Michigan Wolverines Bowl Projections: Week 1

Michigan-Michigan Wolverines-Jim Harbaugh

At the start of each week, Land of 10 will break down the postseason implications, and projections, to come out of the Michigan Wolverines’ latest contest …


What happened: The Wolverines (1-0) stomped No. 17 Florida, 33-17 at Arlington, Texas, handing the Gators their first loss in a season opener since 1989. A Michigan defense that lost eight players to the NFL draft and returned only one starter from 2016 limited Jim McElwain’s side to 192 total yards and 9 first downs while forcing 3 turnovers.

What it means: Maryland’s stunner over Texas notwithstanding, Michigan notched probably the most impressive Big Ten victory of Week 1, in terms of opponent cache. Yes, the Gators were without 10 suspended players, including tailback Jordan Scarlett and wideout Antonio Callaway. Yes, quarterback Wilton Speight’s up-and-down day (11-for-25 passing) elicited as many questions as answers, especially given the emergence of freshman Tarik Black (2 catches, 83 receiving yards) and sophomore Quinn Nordin, the first kicker in school history to nail two field goals of at least 50 yards in the same game. But convincing wins over SEC competition are the kind that stick in the mind of the College Football Playoff committee once November rolls around.

Projected record: Massey Ratings — 10-2; TeamRankings.com — 9-3

(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Projected postseason destination: Outback Bowl, Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla., versus an SEC opponent.

Cheapest seat on TicketCity.com as of Sunday: $105

Up next: vs. Cincinnati on Saturday in Ann Arbor. The Bearcats (1-0) knocked off Austin Peay at home in their season opener, 26-14. It’s the return of a familiar face in first-year coach Luke Fickell, a former Ohio State player who served as an assistant coach with the Buckeyes for all but one year from 2002-2016. He was the interim coach in 2011 following the resignation of Jim Tressel.

The post Michigan Wolverines Bowl Projections: Week 1 appeared first on Land of 10.

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