Las Vegas favors Michigan (-5) to edge Maryland and become bowl eligible


At 5-5 (3-3 Big Ten), the Michigan Wolverines need just one more victory to become bowl eligible.

Las Vegas oddsmakers apparently like their chances, listing the Wolverines as consensus 5-point favorites when they host the shorthanded Maryland Terrapins (6-4-3-3) Saturday (Nov. 22) at 3:30 pm.

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While Michigan enjoyed its second bye week of the season, Maryland was being pummeled by Michigan State (8-2, 5-1), 37-15 (Nov. 15).

Back on Oct. 25, Michigan was crushed 35-11 by the Spartans, and yes, there were some similarities between the two games. For starters, Michigan gained only  61 rushing yards on 26 carries against MSU while Maryland was totally shut down with six yards on 17 attempts.

CJ Brown, Gardner similar passers

Maryland was able to throw some against the Spartan secondary as 6-3, 218 lb. grad student  CJ Brown passed for 246 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. His second TD pass, however, came in the waning moments when MSU held a 30-7 lead.

Against the Spartans, Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner threw for only 125 yards, but he’s basically even with CJ Brown passing the football.

CJ averages 171.3 passing yards per game and Gardner averages 155.7.

The only real difference is that Brown has run for 375 yards this season, but he’s had very little help.

Injuries hinder Maryland

Wes Brown is now the starting running back, but he’s been able to gain only 51 yards on his last 21 attempts.

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Maryland’s conference mark of 3-3 would be better if it wasn’t for so many injuries this season.

While Michigan has lost five players for the year due to injury or suspension, Maryland has been without 11 most of the season.

Perhaps the biggest shock to Maryland was when 2014 preseason All-American Stefon Diggs lacerated a kidney during the 20-19 win over Penn State (Nov. 1). He missed the MSU game because of a one-game suspension for his part in a melee prior to the Penn State game, but there have been some rumblings about him returning for the Michigan game.

Former Michigan recruit

What happens ““will be determined as we go forward this week,” Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. “I have not met with our doctors or trainers. We don’t practice until Tuesday (Nov. 18), so we’ll find out where we are on Tuesday in regards to if he’ll be able to practice or not practice.”

In the Big 10 stats, Diggs is second in receptions per game (5.8), fifth in receiving yards (72.7) and sixth in kickoff returns (23.9).

A 5-star prospect and’s No. 2 rated wide receiver, Diggs was recruited in the early going by the Wolverines. Michigan thought the talented wide receiver might join his Olney, MD, teammate, Blake Countess, on the Wolverine roster.

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