Michigan vs Washington Prediction: Can The Wolverines Fend Off Huskies?

College Football expert Ian Cameron is here with his breakdown and prediction for when the Washington Huskies and Michigan Wolverines meet in Saturday nights College Football primetime matchup on ABC.
Ian Cameron
Wed, September 8, 6:20 AM EDT

Michigan vs Washington Prediction: Can The Wolverines Fend Off Huskies?

Michigan Wolverines vs. Washington Huskies

When: Saturday, September 11

Game Time: 8:00 PM ET

Where: Michigan Stadium

TV Network: ABC

Michigan vs Washington Spread: Michigan -7

Michigan vs Washington Total: 48.5

Complete Michigan vs Washington Odds

Michigan vs Washington Prediction

The Washington Huskies and Michigan Wolverines face off in a crucial non-conference matchup, with both teams entering this game after drastically different results and performances in their opening game of the season. 

Washington did not get their season off to the start they were hoping for, which is putting it mildly. The Huskies were a 22.5 point home favorite against the Montana Grizzlies, an FCS squad last week, and lost the game outright 13-7. It was an ugly game for the Huskies on offense as Quarterback Dylan Morris struggled with a 0-3 TD-INT ratio loss and only 226 passing yards. The rushing attack was not very effective, with Washington Running Back Richard Newton held to just 3.6 yards per carry. On the flip side, the Washington defense didn’t play terribly. They allowed more than 4 yards per carry to the Montana ground attack, which had more success running the football than Washington in Saturday’s game. Washington was -0.1 yards per play against Montana. The Huskies lost the battle in the trenches along the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football in that defeat to the Grizzlies, which does sound the alarm bells for me as they prepare for this trip to Michigan to face the Wolverines.

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Michigan was able to overwhelm Western Michigan en route to a 47-14 win and an easy point spread cover as 17 point home favorites in their season opener. The Wolverines offense mainly worked because they were able to run the football successfully. Their top two Running Backs, Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins, combined for 181 yards on the ground at 6.7 yards per carry. The key to success for Michigan should be their ability to run the football. If they can run it, they will move the football and score points. They might be able to get that run game going here after we saw Washington surrender 4.1 yards per rush to Montana last week, which isn’t exactly a confidence builder for the Huskies stop unit against this Wolverines team.

Michigan Quarterback Cade McNamara didn’t have to do too much in the passing game last week. Still, he was efficient, going 9-for-11 with 136 passing yards, 2 TD’s, and no INT’s while freshman Quarterback J.J. McCarthy got several snaps during the game and played a clean game while tossing a TD pass. In the victory, Michigan suffered a critical injury as Wide Reciever Ronnie Bell went down with a right knee injury during a punt return, and he is now out for the season. It’s a significant blow to Michigan and their wide receiving corps. Still, the good news is they got contributions from the rest of their Wide Reciever group, including Daylen Baldwin, Erick All, and Cornelius Johnson, who all stepped up in the absence of Bell to make some big receptions, and Baldwin had a TD catch.

I think the Washington program has been trending down ever since Chris Petersen stepped aside. I’ve not been impressed with the direction of this team under head coach Jimmy Lake and last week’s home loss to Montana was another indication of a program in decline. The offense was ineffective, and it isn’t going to be any easier for Washington to move the football against a solid Michigan defense on the road, considering they could barely muster up any sort of cohesion and rhythm offensively against Montana. Washington didn’t exactly stuff the run against Montana, which could be their sore spot in this game against Michigan, especially with the Wolverines always committed to running the football on offense under head coach Jim Harbaugh. Washington is a dismal 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games as an underdog and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog. As a home favorite, Michigan is 5-1 ATS in their previous 6 games, and the Under has cashed at a 9-1 clip in Washington’s last 10 games as a road dog. I like Michigan -6 and also think this game stays under the total. 

Michigan vs Washington Pick

Michigan -6 -(120)

Under 49.5 (-120)

 

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