Terps open as HUGE Underdogs vs Michigan. Preview plus stats
NO RESPECT NONE WHATSOEVER
Maryland coming off its first and only bye week this season will head down to Ann Arbor on Saturday to do battle with 15th ranked Michigan Wolverines.
The Terps are off to a good start to their season sporting a 3-1 overall record and a 1-0 Big ten record after beating Minnesota Gophers to open their conference slate two weekends ago.
During the bye the Terps coaching staff and players have been mainly focused prepping for Michigan while allowing the players with injuries to rest and heal up.
The Terps will look to shock the World come Saturday as they did to open their season when they beat a now ranked Texas team at Fed Ex Field in Landover.
Not many experts have shown confident in the Terrapins thus seeing them be 17 1/2-point underdogs to Michigan at the Big House is not shocking.
However, the Terps players believe they can win this game and now all that’s left for them to do is to prepare and go out and execute at a high level on Saturday.
Michigan has historically been almost unbeatable at home but the Terps lone victory in a series absolutely dominated by Michigan over the years came at Michigan in their inaugural Big ten season.
The 15th ranked Wolverines comes into Saturday’s game after having to need a major comeback to avoid being upset on the road at 1-3 Northwestern Wildcats.
The close victory dropped the Wolverines a spot in the rankings as they were 14th last week, but the game also revealed plenty of weaknesses on both sides of ball for Michigan.
The Wolverines went down by 17-0 before rallying for 20 unanswered points to win 20-17. The Wolverines offensive line as its has been all season were owned by the undermanned Northwestern defensive front.
Maryland defensive line is much bigger and stronger and with guys like Jesse Aniebonam and Byron Cowart coming off the edge the Terps should be in the Michigan back field early and often.
Michigan relies heavily on their play action passing game which only works when their running game gets going downhill.
The Terps should have the athletes to stack the box while also holding up on the outside in mostly one on one’s match ups.
Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson has a good arm but the offense clearly doesn’t suit him and Maryland should look to pressure him often but be warily of his feet.
Patterson did hurt Northwestern with key scrambles and getting outside the pocket, he does have sneaky good speed. Michigan number one weapon on offense is senior running back Karan Higdon.
Dude is a very good Big ten back and runs very powerful for a back on the smaller side of things (5’10 202 lbs.). Higdon (479 yards on just 76 carries) is the Wolverines Anthony McFarland, he is their most explosive threat.
Higdon is strong and runs behind his pads meaning if a tackler comes in soft they’ll get embarrassed by his pure powerful low center of gravity running style.
On the outside the Wolverines best threat is sophomore wide receiver Donovan Peoples Jones.
This kid is a big boy that will not be intimidated going across the middle of the Terps defense and he is also a speed threat especially on punts and kick returns on special teams.
Look for senior defensive back Darnell Savage Jr to shadow him across the field all game, as he is the smartest and best cover guy in the Maryland secondary.
Savage was knocked out last week early in the Minnesota game so hopefully the bye week has allowed him to get back close to 100% healthy. Without their senior secondary leader, the Terps could be in major trouble.
Michigan defense is the best there is in the entire Country and their defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is an ex NFL defensive coordinator (Ravens) thus his defenses are always tricky and pose a unique challenge.
The Michigan front 7 may also be the best in the Country with a powerful pass rush led by defensive linemen Chase Winovich and linebacker Devin Bush, both those guys are serious potential All American candidates.
The Terps offensive line and offense as a whole would have their hands full and then some.
Head Coach Matt Canada’s offense effectiveness will be really tested this weekend and how they perform or lack there off would be the reason they won or lose on Saturday.
Maryland have the athletes and speed to get the edge on this Wolverines defense but it’s would not come easy.
Maryland would have to match Michigan’s physicality from the opening whistle and for the FULL 60 minutes ball game something Northwestern only managed to do for a quarter and a half in gaining their 17-0 lead.
The Terps have far better explosive athletes than any team Michigan has faced since their opening weekend loss to Notre Dame.
The fact that the Terps are already 17 and a half points underdogs this early mean that line would probably go way up by the time kickoff comes around.
The experts are banking on Michigan showing up at home while not giving any respect to the Terps for their good start.
This game has all the make up for a huge Maryland upset but again these kids have been through so much just keeping it competitive all game would be a huge positive for the program going forward.
Maryland has historically been embarrassed by the big ten powers thus just keeping this game close would be almost like a win.
However, if this team can somehow continue to play for each other and for their fallen teammate (RIP J) look for the Terps to come out blazing as they did against Minnesota and score quickly.
If the Terps can somehow gain a 17-0 lead on this Wolverines team I just don’t see how Michigan can come back from that.
Maryland is a much better team than Northwestern so I wouldn’t be shock at all if the Terps actually pulled off the huge road win.
Maryland would need to hit a few big passes down the field early to keep that elite Michigan defense on its toes. If the Terps allowed that Michigan defense to get comfortable and starts to pin their ears back then it’ll be a very long day.
The Wolverines are relentless in a major way on defense unlike any in College football.
Terps quarterback Kasim Hill will be relied on to make big throws as he did in that Texas game.
Michigan defensive backs are good but they do get caught back field watching a lot so expect a few double routes by the Terrapin receivers and pass catchers.
Game time is set for 12 pm ET at the Big House in Ann Arbor Michigan on ABC.
Key Michigan Players to Watch
Chase Winovich DL
Devin Bush LB
Karan Higdon RB
Shea Patterson QB
Lavert Hill CB
David Long CB
Key Maryland Players to Watch
Darnell Savage Jr S
Kasim Hill QB
Jesse Aniebonam DE
Byron Cowart DL
Antione Brooks Jr NB
Tre Watson LB
Ty Johnson RB
Anthony McFarland RB
Taivon Jacobs WR
Derwin Grey LT
Tino Ellis CB
Look for Anthony McFarland to have his official national welcome to college football moment or two. True Freshmen Jeshaun Jones will have another huge game as he did against Texas. Expect the Terps pass rush to make things difficult for that entire Michigan offensive line. I expect 2 interceptions by the Terps defense and a special team score. The Terps will FINALLY get their due respect and EARN a top 20 national ranking the following week.
Score MARYLAND 24 MICHIGAN 17