s season opener against the Fighting Irish is set to take place 16 days from now, and the Wolverines will continue fall camp in earnest until August 27, when the team will officially turn the focus to game week.

But, according to Michigan cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich, the coaches are already doing their due diligence to get a leg up on the Wolverines’ Week One opponent.

And, as Zordich notes, the maize and blue have something of a challenge before them.

“We’ve been watching a lot of Notre Dame film,” Zordich said. “Two really good receivers, really good and talented, big tight end. Quarterback, kinda like our guy, good with his feet, good arm. There’s a challenge. And it’s Notre Dame. That’s going to be an exciting day.”

As Zordich mentioned, Notre Dame has two big, talented wide receivers in Miles Boykin and Chase Claypool — to go along with TE Alize Mack.

In a WolverinesWire exclusive interview last month, former Notre Dame QB-turned-FOX Sports color analyst Brady Quinn broke down the matchup, and saw the Michigan secondary-versus-the ND passing offense being a potential weakness for the Wolverines.

“Their wide receivers are going to be tough for Michigan to match up with,” Quinn told WolverinesWire. “Not so much because of speed, but because of size. Miles Boykin – 6-foot-4, 230-pounds. Chase Claypool’s about the same size. Alize Mack, the tight end – he’s got a lot of size and athleticism, too. He’s like 6-5, 250-pounds. So, those are tough matchups, I think, even for the best cornerbacks, because unless you’re Richard Sherman, and you’ve got that 6-foot-2 frame, the ability to leap and still make plays on the football, it becomes tough then. When you’re not one of those taller, lankier cornerbacks or even safeties that’s that good in coverage. That’s something they’re going to have to look out for.

But Mike Zordich doesn’t seem as concerned.

Not only because his top-rated pass defense of the past two years has managed to shut down the nation’s best passing games, but also because his corners have the advantage of going up against some pretty good receivers wearing winged helmets on a daily basis.

“Just the size alone, you stand them up next to each other, there’s a little bit of a difference,” Zordich said. “But our guys, David, B-Wat, Lavert – they’re all very talented athletically. I’ll just get some bigger guys when it’s time, and work bigger guys against them.

“Plus, we defend Nico, Tarik, DPJ – those are not small guys! They’ve got a little taste of it.”

Michigan and Notre Dame will face off on September 1 at 7:30PM in South Bend.

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