Jim Harbaugh's 22nd-ranked Michigan Wolverines (3-1) travel to the Washington D.C. area to take on Randy Edsall's Maryland Terrapins (2-2) in a game that already has one big notable storyline developing before kickoff takes place.
The game was originally slated for a prime time kickoff, but due to the threat of inclement weather from Hurricane Joaquin, the decision was made to move the game to noon ET.
Rain and winds look like they will still factor in, which could cause a sloppy game without much explosion from either offense.
Offensively, Michigan will likely focus again on its ground attack, regardless of if De'Veon Smith plays or not (foot injury). They ran for 292 yards against Maryland last season and should be able to have similar success on Saturday afternoon. Jake Rudock will be looking to get through his second straight game without a turnover. It remains to be seen how much of the passing game we will see, but having a zero in the turnover column would be another boost to his confidence.
Michigan's defense has a chance to really shine in this game. The Terrapins are not great offensively and have had quarterback woes throughout this season. Caleb Rowe will get the start for them, who has nine interceptions in three games. Harbaugh has spoken about packing a defense when you hit the road. The bad weather seems to favor the Wolverines here.
On special teams, Maryland poses a great threat in the form of kick return whiz Will Likely, who is one of the best at his craft in all of college football. Harbaugh, John Baxter and company know what he is capable of and have placed an emphasis on special teams play going into this football game.
This is going to be a sloppy game that may be a tough watch at times, but Michigan should pull this one out easily and the score will not be indicative of how dominant they were. I have the Wolverines winning 17-3.
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- This is the fifth all-time meeting between the Wolverines and Terrapins with Maryland's lone win coming last season at Michigan Stadium.
- This is the first time that Michigan will travel to Maryland for a game. U-M has a large alumni base in the area, so the maize and blue should be well-represented at the game.
- Michigan is 82-25-2 all-time in Big Ten openers and have won 44 of its last 47 here with the only losses coming twice to Wisconsin on the road ('81, '05) and at home vs. Minnesota ('14).
- Maryland is the 11th different Big Ten school that Michigan has opened conference play with all-time.
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