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Week 1 saw something of a change of fortune for the team in Ann Arbor compared to the one in Seattle. That’ll happen when you lose to an FCS team as Washington did.
Michigan, on the other hand, handled business against a solid MAC team in Western Michigan. But, regardless of what happened last week, the Wolverines will see a stiffer form of competition in the Huskies.
Across college football media, several outlets predicted what they anticipate will happen on Saturday night between the maize and blue and the Pac-12 North member, either picking against the spread or what they expect to happen.
Here is what the (mostly) national experts are saying.
Hummer: I don’t necessarily think Washington’s loss to Montana is reflective of what it’ll be all season. But I can’t come up with a good reason to pick the Huskies in this one. Even if you take away a trio of interceptions, Washington’s offense was totally ineffective against Montana. I have no reason to believe it’ll be much better against the Wolverines. The Huskies’ defense keeps this close for a bit, but Michigan picks up a big non-conference win. … Michigan 31, Washington 20. Crawford: This line moved too quickly in Michigan's direction for me to take Washington in this spot, especially after the Huskies' loss to Montana in the opener. Jimmy Lake's team will be motivated to prove that was more of a fluke and less of an indictment on his team, but perhaps the Wolverines are just simply better this season. Give me Michigan in front of another packed crowd at the Big House. ... Michigan 27, Washington 20.
Like 247Sports, The Athletic had two national columnists pick games. We'll start with the more prominent Bruce Feldman, who also works the sidelines with Fox Sports. He goes with the rational thinking after having witnessed both teams last week.
Washington at Michigan (-7), 8 p.m. (ABC)
The Huskies looked dreadful last week and now they have to travel to Big Ten country to face a Michigan team that had an impressive debut. The hunch is that Washington will play better this week, but Jim Harbaugh’s team will do enough to go to 2-0. Michigan 24, Washington 14 Pick: Michigan (-7)
Washington at Michigan (-7), 8 p.m. (ABC)
I’m not sure what it says about Michigan that the Huskies, who scored 7 points in a loss to FCS Montana last week, are traveling to Ann Arbor and it’s still a one-score spread. Both teams are dealing with injuries at receiver (in particular, Michigan losing Ronnie Bell for the season) that could turn this into a grinder. Michigan 22, Washington 13 Pick: Michigan (-7)
The Sporting News
Friend of the site, Bill Bender, anticipates that the game will be much closer than people think. Still, behind some solid defensive play, he predicts Michigan will prevail.
Neither the Huskies nor Wolverines produced a turnover in their opener, so that's something that could turn this game. Don't be surprised if Washington takes an early lead behind a more-efficient Morris, and the Huskies might hold that lead into halftime.
McNamara needs a go-to receiver to step up, and that might take time. The Wolverines, however, get enough out of the running game to pull ahead in the second half, and safety Daxton Hill comes up with that turnover in crunch time. Michigan wins, but it's not easy.
Final score: Michigan 27, Washington 22
College Football News
Our good friend Pete Fiutak at our sister site College Football News anticipates like we do, that Washington will look worlds better -- but that it won't matter anyway.
This will be the Washington we all thought we were getting – if it had done what it was supposed to do against Montana. Points and yards are going to be impossible to come by with both defenses taking over. The Washington D will be stronger than the Michigan version, but the Washington O will turn the ball over that one extra time to be the difference in a stressful, tough battle. – Week 2 College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews
Michigan vs Washington Prediction, Line
Michigan 23, Washington 20
MLive's Aaron McMann
Aaron McMann from MLive covers the team here in Ann Arbor, just as we do at WolverinesWire. He expects a close game, but not as close as some of the other predictions above.
McMann’s pick: Michigan looked much better than I expected for a Week 1 game with a new defense still trying to figure things out. Despite an upset loss to FCS Montana, Washington should still provide a better test for the Wolverines on both sides of the ball. That cross-country trip for the Huskies should not be overlooked, and with Michigan riding high after a Week 1 blowout with a new attitude and prime-time audience watching Saturday night, I think a TD win is the likely scenario. Michigan 31, Washington 21
No. 19 Michigan (1-0) vs. Washington (0-1), 8 p.m. ET Shortly after making a 76-yard touchdown reception, Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Week 1 win over Western Michigan. And that is a massive blow for this Wolverines offense. They ran very well against the Broncos, racking up 335 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, but moving the ball against Power Five defenses is going to be much more difficult unless/until they're able to establish a new deep threat or two. And though Washington's offense was a train wreck in a 13-7 loss to Montana, defense has been the Huskies' calling card for the past six years. They were unable to force any turnovers against the Grizzlies, but that could change in a big way in this game. A Washington win won't make any sense to anyone who watched both of these teams play in Week 1, but neither did Michigan losing to Michigan State in their second games of the 2020 season, after the former stomped Minnesota on the road and the latter lost at home to Rutgers. Prediction: Washington 21, Michigan 20
Another one of the college football predictions from the model: Michigan (-6.5) covers at home against the Washington Huskies. The Wolverines took care of business in Week 1 against Western Michigan and showed off an improved defense under first-year coordinator Mike Macdonald. Michigan limited Western Michigan to a 54 percent completion percentage and held the Broncos' running game to under 4.0 yards per carry.
A panel of experts — John Garcia, Pat Forde, Ross Dellenger, Molly Geary and Richard Johnson — didn’t do score predictions or breakdowns, but all picked Michigan straight up.
Yardbarker did a short preview and didn’t offer a score prediction but picked against the spread. They picked Michigan -6.
The first meeting between these old-school Rose Bowl rivals since 2002 might have lost some luster when Washington fell 13-7 to perennial FCS power Montana at home last weekend. The good news, the Huskies allowed just 232 total yards, the bad was that they managed 291 and quarterback Dylan Morris was picked off three times. Paced by Blake Corum (111 rushing yards), Michigan ran for 335 yards during its 47-14 win over Western Michigan but will face a tougher task this week. Losing star receiver Ronnie Bell to a knee injury is a huge blow to the Wolverines. It will be interesting, though, to see which team will be hungrier: the visitors desperate for a win or the hosts looking to build on a solid opening victory? Prediction: Michigan (-6 1/2)
Chris “Bear” Fallica of College GameDay fame solely picked against the spread. In this case, he’s picking Washington.
Fallica: This line move is a big overreaction in my mind. Yes, Washington suffered a brutal loss to Montana last week, but self-inflicted damage did the Huskies in (3 INT). Michigan put up good offensive numbers and ran the ball at will vs. a MAC defense, but Cade McNamara will likely have to do more through the air this week -- and do it without the services of his best WR, Ronnie Bell. This is a Michigan team which is 2-6 in its last eight games vs. Power 5 opposition, and while I am not as high as others on Washington this season, I think the move from 1 or 1.5 on the lookahead line to 7 is too much. Pick: Washington +7
Finally, Sam Cooper and Nick Bromberg from Yahoo Sports also solely picked against the spread. They were split in their decision.
Washington at Michigan
Time: 8 p.m. | TV: ABC | Line: Michigan -7 | Total: 48.5 This game lost a lot of its luster when Washington laid an egg and lost 13-7 to Montana in Week 1. It was a brutal performance for the Huskies on offense. Washington had three turnovers, turned it over on downs twice, missed a field goal and were just 4-of-14 on third down. There were already questions about UW’s offense entering the season, and now Jimmy Lake may be faced with some tough decisions about his staff if things don’t improve quickly. Things were more positive on the Michigan side, especially on the heels of such a disastrous 2020 season. The Wolverines blew out Western Michigan 47-14 and were dominant on the ground. Michigan rushed for 335 yards in the win and got an efficient performance from QB Cade McNamara. However, Michigan lost top receiver Ronnie Bell to a season-ending knee injury and might need to lean on that ground game again against Washington. Sam: Washington +7, Nick: Michigan -7