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Blast from past for No. 17 Michigan vs C Michigan

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm •  Published: August 30, 2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has gone back to its roots.

The 17th-ranked Wolverines open their season Saturday at home against Central Michigan.

On offense, Michigan will look like it used to before former coach Rich Rodriguez implemented his spread scheme in 2008 and recruited smaller, quicker players during his three-season stint with college football's winningest program.

Brady Hoke adapted to the talent he had the last two years, especially speedy quarterback Denard Robinson, even though it delayed installing the kind of traditional offense he wanted to use.

With Robinson graduated and playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, quarterback Devin Gardner will take more snaps under center and is expected to hand off a lot more to running backs such as Fitzgerald Toussaint.

Here are five things to watch when Michigan hosts Central Michigan:

TUNEUP TIME: The Wolverines would never acknowledge it publicly, but their game against the Chippewas is a chance for them to get ready for next week's prime-time game against rival Notre Dame.

"They're ready to play somebody else and have a benchmark for where we're at," Hoke said. "I'm sure we're not going to be where we want to be yet after Saturday."

CENTRAL'S CHANCE: Central Michigan is expected to get routed as a 31½-point underdog against a program that has lost only once to a Mid-American School — in 2008 against Toledo — but coach Dan Enos hasn't prepared his team to simply show up to help the athletic department's expense report with a big check.

"The one thing we do with our opponent is talk about ways we can win, things we need to do to win," Enos said. "This is no different."

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