The Michigan Wolverines (7-2, 4-2) are coming off a second straight dominating win at home. This week, they’ll travel to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins.
The Terps (4-5, 2-4) haven’t looked like the same team that upset Texas in its first game of the year. The team has lost five of its last seven games including a surprising lost at Rutgers last week.
Maryland is coached by D.J. Durkin, who is currently in his second year with the team. Before taking the job, he was the defensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh in his first year at Michigan.
The assistant will try to upend his former head coach with an offense led by Max Bortenschlager. The sophomore quarterback has thrown for 1007 yards and 10 touchdowns but has thrown an interception in each of his last three games.
Maryland has its own dynamic duo in the backfield, with junior Ty Johnson and sophomore Lorenzo Harrison III splitting most of the reps. Johnson leads the team with 703 yards and five touchdowns on 107 carries while Harrison has 431 yards and two touchdowns on 105 carries.
The Terps’ most dangerous offensive weapon, however, is wide receiver D.J. Moore. The junior leads the team and the Big Ten with 59 catches for 820 yards and eight touchdowns. Taiwan Jacobs is also a force to be reckoned with as he has 32 receptions for 390 yards and four touchdowns.
Players to Watch
The redshirt freshman did a decent job in his first collegiate start. However, there wasn’t much to judge from as he only made 13 passing attempts the whole game.
Eventually, the coaching staff will need to get Peters into the deep end if they want to see the offense truly flourish. No matter how good the running backs have been (especially Karan Higdon) they can’t keep relying on them to do everything.
Peters has shown great poise and prowess when he has been given the nod to pass. It’ll be interesting to see how that progresses as he gets more chances to throw the ball.
This is less about the secondary as a unit and more about whoever is tasked with covering D.J. Moore at any point in the game.
Guys like Lavert Hill and Tyree Kinnel have done a good job against opposing passing attacks. However, the team ranks second to last in interceptions and only seventh in passes defended in the Big Ten. Even if it’s only one receiver to cover, it will be a chance for the defense to showcase what it really is.
To say the junior running back has been on a tear lately might be an understatement.
Higdon has run for at least 150 yards in three of his last four games and scored eight touchdowns over that span. From those numbers, it seems clear that Higdon has established himself as the feature back in this Michigan running game.
With the offense still trying to become multidimensional, it will certainly help to have his production to fall back on when needed. Hopefully the junior running back can continue to replicate similar numbers.
The game can be seen this Saturday, Nov. 11 at 3:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network and on the BTN2Go app.