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How to watch Michigan vs. Maryland: Preview, TV Schedule, and More

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Nearing the end of Team 135.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It is the warm-up. The prelude. If Michigan can gash Maryland's defense for long runs today, that bodes well for next Saturday's game. If it can make strides in establishing an angry, physical presence, then that is simply good preparation for Ohio State. This is the last home game for two dozen seniors, and this is the front door to a bowl invitation. But it's about pride, and it's about tenacity, and it's about presence. It's about peaking for next week.

How to witness

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET on BTN.

Radio: WWJ, AM Radio 950, Sirius Radio, Channel 132, and XM radio, Channel 196.

Online streaming: Available on BTN2Go.

The numbers

While Maryland's offense ranks a little higher than Northwestern or Indiana, and stand at 67th nationally because of a great conversion rate in the red zone, they have some crippling flaws in their attack. On third downs, they're 117th. On first downs, they're 110th. Rushing the ball, they're 111th. Avoiding interceptions, they're 99th with 13 given away. Preventing sacks, they're 103rd. Time of possession, Maryland's offense is 114th. At passing efficiency, they're 87th. When they do complete passes, they break them off for big gains, and once they're in the red zone they get a good number of touchdowns. But this is a poor attack, and it's going against a Michigan defense that allowed nothing worse than a 16-yard pass all game long against Northwestern.

While the offense is seemingly over-performing its advanced stats, the defense is in the opposite situation. Just 93rd in total defense, and equally poor in giving up yards through the air and on the ground, there are some signs of effectiveness for a defense that's forced to stay on the field far too long. The secondary makes offenses work for their yards - they're at 32nd in passing efficiency defense - and they get in the backfield.

Three names to know

The very first name to know is Maryland's kicker, Brad Craddock, who may be challenging Roberto Aguayo for the title of best in the country. He is a perfect 14 for 14, which constitutes the most made field goals for any perfect kicker this season. (Aguayo, for comparison, is 19 for 20.) Craddock's longest came against Ohio State, a 57-yard boot.

Andre Monroe, meanwhile, has been a playmaker on their defensive line. One of the Big Ten's sack leaders with 8.5, he also leads the linemen with 52 tackles. It's a defensive line that provides the backbone for this defense, and if Michigan can neutralize them, they will have a very easy day.

Finally, look for Devin Funchess to have a 'resurgent' game against a weak and undersized secondary. It might be fool's gold, but it would be much more telling if Michigan could not get their athletes the ball, especially the 6'5" Funchess.

A Recommendation

Go buy a small plant, and name it after a Michigan player you see working very hard or making a memorable play. Keep it through the winter months as a decoration to brighten your house in relaxing moments, and a reminder of the power of working toward what you want to achieve in your life. Also, enjoy some eggnog, and don't spill any on your brand-new plant.