Notre Dame headlined Michigan's non-conference schedule for 2011, but it isn't the only tough team on the slate in September. On Saturday, the San Diego State Aztecs will come to Michigan Stadium, and Michigan defensive lineman Ryan Van Bergen says this is the best team the Wolverines will have played so far this season.
The intrigue surrounding Saturday's matchup revolves around the fact that current Michigan head coach Brady Hoke was San Diego State's head coach before being hired by the Wolverines. He helped put together the Aztecs' roster and he knows the team inside and out. That could serve as a big advantage on Saturday, although it's worth noting that San Diego State's players and coaches obviously know Hoke very well. It will be interesting to see how the familiarity between SDSU and Hoke will affect Saturday's game, if at all.
San Diego State enters Saturday's matchup with a 3-0 record. The Aztecs defeated Washington State last week, and they opened the season with wins over Cal Poly and Army. As Van Bergen's comment suggests, this will not be an easy game for Michigan, just like the last time the Aztecs came to Ann Arbor. In 2004, SDSU lost by only a field goal (24-21) in what turned out to be Mike Hart's breakout game. Back then the Aztecs were not as talented as they are now, so Saturday will be a big test for the Wolverines.
Here's a look at the pertinent information for Saturday's matchup:
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- TV: BTN
- Radio: Michigan Sports Network
- Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Stadium: Michigan Stadium