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Getting to know Michigan’s opponent: Maryland

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Is Maryland Michigan’s toughest opponent since Notre Dame?

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland Terrapins have overcame off-field adversity via an investigation involving head coach D.J. Durkin.

As Durkin awaits his fate on administrative leave, interim head coach Matt Canada has done a solid job through their first four games, guiding the team to a 3-1 record including wins over Texas, Bowling Green, and Minnesota.

Michigan is facing a team they should beat yet again, but Maryland’s game against Texas on the road showed that they can hang around in hostile environments.

Team Statistics

  • Total Offense- 76th
  • Rushing Offense- 10th
  • Passing Offense- 121st
  • Scoring Offense- 49th
  • Passing Yards Allowed- 51st
  • Rushing Defense- 18th
  • 3rd Down Conversion Pct- 115th
  • 3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense- 14th
  • Offensive First Downs- 124th
  • Fewest Penalties Per Game- 123rd
  • Interceptions- 21st
  • Fumbles Lost- 5th
  • Team Tackles for Loss- 25th

Run Heavy Forecast

Maryland’s passing attack may be one of the worst in the nation statistically, but their rushing offense has been one of the most prolific during the first month of the season.

With three running backs netting over 145 yards rushing, the Terrapins can gash you in different ways on the ground with Ty Johnson (300 yards, 7.5 YPC), Anthony McFarland (291 yards/10.8 YPC), and Taylor Fleet-Davis (148 yards/4.9 YPC).

If Michigan’s No. 1 defense is able to stop the run, the burden falls squarely on the shoulders of quarterback Kasim Hill, who’s thrown just 76 passes this season, completing 55.3% of them. Credit still should be sent to Hill for only throwing one interception through four games.

Defensive minded

This is likely the best defense Michigan has faced since Notre Dame. The numbers aren’t eye-popping, but the Terrapins D has been steady.

Linebacker Tre Watson has been a force in the middle of the field, recording 39 tackles (25 solo), hauling in 2 interceptions, and notching 1 sack.

Defensive back Antoine Brooks is another player to keep an eye on. With 1 interception, 15 solo tackles (4.5 for loss), this guy can really fly around the field and disrupt both pass and run plays alike.

What happens?

Look for Michigan to get off to a better start than last week and not take Maryland lightly. What Maryland does well is what Michigan’s D excels at stopping. If Maryland is forced to pass this game could be put away by half-time.

Although Michigan may have the advantage when it comes to their defense versus the Terrapin offense, what the game will boil down to is the success of the Wolverine offense. Maryland will be aggressive and likely implement the same approach as Northwestern did.

Still, expect Michigan to roll in this one.

Prediction:

Michigan 46 - Maryland 10