Michigan vs. Maryland prediction and game preview. The Wolverines face their former defensive coordinator when they look to remain unbeaten against the visiting Terrapins.
Michigan vs. Maryland Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 5 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor.
TV Broadcast: ESPN
D.J. Durkin spent last season as Michigan’s defensive coordinator and helped the Wolverines finish fourth in the nation in fewest yards allowed per game. He parlayed that success into the head coaching job at Maryland, which is a victory away from becoming bowl-eligible after winning three games in 2015. Unfortunately for Durkin, Michigan’s defense might be better than when he left.
Jim Harbaugh hired Don Brown away from Boston College – which had the top defense in the nation last year – to replace Durkin, and Michigan is the only team in the country allowing fewer than four yards per play. The Wolverines are 8-0 and poised to beat their former defensive coordinator and send Maryland to its fourth loss in its last five games.
What To Know About Michigan
The No. 2 Wolverines are going to pressure Maryland quarterback Perry Hills all day Saturday. Their 27 sacks lead the Big Ten, while the Terps have allowed a conference-most 24. Michigan had two in its 32-23 win at Michigan State last week, although it did give up a season-worst 401 yards. The 23 points against were eight more than it allowed the previous three games combined, and the Spartans’ 23 first downs were seven more than any other Michigan opponent.
That doesn’t mean the Wolverines are struggling, though. Jabrill Peppers added to his Heisman Trophy resume with four tackles, one sack, a 3-yard touchdown run and a returned two-point conversion attempt at the end of the game. He’s likely going to give Durkin fits on both sides of the ball Saturday.
What To Know About Maryland
There’s no question Durkin is doing a great job turning around the Terps in his first season, guiding them to a 5-3 mark. However, they’ve gone just 1-3 since their unbeaten start and are coming off a tough 42-36 loss at Indiana. The defensive-minded Durkin certainly wasn’t pleased with the fact that Maryland allowed season highs in points and total yards (650) while not forcing a turnover. Indiana also had three different players finish with more than 100 rushing yards as the Terps continue to try and move on with out the injured Will Likely.
Ty Johnson did that for the Terps, finishing with 142, including a 66-yard touchdown run. But Hills threw an interception and lost a fumble, giving Maryland 11 turnovers over its last five games after not committing one over its first three. If the Terps want to have any chance at winning at the Big House, they’ll need to play a near-flawless game.
Offense: Michigan – Wilton Speight has so many weapons to throw to, including Amara Darboh, who’s 83 receiving yards per game rank second in the Big Ten.
Defense: Michigan – Harbaugh gives credit to Durkin for the Wolverines’ continued success on this side of the ball.
Special Teams: Michigan – Peppers leads the nation with an average of 32.1 punt return yards per game.
Coaching: Michigan – Durkin is only 38 years old and hoping to one day reach Harbaugh’s level.
Intangibles: Michigan – With Durkin guiding the defense, the Wolverines beat the Terps 28-0 last year.
Matchup To Watch
Peppers vs. Durkin
Few know Peppers better. Durkin helped develop Peppers into one of the most dynamic players in the country, and he’s coordinating with his assistants on how to keep the dynamic playmaker in check in all three phases of the game.
Spread: Michigan -31
Michigan vs. Maryland Prediction
Durkin’s return to Ann Arbor doesn’t go very well. Peppers scores a touchdown and shines on the defensive side, too, helping the Wolverines pick up an easy home win.
Michigan vs. Maryland final score prediction: Michigan 48, Maryland 10