With a spot in the National Championship game on the line, the Michigan Wolverines are in the College Football Playoff as the No. 2 seed for the second consecutive year. Unlike last year, however, the Wolverines enter this game as a sizeable favorite and are confident they will compete for a National Championship come Jan. 9.
In a phrase, the Maize and Blue aren’t “just happy to be here.” Touting increased focus due to familiarity with this grand stage, Michigan’s players are emphatic this year’s semifinal matchup will be different than last year’s 35-11 letdown loss to the eventual National Champion Georgia Bulldogs.
Standing in their way are the TCU Horned Frogs. Although coming off a loss in the Big 12 Championship, TCU possesses one of the most prolific offenses in all of college football. Max Duggan finished as the Heisman runner-up, and their leading receiver Quentin Johnston is a probable first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
As for TCU’s defense, head coach Sonny Dykes and cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson have made some eyebrow-rasing comments. For his part, Dykes stated his team will look to stop Michigan’s running attack because “that stops their offense.” Hodges-Tomlinson opined TCU is “way faster than any team that they have seen.”
Let’s see if they can put their money where their mouth is.
Teams: No. 2 Michigan Wolverines vs. No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs
Date: Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022
Location: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ
Kickoff: 4 p.m.
Radio: Michigan/IMG Sports Network (to listen online, click here)
Spread: Michigan -7.5; O/U: 58.0
Today’s question: Will Michigan limit big plays from Max Duggan?
Duggan — who didn’t hold the starting quarterback job for TCU entering the season — has won plaudits for his leadership acumen and dynamic playmaking ability. As mobile as any quarterback as Michigan has seen, the Wolverines will need to pressure and contain him. Having led the Horned Frogs to numerous comeback victories, the Maize and Blue better do this early and often. Keeping him bottled up and disrupting the pocket will allow the Wolverines to play the winning brand of football we have been accustomed to seeing.