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Detroit News scouting report: Michigan football vs. Maryland

Maryland at No. 4 Michigan

Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor

TV/radio: FOX/97.1

Line: Michigan by 17

Records: Maryland 3-0, 0-0 Big Ten; No. 4 Michigan 3-0, 0-0 Big Ten

Series: Michigan leads 9-1 (Last game: Nov. 20, 2021 — Michigan 59, (at) Maryland 18)

Angelique S. Chengelis of The Detroit News breaks down the Wolverines’ Week 4 matchup against Maryland. 

Key matchup

Michigan pass game vs. Maryland pass defense

On paper, this looks lopsided considering the Terrapins are ranked 106th in pass defense and the Wolverines have a highly regarded, deep collection of receivers. This will also be quarterback J.J. McCarthy’s third start, and he is a threat with his big arm, accuracy and mobility. He has completed 88% of his pass attempts and while he will be facing a better defense than the Wolverines have seen the first three games, Maryland has allowed six passing touchdowns the last two contests and an average of 273.7 passing yards per game.

Terrapins to watch

Taulia Tagovailoa, QB: Tagovailoa is a dual threat who is ranked third nationally in completion percentage (77.3%), 13th in passing efficiency (180.66 rating) and 14th in total offense (316.3 yards per game). The 5-foot-11, 200-pound junior had a prolific campaign in 2021, setting five program records while becoming an All-Big Ten honoree. He set the Maryland single-season mark for passing yards (3,860), completions (328), completion percentage (69.2%), touchdowns (26; tied with Scott Milanovich, 1993) and 300-yard passing games (seven). Tagovailoa is in his third season with the Terps and ranks second in career 300-yard passing games (nine), third in career passing touchdowns (39), third in career completions (471) and fourth in career passing yards (5,766). So far this season, he is 68-of-88 passing for 895 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has rushed for a touchdown.

Rakim Jarrett, WR: The 6-foot, 190-pound junior led Maryland and was top 10 in the Big Ten in every receiving category in 2021. Jarrett had 62 receptions for 829 yards and five touchdowns last season and has at least one reception in all 20 games he’s played. Jarrett had the fifth 100-yard game of his career in the season-opening win against Buffalo, catching six passes for 110 yards. Jarrett was named the No. 68 best player in college football by ESPN in its preseason top-100 player list and was selected as the No. 23 best player in the Big Ten by BTN. He has 11 catches for 196 yards and a touchdown this season.

Jakorian Bennett, DB: Bennett, a 5-11, 195-pound senior, leads all FBS players with 21 pass breakups dating back to the beginning of the 2021 season, the most in the country. He had five in the season opener against Buffalo — that was second-most in the nation behind Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr., who had six in Week 1. Bennett led all Power Five players with 16 pass breakups in 2021, the most by a Maryland player since 2003.

More:Detroit News predictions: Michigan football vs. Maryland

More:Wojo's Pigskin Picks: Michigan, Michigan State primed for Big Ten play (sort of)

Facts and figures

▶ Maryland kicker Chad Ryland has made 20 straight field goals dating back to Oct. 2, 2021, which is the longest active streak in the country. Ryland, who spent the previous four seasons at Eastern Michigan, has made 31 of his last 34 field goals, including all three this season.

▶ Running back Roman Hemby is averaging 9.19 yards per carry, which ranks third nationally. He has two runs of at least 50 yards this season, with a 70-yarder against Buffalo and 50-yard run against SMU. The redshirt freshman ran for 151 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries in last week’s win against SMU. He has 294 rushing yards and three scores on 32 carries this season.

▶ Maryland is one of 19 teams in the nation to score on every single red-zone trip this season. The Terps have reached the red zone 11 times and scored 69 points on nine touchdowns (five rushing, four passing) and two field goals.

Twitter: @chengelis