GAME 11 PROJECTION vs. RESULTS
Final Score: 31-24, Michigan by 7 over Maryland
SP+ Projection: Michigan by 20.9 (-13.9)
CD Projection: Michigan by 26 (-19)
GAME 11 RECAP @ Maryland
A common assumption coming into this trap game was that big chunks of Michigan’s play book were likely off limits. JJ McCarthy kept for a short loss on just one surprising read option. Also, I don’t recall a single target for Donovan Edwards in the air. For the 2nd consecutive week, the Wolverines succeeded in winning on the road using predominantly their base run & pass plays. JJ was a bit off target, going 12-23 for 141 yards, 0 TD & 1 INT. Also of note, starting tackle Ladarius Henderson was not available, and back up Myles Hinton also limped off in the second half.
The Michigan defense provided much more firepower against the Terrapins, but also caused concern. Mike Sainristil stepped forward as a clutch play maker once again with two interceptions. Linebacker depth caused fear when senior Mike Barrett stayed down with an upper body injury, although he returned in the second half. Earlier in the game Barrett’s strip-sack led to Derrick Moore’s defensive touchdown.
Kenneth Grant and Mason Graham both created havoc from their tackle positions. However, we saw multiple DBs, including Sainristil & Will Johnson, give up explosive plays on vertical routes. Playing a bend but don’t break defensive game plan allows some run game success and underneath passes. But, the Wolverines also struggled versus double moves. This test will resurface very soon, from much more talented receivers.
The special teams units were the true stars of the 1,000th win for Michigan. Christian Boivin blocked a punt in the 1st quarter, leading to a 2-point safety. Punter Tommy Doman punted 5 times, averaging 47.2 yards per kick (average net 41 yards). His best came last: a golf shot downed at the Maryland 1 yard line. The Wolverines would get another safety on the ensuing defensive series.
Michigan fans understand being anxious during Game #11. The Wolverines tend to simplify their game plan, and also focus on reducing injury risk with the Buckeyes looming. This particular example weighed extra heavy given the ongoing NCAA investigation and Jim Harbaugh’s 3-game suspension. However, the Wolverines are 11-0 and still have every goal to compete for when Ohio State comes to Ann Arbor in just over six days. Onward!