Who: Michigan Wolverines (3-1;0-0) @ Maryland Terrapins (2-2;0-0)
Where: Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium — College Park, Marlyand
Kickoff: Saturday, October 3rd at 12:00 PM ET
TV: Big Ten Network
Latest Line: Michigan by 16
Weather: Showers with patchy drizzle. High near 62. Northeast wind around 18 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Matchup: Originally planned for an 8:00 p.m. start, the game was moved up to avoid some severe weather headed Maryland’s way thanks to Hurricane Joaquin. While not severe, weather still looks to be a factor throughout this game as high winds and rain will be present throughout.
With weather most likely limiting the passing games of both teams, Michigan’s De’Veon Smith (ankle) and Ty Isaac and Maryland’s Brandon Ross look to be in line for heavy workloads.
Last week, Maryland faced off against No. 23 West Virginia, and it was not pretty. The Terrapins managed just 6 points in a 45-6 loss and threw 5 interceptions as a team. This week, they will be graced with the chance to face off against a Michigan defense that is coming off a 31-0 victory over BYU and has allowed just 14 points over their last 3 games.
For Maryland to win, they are going to have to hope their QB limits the mistakes, and their workhorse Brandon Ross can find the holes that BYU couldn’t. If that doesn’t happen, it could be a long day for the Terrapins.
For the Wolverines, it’s a similar gameplan. QB Jake Rudock looked better last week against BYU but still has missed open receivers multiple times each week so far this year. The Maryland defense certainly isn’t something to fear, as they let up over 700 yards of total offense to Bowling Green in a Week 2 loss. Look for Michigan to run the ball down their throats, especially if they get an early lead.
Prediction: Michigan’s defense has been dominant the past three weeks, and don’t expect that to change in their Big Ten opener. Maryland got blown out by the team that is ranked one below the Wolverines in the AP Poll and lost to Bowling Green by double-digits two weeks prior. If Michigan really is “back,” as many pundits are claiming, they should beat teams like Maryland with ease. Expect big games from whichever running backs are in the backfield for the Maize and Blue as well as another dominant defensive effort.
Michigan 31, Maryland 7