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Getting to know Maryland: Michigan should dominate the Terrapins

Michigan is a much better team, now they have to go out and prove it

Northwestern v Maryland Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

As Michigan fans have come to realize, winning football games with three different starting quarterbacks in the same season isn’t easy. The Wolverines opponent on Saturday, the Maryland Terrapins have won with three different starting quarterbacks as well, and they’re the only two teams in the Power 5 to have accomplished this. Impressive. At the very least, it says something about the resolve of each team, it says that when faced with adversity they do not crumble.

Maryland’s head coach is a familiar face, D.J. Durkin, who was Michigan’s defensive coordinator for Jim Harbaugh’s first season at Michigan. Durkin knows Michigan’s offensive scheme well, and Michigan knows all about Durkin’s aggressive defensive plan of attack.

As it stands right now, Maryland is 4-5 and on pace to have the toughest schedule in the nation, with a combined opponent record of 58-29 (.667). However, their season has been up and down. The Terps started out the year with an upset over Texas, but have received beat-downs from Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Central Florida. Worst of all, they lost last week to Rutgers by a touchdown.

When you look at the numbers, one would expect that in Durkin’s second season at the helm he would have his defense performing higher than it has been. The defense is giving up a lot of yards on the ground and through the air while not getting to the quarterback often enough. The only good number is their 10 interceptions tallied on the season.

On the offensive side of the ball, things aren’t any better, as Maryland has one of the worst passing attacks in the country. Khaleke Hudson and the rest of the Wolverines defense should be able to pile up a large amount of tackles for loss and sacks in this one, especially since it is highly likely Maryland will be trailing by a somewhat large margin in this one.

Michigan showed against Minnesota, Rutgers, and Indiana (three of the last four games) that they are running the ball a lot more effectively than they were earlier in the season. Expect that trend to continue. What remains to be seen is how well Brandon Peters will perform, but the fact Maryland ranks as the No. 100 passing defense could bode well for a better performance than last week versus Minnesota.

Notable Rankings

  • Passing offense- 115th
  • Rushing offense- 55th
  • Third down conversion percentage- 116th (131.9)
  • Offensive efficiency- 47th
  • Passing defense- 100th
  • Rushing defense- 76th
  • Sacks- 86th (15)
  • Interceptions- 30th (10)
  • Defensive efficiency- 87th