The Wolverines broke fall camp this weekend, jumping into preparation for their week one matchup against Alabama.
Although camp is over - where the team eats, sleeps and breathes football 24 hours a day, surrounded by teammates all the time - fifth-year senior safety Jordan Kovacs is still football-obsessed.
"It's been nice to be out of camp for a few days and see some new faces. But, like I said, as you go through camp, it's just football, football, football, and finally, you break camp and you feel like you've got all this freedom, but all I can think about is football," Kovacs said. "That's all I care about, this game Saturday, and I think that's how the rest of the team feels, as we have every year, but I think we have a great sense of urgency, having the defending national champs week one. We're excited to get into it."
Kovacs admitted that he's watched "maybe too much" video on the Crimson Tide, and that the Wolverines are eager to get to Dallas.
But this is Michigan-Alabama, two of the greatest football powerhouses of all time.
This kind of opportunity doesn't come around too often.
"We're playing arguably the best team in college football," Kovacs said. "I've said it several times, that's why you come to Michigan, to play in big games like this, and sure enough, we have the defending national champions in week one down in Dallas. You wouldn't want to have it any other way."
Kovacs is expecting a physical game - and for good reason. The Crimson Tide, under head coach Nick Saban, have carved out a reputation as a brutal unit in the trenches.
The Wolverines surprised their fans by tinkering with the starting defensive line in order to find a combination that will work best against Alabama's vaunted offensive line.
As of right now - and it very well may change during game week - the starting defensive line will be junior rush end Jibreel Black, senior defensive tackle Will Campbell, redshirt junior nose tackle Quinton Washington and senior defensive end Craig Roh.
Kovacs is confident in the group.
"Obviously, Alabama is a very physical team and our defensive line is going to be key in that game," Kovacs said. "Having guys like Quinton or Big Will, Jibreel, Brennen Beyer, you can't say enough good things about those guys up front. They've been doing a great job, and they're very versatile. They can play multiple positions. Quinton is a great example. He's a guy who has had a great fall camp, and we look forward to him carrying that into the season. He's a guy that is always where he is supposed to be and he gives great effort. We look forward to seeing him make some growth this season."
According to pretty much every national college football prognosticator - except for Bob Asmussen - the Wolverines have little to no chance of beating Alabama.
That's just fine, according to Kovacs.
"Do I agree that we should be the underdog? Sure, they're the defending national champs, and that's OK," Kovacs said, with a smile. "We wouldn't want it any other way. Last I heard, we were a couple-touchdown underdog, and that's alright."
Although Michigan will be in Cowboys Stadium to do a job (i.e. win a football game), Kovacs will allow himself to take it all in before focusing on the task at hand.
"Obviously, you don't want to get distracted, but it's going to be a huge game, and they have those huge jumbotrons that go from the 30 to the 30," Kovacs said. "I'm going to try and soak it in a little bit. It's going to be one of the biggest games I've ever played in and the biggest season-opener I've ever played in. It's going to be fun to take the field with Team 133, and I think the rest of the guys will soak it in, too."