Written By: Case Conley
After the opening of Big 10 play gave us some surprises, Michigan will have a big road test and the Spartans need a win after dropping 2 in a row after last week’s rout in East Lansing.
Michigan at Iowa
The Wolverines head into Iowa in a Big 10 Championship rematch from last year. This is Fox’s Big Noon game and Michigan opened as 10.5 point favorites. Coming off last week’s scare against Maryland, Iowa will present a new test. Jim Harbaugh said it best when describing how tough it is to play in Iowa City, “It is where Top 5 teams go to die”. The Hawkeyes have won five of the last six games against Top 5 teams at home. Michigan’s dynamic running game will run into an Iowa defense that only gives up 73 rushing yards per game which is 6th best in the nation. JJ McCarthy will have to step up and make some plays with his arm as well as with his legs against one of the best defenses in the country. Offensively Iowa has its struggles, only averaging 17 points per game. The passing game has been the roughest part of this offense only gaining 131 yards per game. Michigan needs to take care of the ball and not give this Iowa offense any breaks.
Michigan’s offense will struggle in the tough environment but the defense will make enough plays against an Iowa offense that can’t score. Watch for whoever wins the turnover margin to win the game, but Michigan will squeak one out in Iowa City.
Michigan 17, Iowa 10
Michigan State at Maryland
Michigan State is in desperation mode after dropping their last 2 games. Last week’s embarrassing 34-7 loss at home to Minnesota has the team in shambles and this week will be no cupcake. The Spartans are 7 point underdogs on the road at Maryland. The Terps gave Michigan all they could handle last week in their 34-27 loss in the Big House. However, they may be without star quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa and receiver Rakim Jarrett who will both be gametime decisions. The Spartans need to get the running game going against a Maryland defense who just gave up 243 yards on the ground to Michigan last week. Peyton Thorne will have to return to last season’s form after the struggle to start the year. Defensively, Maryland will have the opportunity to expose one of the worst passing defenses in the country. The turnover margin will be key again as both offenses have had turnover problems this year.
The Spartans have their backs on the wall and need a win before the brutal stretch of games in October that include Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Jalen Berger and Jarek Broussard should find some success on the ground and Thorne will be efficient. If Tagovailoa plays the Spartans will have to get some turnovers to help out the offense. The Spartans will bounce back this week and get a close victory in College Park.
Michigan State 31, Maryland 24
Written By: Case Conley – Michigan Sports Network Intern
Photo Courtesy of: CBS Sports