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Capital One Bowl Preview: Henne to Manningham

As I wrote yesterday, I'm not really concerned with a loud mouthed, injury prone back that got big numbers against heavyweights like App State, Eastern Michigan, and Notre Dame. Our front seven may not pressure the quarterback, but they can stop the run.

Michigan has the advantage at left tackle with Jake Long, so we could see another debacle like when Iowa's Robert Gallery owned UF in the Outback Bowl in 2004. This advantage will be spotlighted when the Gators get absolutely no pass rush (nothing new there) and Chad Henne has all the time in the world. If that happens, he'll likely stick with Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington as his favorite targets.

Why is this significant? Not only is Michigan the `wounded animal' in this game, but it is entirely possible that this is the last game for Arrington and Manningham as they look to get out of Ann Arbor before Rich Rodriguez turns it upside down. On the brightside, they're the only people leaving Michigan who weren't laid off from their assembly line job.

Manningham has 67 catches for 1096 yards and 11 TDs. Plus, had Henne been healthy, Manningham might have better numbers because he and backup QB Ryan Mallett could never get on the same page. Arrington, who has a year of eligibility left after a sophomore year injury, is a sure handed second option with 58 catches for 729 yards. The difference is that I can imagine Manningham making catches by going over the top of Joe Haden. Arrington will stay underneath, below the safeties.  

Everyone who has analyzed this game has said that Michigan will have to score in bunches to win. Passing is the easiest way to do that, unless Mike Hart turns into Knowshon Moreno or Jacob Hester. I just hope our DBs have improved enough to step up.