2018 was an interesting season for the University of Michigan. It all started off with a road loss to eventual College Football Playoff semifinalist Notre Dame, followed by 10-straight victories to get back into CFP contention, only to end abruptly with a devastating loss in Columbus against Ohio State. The Wolverines ended up getting selected to play in the Peach Bowl against Florida, where they were once again embarrassed. Overall, Michigan finished the season 10-3, which left many fans questioning the future of the program under head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Since then, Harbaugh has brought in a top 10 recruiting class and has poached three of the best assistant coaches in the nation.
So, what does that mean for 2019? Will it be another season without beating their biggest rival or can Harbaugh finally get Michigan over the hump?
Only time will tell but I figured it would be fun to throw out my way to early game-by-game predictions.
How do you think the Wolverines will finish in 2019?
August 31 – vs. Middle Tennessee State
We won’t even have to wait until September to watch Michigan football this year as the Wolverines open up the 2019 campaign at the Big House against Middle Tennessee State. After dropping their final two games, MTSU finished the 2018 season with an 8-6 record, including a 45-13 loss to Appalachian State in the New Orleans Bowl.
Being the first game of the season, there may be a bit of a feeling out period, but expect Michigan to roll.
Michigan 45 Middle Tennessee State 10
September 7 – vs. Army
Army finished the 2018 season with an 11-2 record with their only losses coming to Duke (34-14) in their first game and to Oklahoma 28-21 on September 22.
This is a game Michigan fans should be a bit scared of but when all is said and done, the team with the higher level of talent will prevail.
Michigan 31 Army 17
September 21 – @ Wisconsin
Heading into the 2018 season, the thought by most was that Wisconsin would be one of the top teams in the nation. Unfortunately, the Badgers dropped four of their final seven games to drop to finish 5-4 in Big Ten conference play. Though they ended up bouncing back with an impressive 35-3 win over Miami in the Pinstripe Bowl, the season was a disappointment.
Road games in the Big Ten can be difficult and you can bet the Wolverines will not overlook the Badgers.
Michigan 27 Wisconsin 17
September 28 – vs. Rutgers
Poor Rutgers. In 2018, the Scarlett Knights beat Texas State 35-7 in the season opener before dropping their final 11 contests to finish 1-11.
On November 10th, they hosted Michigan and were shellacked 42-7 on their home field. The outcome will not be much different in 2019.
Michigan 50 Rutgers 10
October 5 – vs. Iowa
Iowa had an interesting 2018 season as they started off by winning six of their first seven games before losing three-straight. Things ended on a high note as the Hawkeyes won their final three, including a 27-22 win over Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl, to finish 9-4.
The Hawkeyes are always a scary team to see on the schedule but I would be more scared about this on if it were being played in Kinnick Stadium.
Michigan 27 Iowa 10
October 12 – @ Illinois
Illinois dropped six of their final seven games of the 2018 season to finish at 4-8.
Michigan did not have the opportunity to play the Fighting Illini this past season but you can bet they are happy to have them back on their schedule in 2019. This one will get ugly.
Michigan 45 Illinois 6
October 19 – @ Penn State
After losing to Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan State in the regular season, Penn State had the opportunity to grab their 10th win of the season when they squared off against Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions and their fans, the Wildcats walked away with a 27-24 win.
This could certainly be a trap game for Michigan with Notre Dame coming up the following weekend but my gut is just telling me that Michigan will get the job done!
Michigan 27 Penn State 23
October 26 – vs. Notre Dame
Notre Dame had a magical 2018 season which saw them run the table in the regular season and make it all the way to the College Football Playoff. Unfortunately, for the Irish and their followers, the fun stopped when they were man-handled by the eventual champion, Clemson.
When Notre Dame comes to Ann Arbor in 2019, I believe they will have just one loss (at Georgia). With everything on the line, the Wolverines will rise to the occasion this time around and defeat the Irish in a close game.
Michigan 24 Notre Dame 20
November 2 – @ Maryland
When Maryland opened up the 2018 season with a 34-29 win over Texas, they had everyone’s attention. Unfortunately, their magic only lasted so long as the Terrapins dropped their final four games of the season to finish 5-7. One of those losses came at Michigan on October 6th when the Wolverines dropped the hammer in a 42-21 victory.
Similar to the Penn State game (at a lower level) this could be a trap game but the Wolverines will find a way to get the job done.
Michigan 35 Maryland 20
November 16 – vs. Michigan State
With expectations high, Michigan State disappointed for the second time in three seasons by finishing with a 7-6 record, including losses to Michigan and Ohio State. The Spartans offense was horrendous as they scored less than 20 points in more than half their games.
In 2019, I believe the Spartans will have one of the top defenses in America but the question will be, can the offense do enough to win against good teams. This will go down to the fourth quarter with Michigan winning on a late field goal.
Michigan 16 Michigan State 13
November 23 – @ Indiana
After finishing 5-7 in 2018, the Indiana Hoosiers will look to rebound in 2019.
After a tough win over Michigan State, coupled with a matchup against Ohio State a week away, Michigan will have to be focused on the task at hand when they travel to Bloomington. This one will be closer than the experts think but the Wolverines will pull away in the fourth quarter.
Michigan 34 Indiana 20
November 30 – vs. Ohio State
In 2018, Ohio State seemed to play down to their competition in almost every game of the season. That is until Michigan came to town in their final regular season game. As we know, the Buckeyes absolutely dominated the Wolverines in that game, eliminating Michigan from the Big Ten Championship Game and a shot at the College Football Playoff.
You can be sure that Harbaugh and the Wolverines will be ready to get some revenge (not Revenge Tour) in 2019 and that is exactly what they will do.
Michigan 31 Ohio State 27