The Michigan Wolverines are coming off their first Big Ten title since 2004. In a year when it looked like head coach Jim Harbaugh’s seat was the hottest, they took down rival Ohio State, won the Big Ten, and qualified for the College Football Playoff. What can Michigan do for an encore?
They have an over/under win total of 9.5 in college football betting.
The Wolverines return one of the best offensive lines in the country. However, they will break in a new coordinator on that side of the ball. They return Cade McNamara at quarterback, and Blake Corum will step into the starting role at running back vacated by Hassan Haskins. Michigan’s five leading receivers also return, giving co-coordinators Matt Weiss and Sherrone Moore plenty to work with.
Big Ten Quarterbacks with the lowest turnover worthy play rates last season:
1. Cade McNamara: 2.2%
T-2. C.J. Stroud: 2.5%
T-2. Sean Clifford: 2.5% pic.twitter.com/6b8Mvj5pgd
— PFF College (@PFF_College) July 15, 2022
Defensively, Michigan only returns three starters after losing a massive amount of talent to the NFL Draft. How far Michigan goes this year depends on how they can replace the departed talent on this side of the ball.
Here is a look at Michigan’s 2022 schedule with dates, times, opponents, and analysis:
Week 1 – vs. Colorado State Rams
Date: September 3
Time: Noon ET
It’s the second all-time meeting between the schools. Michigan won their only game 24-14 back in 1994. The Rams are projected to be a middle-of-the-pack Mountain West team. The Wolverines should start the day with a celebration of their Big Ten title and end it with a comfortable win.
Week 2 – vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Date: September 10
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Another soft non-conference opponent will make the long trip to Michigan to play under the lights. It is the fourth time the Wolverines have hosted the Warriors and the first time since 2016. Hawaii is in disarray after a messy offseason, so look for Michigan to win big.
Week 3 – vs. Connecticut Huskies
Date: September 17
Time: Noon ET
This game will not be the 24-21 heart attack win for Michigan like the last time these two programs met in 2013. The Wolverines round out their non-conference schedule with what should be another blowout.
Week 4 – vs. Maryland Terrapins
Date: September 24
Time: Noon ET
The Wolverines open up Big Ten play with a homecoming matchup against Maryland. This series hasn’t been close. However, this will be the first real test for the Michigan defense as the Terrapins can sling the ball all over the field.
Week 5 – at Iowa Hawkeyes
Date: October 1
While the Wolverines own the all-time series (43-15-4) and ran Iowa out of Indianapolis in last year’s Big Ten title game, this is a scary game for Michigan. The Wolverines have lost four straight in Iowa City, which seems like a place where Big Ten East title dreams go to die more often than not.
Week 6 – at Indiana Hoosiers
Date: October 8
Time: Noon ET
Michigan rolls into Bloomington for the Hoosiers’ homecoming. The last trip ended in IU’s first win over Michigan since 1987. Despite the utter domination in the series by Michigan, two games have gone to overtime, and one has been a Michigan loss in the last four games.
Week 7 – vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Date: October 15
The annual “Maize Out” game comes against Penn State. There is no time set yet, but it could be a night game. Last year was a narrow 21-17 win for the Maize ‘n’ Blue in Happy Valley, but Penn State has taken three of the previous five in the series, including a 27-17 win in Ann Arbor in 2020. This matchup has been a hotly contested the last few years, and someone’s Big Ten East division title hopes will take a hit.
Week 8 – BYE
Week 9 – vs. Michigan State Spartans
The Battle for Paul Bunyan is always a treat for Big Ten fans. The series has evened out since the Wolverines lost seven of eight from 2008-17. Last year’s game was a classic, but the Spartans knocked off the Wolverine 37-33. Michigan fans are still mad at some of the calls that led to an MSU win. The home-field advantage will be huge this year.
Week 10 – at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Date: November 5
The Wolverines have had a couple of close calls against the Scarlet Knights in the last few years. The 2020 game was a 48-42 overtime thriller, and Michigan won again in 2021, 20-13. The Wolverines lead the series 7-1, but their only loss came in Piscataway, where this year’s game is being played. After a tough rivalry game, Michigan has to be ready for Rutgers’ best shot.
Week 11 – vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Date: November 12
Michigan has won the last two against the Cornhuskers. Last year was a 32-29 nail-biting win in Lincoln. This game will depend on how Nebraska fares during the season, as Scott Frost’s future is in limbo.
Week 12 – vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
Date: November 19
Senior Day in Ann Arbor comes against an Illinois program that hasn’t beaten Michigan since 2009. They should roll as long as Michigan is not caught looking ahead to the following week.
Week 13 – at Ohio State Buckeyes
Date: November 26
Time: Noon ET.
Michigan finally got the monkey off their back last season with a dominating win over Ohio State. It was their first since 2011 over the hated Buckeyes. Michigan has not won in Columbus since 2000, yes 2000. It will not be an easy task, and OSU will be dying to get revenge for last season. If all goes to plan, this is for the Big Ten East crown and to keep one’s CFP hopes alive.
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