Detroit News predictions: Michigan football vs. Maryland
Matt Charboneau, Angelique S. Chengelis, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Saturday’s Michigan-Maryland game at Michigan Stadium (noon, Fox/950).
► Matt Charboneau: The Wolverines finally play a varsity game with the arrival of Maryland in Ann Arbor, a team that can put up its share of points. The Terrapins follow the lead of quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who has plenty of weapons at his disposal and his been completing 77% of his passes through the first three games. They'll put plenty of pressure on the Michigan defense as the Wolverines will get a chance to prove the pass rush is for real. The flip side is, of course, the Terps are not a great defensive team, they turn the ball over and they take far too many penalties. It all adds up to a game that should, at the very least, offer the Wolverines some real competition while providing some excitement for the fans, but in the end, the Wolverines will remain unbeaten. Michigan, 38-21
► Angelique S. Chengelis: Maryland’s offense is as good as advertised with dual-threat quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa and an assortment of talented receivers, so this will finally be a test to see just how good Michigan’s pass rush is, whether the defense can contain Tagovailoa and also whether the secondary can lock down on receivers. The Terps have some issues on defense, particularly defending the pass where they are ranked 107th nationally giving up an average 273.7 yards a game. They allowed SMU to gain 520 yards last week, so this could be a big game for Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, the receivers and tight ends. One thing also to note: Michigan is tied for first nationally in fewest penalties with eight through three games. Maryland has been penalty-prone and is tied for 129th nationally – only Houston is worse – averaging 10.33 penalties. In the win over SMU last week, the Terps were penalized 15 times for 141 yards. Michigan has won six straight in the series with Maryland. Michigan, 38-20
► John Niyo: Michigan's on to the main course now after making short work of those nonconference cupcakes they'd lined up. That doesn't mean the Wolverines can't still feast, especially if they start fast against a Maryland program they've beaten by three touchdowns or more six consecutive seasons. But Michigan's defense will finally be tested. Taulia Tagovailoa has been extremely efficient in his last two outings, and while the Terps' receiving corps presents problems, there's also a run game with Roman Hemby piling up yards behind an experienced offensive line. Still, Maryland remains a team that's prone to penalties (15 last week) and turnovers, which is a big problem on the road. Michigan, 41-24
► Bob Wojnowski: Michigan’s first real test is a tricky one, facing a high-powered offense with a quarterback, Taulia Tagovailoa, completing 77% of his passes. Maryland is 3-0 against modest competition but has steadily improved under coach Mike Locksley. This is a game we find out if Michigan’s pass rush truly did leave for the NFL. The Wolverines will match the scoring, with Blake Corum running and J.J. McCarthy feeding his array of receivers. Jim Harbaugh will want to control the game with the run but it’ll be interesting to see what happens if Maryland takes, say, a 17-10 lead in the second quarter. This will be more of a shootout than the Wolverines would prefer, but the Terps’ defense won’t hold up. Michigan, 52-27