No. 14 Michigan and Maryland have only shared a division since 2014. While there’s not a lot of history between these two schools — Michigan is 7-1 all time, and 4-1 as Big Ten foes — there is a possible rivalry brewing off the field. Maryland hired Mike Locksley to take over the program this season. Locksley came from Alabama, where he was the offensive coordinator. He worked alongside new Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis while in Tuscaloosa. Before the season began, there was a bit of back-and-forth between Locksley and Gattis.
Essentially it boiled down to comments from Gattis about how he would put Alabama’s gameplan together during the week for Locksley, who called the plays on Saturdays. Locksley responded by reminding everybody that Gattis didn’t call the plays, and that there’s a difference between putting a plan together and executing it.
Michigan: You must remain wary of ever thinking that Michigan has “figured it out,” but it’s possible that Michigan is figuring things out. Since halftime of their trip to Happy Valley, the Wolverines have outscored their opponents 59-21. Those opponents have been Penn State and Notre Dame, two top-10 teams. Unfortunately the second-half comeback against Penn State wasn’t enough to win, and it’s hard to know how seriously to take last week’s outburst considering the weather the game was played in. Still, there’s a lot more optimism surrounding Michigan’s offense as November begins than there was at the start of October.
Maryland: The Maryland offense has gone the opposite direction of Michigan. Maryland averaged 53 points per game in nonconference play, though that number was a little skewed by putting 79 on the board against Howard. The 63-point outburst against Syracuse was legit, but it’s been a different story since entering Big Ten play. In five Big Ten games, the Terps have been able to crack 20 points twice, and one of those games was against Rutgers. In games against Penn State, Purdue and MInnesota, Maryland’s been outscored 151-24. That needs to turn around quickly if Maryland wants to maintain any hope of reaching a bowl game.
Maryland is staring down a pretty large 21.5-point disadvantage in the spread for Saturday’s matchup. Maryland and Michigan will face off in a Big Ten battle at noon ET on Saturday at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. The Terrapins lost both of their matches to Michigan last season, on scores of 35-10 and 42-21, so they’re hoping to turn the tables this season.
The afternoon started off rough for Maryland last week, and it ended that way, too. They took a serious blow against Minnesota, falling 52-10. No one had a big game offensively for Maryland, but they got scores from RB Tayon Fleet-Davis and QB Tyler DeSue. DeSue’s 59-yard touchdown toss to Fleet-Davis in the fourth quarter made for one of the most memorable moments of the afternoon.
Michigan’s win lifted them to 6-2 while Maryland’s loss dropped them down to 3-5. Two defensive stats to keep an eye on: The Terrapins are 16th worst in the nation in passing yards allowed per game, with 273.6 on average. To make matters even worse for the Terrapins, the Wolverines rank sixth in the league when it comes to passing yards allowed per game, with only 159.8 on average. So the cards are definitely stacked in Michigan’s favor.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Maryland Stadium — College Park, Maryland
TV: ABC | Live stream: WatchESPN.com