Preview and predictions: Michigan football vs. Washington Huskies

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·4 min read
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Preview

The first big game of the season is here and it certainly has a lot of ramifications for both teams.

In case you somehow missed it, Washington (which was ranked No. 20) lost to FCS-level Montana in Week 1, while Michigan destroyed Western Michigan, 47-14. Though the Wolverines looked sharp, the Huskies enter Week 2’s contest at The Big House in desperation mode.

UW is led by quarterback Dylan Morris, who enters his second year with the program. Morris is a career 60% passer with 4 touchdowns and 6 interceptions to his name. He tossed three picks last week while failing to find the end zone. Washington’s receiving corps is banged up, with Ja’Lynn Polk out for the season and Terrell Bynum, Rome Adunze, and Jalen McMillan all considered week-to-week. We certainly could see one or more of the above back come Saturday. Of course, former Michigan WR Giles Jackson is now a Husky, which could make for an interesting return to The Big House. Richard Newton is the starting tailback and he managed 62 yards on 17 carries for an average of 3.65 yards-per-carry. In 2020, he averaged 5.3 yards-per-carry and 4.26 in 2019 — so that’s about what Michigan is going to get on the ground.

Defensively, Washington is rather stout, but it’s more in pass defense than run defense. It didn’t stop Montana from gaining 127 yards on the ground a week ago and let Utah run for 215 yards in 2020 while Stanford nearly made it to 200 the following week. Arizona and Stanford both (barely) eclipsed 250 yards through the air a year ago, but otherwise, Washington held Montana and its 2020 opponents to 144 yards or under. Names to watch are linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio and defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles. The Huskies defense got just one sack against the Griz and yielded no interceptions.

Related

What they said: Washington says it’s going to stop the Michigan running attack

Jim Harbaugh anticipates tough matchup with reeling Washington team

By the numbers: Michigan football vs. Washington Huskies

Check out WolverinesWire’s picks and predictions on the next page.

Expectations

Trent Knoop

Overview

What was once viewed as a monumental matchup on a national stage, may have lost some luster after last weekend’s debacle from Washington.

I do believe some won’t take Washington as seriously as they should, but the maize and blue will. The Huskies are a fairly experienced team on the offensive side of the ball — they return all five starting offensive linemen from last year — and they will want to avenge last week when they only scored seven points.

The energy will be rocking in the Big House for the primetime matchup, and I look for the Wolverines to prevail at the end.

Predictions

  • Cade McNamara throws for 300 yards

  • Michigan gets 4 sacks as a team

  • Michigan 28, Washington 14

Isaiah Hole

Overview

Michigan is going to get a much better showing by Washington than Montana did a week ago, so it’s that much more imperative that the Wolverines get out to a fast start. The Huskies have their backs against the wall and will come out fired up and will score early due to a stellar scripted drive, but the Wolverines defense will do as it did last week and acclimate. However, UW has better talent than WMU, so it won’t shut it down completely.

On the other side of the ball, Michigan’s offensive line looks to be every bit a strength, and though Washington has bulk up front, the run game continues to look very good for the Wolverines. It won’t be a repeat of last week, but Hassan Haskins, Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards will manage to wear down the defense enough to allow Cade McNamara to attack in the passing game.

I expect a much tougher game than last week, which might cause some consternation amongst the fanbase, given what happened to Washington a week ago, but the Wolverines ultimately prevail in a game that doesn’t end up as close as the final score suggests.

Predictions

  • Dylan Morris passes for sub-60% and throws 2 INT.

  • The run game accumulates over 250 yards.

  • Michigan 27, Washington 21

List

Prediction roundup: What the media is saying about Michigan football vs. Washington