The Maryland Terrapins (3-1) will travel to Ann Arbor to play the #15 Michigan Wolverines (4-1) on Saturday in Big Ten conference play. The Wolverines are currently favored by 17.5 points.
Before last week’s bye the Terps won a statement game at home, knocking off a previously undefeated Minnesota team by 29 points. The rushing game returned to its usual dominance by posting 315 yards, and most importantly Ty Johnson regained his All-American status.
Michigan comes into the game as one of the hotter teams in the conference after winning. Despite an opening-night loss at highly ranked Notre Dame, the wolverines have won four straight by an average margin of victory of 30 points. Quarterback Shea Patterson is a force to be reckoned with, and he will be the best the Terps have faced this season by far.
Maryland’s offense has looked serviceable if not fantastic for most of the season but Michigan will be a whole new challenge as they boast the #14 scoring defense in the nation. Kasim Hill will have to show up as a true game manager if the Terps want to have any shot. Otherwise Michigan will likely stack the box against the talented Maryland running back corps.
In years past I would give Maryland no chance in a game like this. The combination of a hostile environment, ranked team, and legitimate quarterback facing the Terps is daunting for sure but this feels a little different than recent matchups. There’s a certain sense of swagger and competence from this team that I honestly don’t recognize. I don’t think they’ll win, but it wouldn’t be a huge shock in all honesty and I actually expect a relatively competitive game by the score of something like 31-17. Kickoff is set for noon tomorrow on ABC.