RUSH OFFENSE vs. MARYLAND RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan is the #14 rushing offense in the country (225 yards/game). The bell cow right now is 6’1″, 225 lb. Hassan Haskins, who has 58 carries over the past two weeks since Blake Corum hurt his lower leg. Haskins has responded with 168 and 156 yards, many of them coming after contact while pushing piles, twisting, and diving for extra yardage. Michigan will pound-pound-pound the ball inside and then get big chunks on the edges. Maryland is #77 in rushing defense (157 yards allowed/game) and #70 in yards allowed per carry (4.11). They did a respectable job against Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker last week (30 carries, 143 yards, 2 touchdowns), but that allowed quarterback Payton Thorne to average 9.6 yards per passing attempt and throw 4 touchdowns. The top two tacklers for the Terrapins are safeties Jordan Mosley (6’1″, 205) and Nick Cross (6’1″, 215) with 67 and 57, respectively. It’s not usually a great thing when safeties are leading the team in tackling. Nose tackle Ami Finau (6’2″, 320) is a decent run stuffer with 5 tackles for loss. Michigan might not be able to gash Maryland over and over again, but they should be able to move the ball consistently.
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PASS OFFENSE vs. MARYLAND PASS DEFENSE
The Wolverines are #76 in passing offense (217 yards/game) and #49 in passer rating. Quarterback Cade McNamara has mostly taken care of the ball well (2 interceptions, 1 fumble lost) but isn’t a huge threat to uncork a deep ball at any given time. He takes what’s available and then will try a couple deep shots a game. Wide receiver Cornelius Johnson and tight end Erick All are tied for the team lead in receptions (30 each), and All’s 47-yard catch-and-run accounted for the only touchdown of his three-year career. Michigan is tied for #3 in sacks allowed with just 0.8 per game. Maryland is tied for #29 with 2.8 sacks per game, led by defensive end Sam Okuayinonu (6’2″, 280) with 6 and defensive tackle Greg Rose (6’2″, 295) with 5. The Terps are #106 in interceptions (0.5 per game), led by Cross with 3 and cornerback Jakorian Bennett (5’11”, 195) with 2. They have had some injury issues in the secondary. Overall, I think Michigan is going to be able to handle the pass rush pretty well and Michigan should be able to make some nice plays against an overmatched secondary.
RUSH DEFENSE vs. MARYLAND RUSH OFFENSE
Michigan is #27 in rush defense. Middle linebacker Joshua Ross leads the team with 72 tackles, and he has a gigantic lead in that category; #2 on the squad is safety Daxton Hill (50) and #3 is freshman part-time starting linebacker Junior Colson (47). Despite all the sacks, Michigan is actually pretty poor at making tackles in the backfield, ranking #87 overall with 53. Maryland is #112 in rushing offense (112 yards/game) and #108 in yards per carry (3.49). Senior running back Tayon Fleet-Davis (6’0″, 215) has not impressed me at all this season on his way to 91 carries, 485 yards, and 6 touchdowns. It’s not a good offensive line. The most dangerous part of the running game is quarterback Tagovailoa, who has very good speed for a quarterback but takes so many sacks that his numbers don’t show how dangerous he is. If he can pop outside and get to the edge, he can be dangerous. Otherwise, he doesn’t like to run inside, and I don’t think he will make some of the same plays that Sean Clifford made for PSU early in the game last week.
PASS DEFENSE vs. MARYLAND PASS OFFENSE
Michigan has done a good job against the pass, ranking #8 in the nation with 178 yards allowed per game. The biggest part of that is the pass rush duo of Aidan Hutchinson (10 sacks) and David Ojabo (10 sacks). While the secondary has no true standouts in coverage – and yes, I’m including Daxton Hill there – quarterbacks have so little time or get so flustered that they can’t stand in there until guys work their way open. Cornerback D.J. Turner II has done a done nice job on the back end and helped limit Penn State’s Jahan Dotson to 9 catches for 61 yards last weekend. Maryland is #13 in passing offense (319 yards/game) and #39 in passer rating. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (5’11”, 200) has completed 69% of his passes for 3,105 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He averages nearly 39 passing attempts per game, including 57 and 48 attempts the past two weeks. With a receiver I really like gone for the year in Dontay Demus, the targets are a thinned group now led by Rakim Jarrett (6’0″, 190), a former 5-star recruit who has some big play ability. So far he has 47 catches for 638 yards and 5 touchdowns. The next most dangerous target is 6’3″, 250 lb. tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo (40 catches and 5 touchdowns), who averages under 10 yards per catch. The Terps are middle of the pack with 2.2 sacks allowed per game. Tagovailoa is better at escaping outside the pocket rather than up through the pocket, so I don’t think he’s going to have a great day extending plays or breaking contain with Hutchinson and Ojabo coming after him.
- Players recruited by Michigan include: RB Peny Boone, S Nick Cross, S Rakim Jarrett, LB Branden Jennings, LB Demeioun Robinson, QB Taulia Tagovailoa, TE Weston Wolff
- Maryland LB Branden Jennings was committed to Michigan at one time
- Maryland OC/QB Coach Dan Enos was Michigan’s QB coach for like two weeks one time
LAST TIME THEY PLAYED…
- On November 2, 2019, Michigan beat Maryland by a score of 38-7
- Giles Jackson returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown
- Hassan Haskins ran 13 times for 60 yards and 1 touchdown
- Fred Jackson’s son Josh Jackson, Maryland’s QB, was sacked 4 times and completed 9/20 passes for 97 yards and 1 interception
- Michigan 34, Maryland 20
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