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Terps beat writers predict the outcome of Maryland-Michigan

Terps beat writers predict the outcome of Maryland-Michigan
Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown drops back to pass against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. (Rich Barnes / USA Today Sports)

Each week during Big Ten play, The Washington Post's Roman Stubbs, another Maryland football beat writer and I share our predictions for the Terps' upcoming game.

This week's rotating writer is Daniel Martin from Comcast SportsNet.

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Here are our predictions for Saturday's game between Maryland (6-4 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) and Michigan (5-5, 3-3) in Ann Arbor.

Matt Zenitz

Maryland 20, Michigan 16

I think Maryland's offense will struggle against a highly-ranked Michigan defense led by former Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. However, the Wolverines are last in the Big Ten in total offense. Michigan quarterbacks have thrown 15 interceptions and just five touchdown passes since the first game of the season. And I think the Terps' defense, fresh off two strong performances, will lead Maryland to a win at the "Big House."

Roman Stubbs

Maryland 16, Michigan 13

Although Michigan needs a win to clinch bowl eligibility and will feed off its crowd in the home finale, I think Maryland will play with a certain level of desperation, too. Both of these offenses have been in the tank, and the fact that Maryland is facing the country's eighth-rated defense without Stefon Diggs is problematic. But I think, much like the Penn State game, Maryland's defense will be able to make enough plays to win the field position battle, and if the kicking game and special teams perform, the Terps will have a chance to win their fifth road game of the year.

Daniel Martin

Maryland 17, Michigan 14

This Maryland offense has struggled mightily. And regardless of who sees the most time — C.J. Brown, Perry Hills or even Shane Cockerille — what ails this unit likely will not be fixed overnight.

That's why Maryland will once again have to rely on its defense, hoping that the players who held the fort so valiantly against Michigan State until the game's later stages can do the same against Michigan on the road.

But what Maryland should fear is the compounding effect that eventually caused the dam to break against the Spartans. Because the Terrapins cannot seem to sustain offensive drives, the defense is forced to stay on the field for a greater portion of the game.

If Maryland can end up squeezing anything at all out of this offense, even just a big enough portion of the time of possession to allow the defense to catch its breath consistently, the Terrapins could win.

This one will be ugly, and Michigan has experience winning ugly slugfests. But ultimately, I'll take Maryland narrowly on the road.

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