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The home stretch of the 2019 college football season has officially arrived as Week 10 kicks off Saturday morning with a game between the 15th ranked Michigan Wolverines and Maryland Terrapins. A season that had so much potential for Maryland got out of hand quickly since starting 2-0 before losing five of six, and they currently sit at 3-5 on the season. For Michigan, a second loss on the season to Wisconsin has all but taken them out of the College Football Playoff conversation for yet another year. With a four-game stretch ahead to close out the season which includes Michigan State and Ohio State, the Wolverines will need a strong showing in College Park Saturday if they want to hang on the outskirts of the New Year’s Six bowl discussions.
Michigan Wolverines at Maryland Terrapins
Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 – 12:00 pm EST
Maryland +21, O/U 56 (via PointsBet)
The Mike Locksley era is off to a rocky start in Maryland, as the Washington, DC native rounds out his first season at the helm in his second stint with the Terrapins. The season started off strong, scoring a combined 142 points over their first two games against Syracuse and Howard before losing five of their last six, including giving up 40+ points to Penn State, Purdue, and last week against Minnesota. Outside of a road win against one of the worst teams in FBS in Rutgers, Maryland has looked like a Big 10 bottom-dweller yet again as the season rounds into form. For Maryland fans, the season’s disarray might not end but certainly started with the injury of starting quarterback Josh Jackson in the route of Rutgers. Jackson, a first-year Terp following a transfer from Virginia Tech, was already coming off a season in which he broke his leg in the third game of that season. His replacement, redshirt junior Tyrrell Pigrome, has looked consistently overwhelmed, throwing just two touchdowns and five interceptions in his three starts since taking over.
In what could have been a spiral out of control moment for head coach Jim Harbaugh and his 15th ranked Wolverines, his boys throttled a previously top-10 ranked team in Notre Dame last week 45-14 in a game that was never close. The running back by committee approach once again carried the Wolverines’ offense, with Hassan Haskins rushing for 149 yards and Zach Charbonnet adding 74 and two touchdowns in a game the Wolverines dominated in every aspect. One of the best secondaries in the country once again was stout, holding Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book to just 73 yards, moving them to sixth in FBS averaging just 159.8 passing yards per game. Now heading east to face an offense in Maryland that’s scored 14 points or less in two of the past three weeks, Michigan’s defense is once again poised to have its way.
The edge to me in this game comes in Maryland’s inability under Pigrome to be any kind of threat on the offensive side of the ball, especially against a defense with the firepower of Michigan. In his last start against Minnesota, his toughest test as a starter, Pigrome threw for just 43 yards while throwing two interceptions. While his status is in question this week, redshirt freshman Tyler DeSue would likely be the next in line and be in for quite the challenge in his first start in collegiate football. Additionally, Michigan comes into this contest in need of not only wins, but statement wins, and keeping their opponents score low will be top of mind no matter when the starters leave the game.