#14 Michigan Wolverines
Saturday, November 2, 2019 @ Noon EST
Maryland Stadium (College Park, MD)
Moneyline: MICH (-1580), MD (+920)
Spread: MICH -21.5 (-110), MD +21.5 (-110)
Total: Over 55.5 (-115)/Under 55.5 (-105)
Odds courtesy of MyBookie
#14 Michigan Wolverines (6-2 Overall, 4-2 in Big Ten East)
Michigan seems to have gotten its offense back on track in the past few weeks after tallying just 271 yards and 10 points in a Week 6 win against Iowa. In their three games since then, the Wolverines have racked up 448 yards and 36 points per game, winning two out of three (42-25 win @ Illinois, 28-21 loss @ #7 Penn State, 45-14 upset win vs. #8 Notre Dame).
Their dismantling of #8 Notre Dame is the most impressive of those three wins, by far, as the Wolverines entered last week’s game as just one-point home favorites and dominated in the ground game on both sides of the ball. Michigan was able to hold the Irish – who came into the game averaging 192 rushing yards and over 39 points per game – to just 180 total yards, an anemic 47 rushing yards on 31 carries (1.5 yards per carry) and 14 points.
The Wolverines’ have relied heavily on their run game this season, as they have almost 100 more rushing attempts (326) than passing attempts (236) so far. Michigan is averaging 172.6 rushing yards per game (57th in FBS), but they’ve scored 20 rushing touchdowns this season, which is good for T-19th in FBS.
After struggling mightily against two of the country’s best rushing attacks from Army and Wisconsin in Weeks 2 and 3, Michigan has been suffocating against the run. The Wolverines have allowed just 54.2 rushing yards per game and three rushing touchdowns over the last five games. Against Iowa, Michigan was able to hold the Hawkeyes to just one total rushing yard on 30 attempts. Michigan’s defense looks primed and ready to slow down Maryland’s impressive run offense, which managed just 79 yards and three first downs on the road against Minnesota last week.
Maryland Terrapins (3-5 Overall, 1-4 in Big Ten East)
What in the world happened to Maryland’s offense? After a record-setting first few weeks, where they scored 142 points in their first two games, defeating Howard 73-0 and Syracuse 69-20, Maryland has had a tough stretch recently.
The Terrapins have lost five of their last six games, including a 59-0 loss at home against #12 Penn State, a 40-14 loss @ Purdue and a 52-10 loss @ #17 Minnesota. Their lone win in the last six weeks came in a blowout (48-7) against Rutgers, who scored a TOTAL of 30 points in their five games (shutout in three games) between Week 2 and Week 7.
On offense, the Terrapins have turned the ball over twice in each of the last three games and have been out-gained in five of their last six games. In their two games against ranked teams this season (Penn State and Minnesota), Maryland has been out-gained 1,120-338 and outscored 110-10. I don’t think the offense will have a lot of success this week against a solid Michigan defense.
Maryland’s defense, which is currently ranked 94th in the country in total defense and is tied for 78th in the country in points allowed per game, has been shredded in their past five games. Not counting their win against an abysmal Rutgers team, the Terrapins have given up an average of 523.4 yards and 41 points per game during that stretch. They’ve allowed 400+ total yards in six of their last seven games, 150+ rushing yards in five of their last six games, and 275+ passing yards in five of their last seven games.
Maryland’s poor secondary (116th-ranked passing defense) has been the primary issue, but in the past two weeks, the Terrapins have been gashed on the ground. They allowed 189 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 6.3 yards per attempt in a 34-28 loss against Indiana and a whopping 321 yards and four rushing touchdowns on 5.9 yards per attempt in a blowout loss on the road against Minnesota.
Michigan really impressed me last weekend against Notre Dame and Maryland seems to be going in the opposite direction, coming off of a 42-point loss at Minnesota. All but two of Maryland’s games have been decided by single-digits, with their average margin of victory at over 53 points per game and their average margin of defeat at over 27 points per game. They’ve really been all-or-nothing each week, and Michigan seems to be gelling at the right time to put a beating on Maryland this week. I’m taking Michigan to cover on Saturday.