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Michigan football looks to avoid major upset vs. Army

Wolverines favored by more than three touchdowns

Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins (4) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Shea Patterson (2) during the second quarter of an NCAA football game against Middle Tennessee in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Michigan football team is looking to head into the bye week undefeated this weekend as it hosts an upset-minded Army team in Ann Arbor.

Army was a trendy upset pick throughout the offseason after winning 11 games in 2018 and taking eventual playoff participant Oklahoma to overtime in Norman.

The first week of action dampened the buzz around this game, as Army gained just 284 total yards in a 14-7 home win against a Rice team that went 3-22 the last two seasons.

Any lingering upset hopes rest on the shoulders of the triple-option offense, which will target the weakness of Michigan's defense: the interior defensive line.

Jim Harbaugh said defensive coordinator Don Brown has been working with players on stopping the triple option since spring camp. Michigan should be ready for the Black Knights, who completed just three passes while running the ball 56 times against Rice.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh argues a call during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Middle Tennessee in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Michigan is hoping for a boost on the interior defensive line as injured tackles Donovan Jeter and Michael Dwumfour could return. New defensive line coach Shaun Nua suggested both will be ready to go this weekend.

The outlook on star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones is less optimistic. Peoples-Jones wasn't dressed for the opener as Michigan's new offense put up 40 points and 453 yards.

A healthy Tarik Black led the way with four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. Nico Collins and Sean McKeon also caught first-half touchdown passes.

True freshman running back Zach Charbonnet gained 90 yards on eight carries and caught a pair of short passes.

It was a solid overall performance for first-time play-caller Josh Gattis, despite an early injury to quarterback Shea Patterson.

Patterson didn't look quite right in the second half but still finished with 203 yards and three touchdowns on 17 of 29 passing.

Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson (2) runs past Middle Tennessee linebacker Chris Melton (32) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Backup quarterback Dylan McCaffrey figures to be a factor again this week after rushing for 42 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.

Michigan is favored by more than three touchdowns heading into the game.

These two teams haven't met since 1962 after meeting nine times over a 17-year span. Army won the first five meetings from 1945-1954, but Michigan has won the last four games.

With a win, Michigan will even the all-time series at 5-5.

The Wolverines will get an early bye week after the Army game to prepare for the start of conference play. Michigan's first Big Ten opponent is Wisconsin, which demolished South Florida on the road in Week 1.

Wisconsin will be the first of six top 20 opponents on Michigan's schedule this season.

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