Michigan football vs. Washington: Spread, game odds and prediction

by 24USATVSept. 12, 2021, 6:01 a.m. 25
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The Michigan football team is riding high coming off of a 47-17 opening week victory over the Western Michigan Broncos but should not overlook a respectable Washington Huskies team Saturday evening in prime time.

Washington lost embarrassingly to Montana, an FCS school, but played without their top pass-catchers. That ironically left Giles Jackson, the former Michigan Wolverine, to be the Huskies’ top receiver in Week One. Jackson actually dropped a vital fourth-down pass that would have extended a drive late and given Washington at least a chance to salvage what would eventually be a dreadful outing.

The 5-foot-9 sophomore transfer made four catches totaling just 15 yards, plus carried the football twice for 19 yards in the opener. The speedy receiver will be used as a swiss army knife in Washington’s offense but should continue to earn his notoriety as a return specialist.

It is funny how things shake out. Michigan football lost their top receiving threat, Ronnie Bell, to a season-ending knee injury in Week One and could use an athlete like Jackson for the remainder of the season. With Bell injured, Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines will be looking for others to step up and contribute in a big way moving forward.

Something noteworthy to consider heading into this contest. Washington’s defense has a seven-year streak of holding its opponents to under 35 points scored in a game. While 35 points isn’t exactly an impressive feat, the seven years is to me. In seven years, they haven’t got blown out by a massive score? Part of this is certainly because Washington is a Pac-12 team rather than an SEC, ACC, or BIG Ten club and doesn’t play nearly the same strength of schedule as other programs.

Although Washington lost to Montana, Michigan football can ill-afford to overlook the Huskies Saturday night.

The Huskies are coming off of a Pac-12 North division championship and will be looking to avenge last week’s horrible loss from their memory. The best way to do that would be to stomp into Big House and upset the Wolverines.

Coach Harbaugh needs to make sure his group is laser-focused and understands the task at hand. It will be only the tenth contest under the lights at Michigan football’s iconic stadium. With a nation watching, surely Harbaugh will want to prove to everyone that he’s finally got this Michigan ship pointed in the right direction.

Wolverines starting quarterback Cade McNamara was excellent in the season opener, completing nine of his 11 pass attempts for a total of 136 yards and two touchdowns. My only concern with McNamara is, can he make a big-time throw at a critical point of a game?

Can McNamara march the Michigan offense down the football field in a two-minute drill to win a big game without his most experienced and reliable pass-catcher? We are sure to find out at some point this season, but as of right now, that is my biggest concern.

According to WynnBet, Michigan is currently favored by 6.5 points over the Huskies, with the Under/Over set at 51 points. The kick-off is set for 8 p.m Est. and can be viewed on ABC.

I actually like Washington to cover the 6.5 points, plus I like the under this week with the Wolverines winning the contest 24-21. I expect to see a grind-it-out on the ground type of game, focusing on defense and clock management from both sides.

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