RUSH OFFENSE vs. MARYLAND RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan is #36 in rushing offense (206 yards/game) and #28 in yards per carry (5.24). Running back Karan Higdon has 115+ yards in three out of his four games at 6.3 yards per attempt. With backup Chris Evans out due to a hamstring injury last week, it was Higdon’s show in a tight game against Northwestern: Higdon out-carried third-stringer Tru Wilson, 30-to-1. The offensive line has been okay, but they aren’t capable of paving the way in the run game when teams aren’t respecting the pass. Michigan tends to run left only, perhaps so they can run bootlegs back to quarterback Shea Patterson’s dominant hand. Maryland is #18 in rushing defense (104 yards allowed/game), and they’re holding opponents to 2.67 yards allowed/carry, which is tied for #8 nationally. It helps that they have played four teams who are #127, #91, #84, and #34 in rushing (Tulsa is #34). Of course, Maryland helped put those teams low in the rankings, but the Terps haven’t been playing the cream of the rushing crop. Senior linebacker Tre Watson (6’2″, 236 lbs.), a transfer from Illinois, leads the team with 39 tackles, following by 6’1″, 245 lb. junior linebacker Isaiah Davis (32). Junior safety Antoine Brooks, Jr. (5’11”, 210) and senior safety Darnell Savage, Jr. (5’11”, 200) lead the team with 4.5 and 4.0 tackles for loss, respectively, a category in which Maryland ranks 52nd. I don’t think Michigan will tee off on the Terrapins, but I think they will have a slight advantage.
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