Michigan Football: Expect a heavy dose of Hassan Haskins vs. Penn State

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Michigan football program will rely heavily on and almost exclusively on their star halfback, Hassan Haskins, in hopes of securing a victory over Big Ten rival Penn State.

Haskins is one half of Michigan football’s elite rushing attack, but with Blake Corum spotted in a walking boot after carrying the rock just once last week for four yards in the Wolverines decisive 29-7 victory over Indiana has been ruled out for Saturday afternoon’s contest.

The steller sophomore runner has amassed 778 rushing yards and ten touchdowns thus far in 2021 on 130 carries.  Losing Corum, who is also valuable in the passing game, is a considerable loss for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.

It’s not all bad for the Wolverines though, Michigan football is expected to have freshman running back Donovan Edwards back for this tilt along with receivers AJ Henning, Andrel Anthony, and tight end Erick All.  Each of the four offensive contributors had question marks surrounding their availability Saturday throughout the week.

Edwards has missed Michigan’s last two games with an undisclosed injury but will quickly return with an important role moving forward, especially if Corum is forced to miss significant time.  He’s carried the ball just 22 times this season for 139 yards and a pair of scores.

Expect Michigan football to run Hassan Haskins until the wheels fall off against Penn State.

With Corum injured and Edwards not dressed due to injury last week against Indiana, Haskins shouldered the offense for Michigan, carrying the football a career-high 27 times for 168 yards.

I expect Haskins may see upwards of 30 carries Saturday against Penn State who will surely be stacking the box, hoping to make quarterback Cade McNamara beat them rather than Harbaugh’s preferred rushing attack.

Edwards should see his share of check-down targets from McNamara filling the void left by Corum.  Michigan’s running backs coach Mike Hart mentioned earlier in the week that Edwards has hands like a receiver and could have played the position if he desired.

That’s a bit ironic to me since the Wolverines have been starving for playmakers at that position all season, but we should get a good look at what Edwards can do against the Nittany Lions.

Michigan football odds and prediction vs. Penn State

According to WynnBET, Michigan football is favored in this one as 2.5 point favorites with a -140 return each way.

The Under/Over is 48.5, also with a -140 return.  The Moneyline goes -140 to Michigan and +120 to Penn State.

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I’ve got the Over, but the Wolverines barely winning this one to the tune of 28-24.