Michigan is a 6.5-point favorite over visiting Washington later today, which feels like a decent number. Obviously Washington is wounded a bit after losing to FCS Montana last week, but they're more talented that Western Michigan and definitely need the win in a bad way. The overall outcome of the game seems to favor Michigan, but there are plenty of people who think Washington is going to have more than a shot in this one. We try our hands at figuring that out ourselves...
Michigan looked impressive in its season opener last Saturday, beating Western Michigan convincingly at home by a score of 47-14. Washington, on the other hand, is coming off of an embarrassing 13-7 home loss to FCS Montana on Saturday - leaving many in Ann Arbor completely unsure of what to expect from the Huskies this weekend.
Though I expect Washington to put up a fight early, the Wolverines are extremely tough to beat at home in The Big House - particularly at night with over 110,000 fans in attendance for a Maize-out.
Michigan 34, Washington 17
I can't remember the last time I went back and forth in my mind this much about a game. Michigan looked really good last week but it was against Western Michigan. Washington looked awful in an inexplicable loss to Montana. Cade McNamara barely had to do anything against the Broncos and Huskies QB Dylan Morris couldn't do anything against Montana. What does all of that mean? Which version of each team is going to show up tonight in Ann Arbor?
Washington is far more talented than Western, but it obviously didn't click in week one. Michigan was dominant last week but how good are they really against another solid Power 5 time? Is Washington a solid Power 5 team? Whenever I try to break this game down I end up just asking a bunch of questions rather than making definitive statements. Earlier this week I still thought Washington would come in and win a very close game, but after spending time talking with Husky expert Mike Martin and hearing him pick Michigan by 13, I'm on the maize and blue.
Michigan 31, Washington 21
It’s no secret that Michigan and Washington are in very different mental spaces going into Saturday’s prime time clash. Whereas the Wolverines met expectations with a 47-14 drubbing of Western Michigan last week, the Huskies played the role of Goliath in week one’s biggest upset. As Washington fell to Montana, the storylines for Saturday’s game drastically shifted.
Gone is the scene of a ranked team coming into Michigan Stadium, but this game’s importance to Michigan’s season trajectory hasn’t faded in the slightest. Saturday night’s game will hinge on the answers to three questions: can the Wolverines’ offensive line and running backs be as effective against a Power 5 defensive front?; Will Michigan come in complacent after the two teams’ week one results?; And is Washington’s offense really as bad as it looked against Montana?
Depending on the answers to those questions, Saturday’s score could range anywhere from a comfortable Washington win to a Michigan triumph of comparable dominance to last week’s. The range is wide, but the final score will probably be somewhere in the middle. A slow start for both teams followed by the Wolverines’ athletic offense and defense wearing down Washington seems most likely. In the end, Michigan will edge out the Huskies.
Michigan 24, Washington 21
A week ago this game was a chance for Michigan to prove its worth against a ranked opponent that would challenge for the Pac-12 title. But after Washington’s shocking loss to FCS school Montana, this game takes on a different feel.
The Wolverines have to ride the week one momentum into this game but they can’t afford to overlook their opponent. The Huskies still have an elite defense which will make life much more difficult for a Michigan team that will have to lean on the run game even more following Ronnie Bell’s injury. I think this game is going to be very low scoring and whoever commits the fewest turnovers likely pulls it out. While I do think Washington’s defense will play well, their offense only scored 7 points and that’s the biggest thing working in Michigan’s favor.
I trust the Wolverines' offense to move the ball more than Washington’s and I think it will be a dicey game but ultimately Michigan will find a way to get points on the board and move to 2-0.
Michigan 21, Washington 14