No. 6 Michigan comes up against another tough test as the Wolverines go on the road to face Maryland on Saturday in College Park, Maryland. At 9-1 overall and 6-1 in Big Ten play, Michigan is looking to keep its Big Ten title and College Football Playoff hopes alive. Maryland is 5-5 and hoping to pull off an upset to reach bowl eligibility for the first time under coach Mike Locksley.
The playoff selection committee kept Michigan at its prior No. 6 ranking after a tough road win against Penn State, just one spot behind No. 5 Cincinnati, but one spot ahead of No. 7 Michigan State. The Wolverines’ head-to-head loss to the rival Spartans has drawn some criticism of the committee’s decisions, but comments from committee chair Gary Barta indicate that Michigan’s well-rounded résumé was strong enough to warrant the position.
Knowing that Michigan is already ahead of the only team it lost to is a good spot to be in with the final two weeks of the season approaching. However, those playoff hopes will be put to the test when the Wolverines have their last true road game of the season on Saturday.
Michigan vs. Maryland: Need to know
Michigan’s offense is balanced: The Wolverines have had some of their best passing performances of the season in recent weeks, and that’s bringing some balance to what was already one of the best rushing attacks in the country. Michigan is averaging 442.4 yards per game at 6.2 yards per play, and in those totals are a very even split of 225.1 yards rushing and 217.3 yards passing per game. Quarterback Cade McNamara has totaled seven touchdowns and just one interception in his last three games, and the one-two combo at running back of Hasaan Hasking and Blake Corum has combined for 1,763 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on the season.
Taulia Tagovailoa having an all-time season: Tagovailoa has been the leader of this Maryland passing attack and the production has placed his 2021 campaign alongside some of the best in school history. Heading into Saturday’s game, Tagovailoa ranks third all-time in single season completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns. He’s 19 completions, 395 yards and seven touchdowns away from becoming the single-season record holder in all three categories, meaning at least one record could potentially fall against Michigan and there is an opportunity to get even closer to making the clean sweep with at least one game left beyond Saturday.
Jim Harbaugh has delivered on a strong 2021: A win would give Harbaugh a fourth 10-win season in his seven-year tenure with the Wolverines, marking a strong response after going 2-4 in a COVID-shortened 2020. Harbaugh and the school agreed to a new four-extension to his contract in early 2021 that included a lowered base salary. Given the team’s performance on the field, he has delivered on the idea that the program is headed in the right direction. Hitting 10 wins would mark the first time since 2018 the Wolverines have done so, which was also the last time they entered the final week of the regular season with a chance to win the Big Ten East.
How to watch Michigan vs. Maryland live
Date: Saturday, Nov. 20 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ETLocation: Maryland Stadium — College Park, Maryland.TV: Big Ten Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Michigan vs. Maryland prediction, picks
Featured Game | Maryland Terrapins vs. Michigan Wolverines
Michigan’s defensive front will be the group that wins this game. Maryland has been able to move the ball between the 20s this season, but has struggled when it gets into the red zone. That’s where the Wolverines will start to overwhelm a Terps’ offensive line that has failed to establish an edge against the better teams in the Big Ten. Prediction: Michigan (-14.5)
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