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Free Pick: Washington at Michigan 9/11/21
Detroit Free Press

Free Pick: Washington at Michigan 9/11/21

Before the season started, this looked like a highlight game for Week 2 of the college football season and it still might be. The Huskies were just pathetic against FCS school, Montana in their opener. So, are they that bad or was that just a game they completely overlooked? I think it is fair to say they overlooked it but shouldn’t they have been good enough to win anyway?

Quick Overview of Washington: Obviously, scoring only 7 points against anybody shows there are huge problems on offense. All 5 starters returned on an offensive line that was very good a year ago. Yet, the Huskies only rushed for 65 yards against the Grizzlies. That is very disturbing to say the least. Quarterback, Dylan Morris was forced to throw 46 times because of the inability to run the ball. He completed 27 passes for 226 yards but also threw 3 costly interceptions. There just isn’t anything positive to say about the offensive unit.

Defensively, they held Montana to 232 total yards which should have been more than good enough to win the game. They have solid play at line backer and their secondary is solid. But, they forced zero turnovers on Saturday.

Not much is known about Coach Jimmy Lake as the Huskies only played four games in 2020, winning three of them. But, I would have to think his seat is pretty hot after that performance on Saturday and it might be even hotter after this week.

Quick Overview of Michigan: The Wolverines came out of the gate with a good win over Western Michigan. They started Cade McNamara who was a pedestrian 9 for 11 with 136 yards and true freshman J.J. McCarthy (4 for 6 for 80 yards). A big plus for the Wolverines was the 335 rushing yards amassed and led by Blake Corum with 114 yards. Hassan Haskins chipped in with 70 yards and if Michigan can continue to be able to run the ball that will make it easier to win. Their receiving corps showed some big-play ability but their leading receiver, Ronnie Bell, suffered a season-ending injury which will be a big loss. Overall, a solid performance, but considering the opponent, the jury is still out.

Defensively, Michigan held the Broncos to 317 total yards and controlled the game. Their linebackers played well and they got a had good performances from defensive end, Aiden Hutchinson, and safety, Daxton Hill.

Jim Harbaugh is under pressure to get the Wolverines back to the upper echelon of the Big-10 conference. He is a proven coach and has had a lot more trouble building things in Ann Arbor than a lot of people thought. This was a good debut for him.

Summary: Is Washington as bad as they appear to be on offense or was that a fluke? Will they be able to fix the running game against a much better opponent in Michigan, in only a week? This is a must-win game for the Wolverines especially after the pitiful performance from the Huskies in week 1. If Harbaugh loses this one, the calls for his firing will resume. Michigan is only a 7 point favorite and this is setting up as a sucker bet, but there is very little evidence to support Washington keeping it that close.


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