Michigan Football: Game-by-game predictions for 2014

As part of our 2014 Michigan Football season preview, our team of Michigan Football writers predict the outcome of each game on Michigan’s schedule. All three writers in this column project the Wolverines to finish the season with a 9-3 record.

Appalachian State

Rob White – win, Jordan Johnson- win, Marina Nazario -win

The thought of Appalachian State coming into the Big House for the season opener doesn’t sit well for Wolverines fans, however, there is no need to panic this time around. Michigan will have no troubles getting the running game going as the Mountaineers defense allowed more than 220 yards per game. The Wolverines will have two backs with at least 100 yards in this lopsided contest 52-16. Jordan Johnson

Notre Dame

Rob White – loss, Jordan Johnson – win, Marina Nazario – loss

michigan football

Devin Gardner

This is the last game scheduled in one of college football’s greatest rivalries. Brady Hoke provided the Fighting Irish with plenty of bulletin board material when he said that Notre Dame chickened out of the series. Michigan has won four out of the last five games against the Irish, but the Wolverines have lost two out of the last three games played at Notre Dame. This year the Irish are reeling a bit from an academic scandal that cost them four starters. They do return talented quarterback Everett Golson, who was suspended last year for “poor academic judgment”. Look for Notre Dame to edge the Wolverines in another classic. 35-31 Irish. Rob White

Miami (Ohio)

Rob White – win, Jordan Johnson- win, Marina Nazario -win

I’m not even concerned about Michigan going up against this team. Miami is coming off a winless 2013 season, and I predict this will be one of the more boring games to watch this season because the Wolverines will demolish the Redhawks 56-7 Marina Nazario

Utah

Rob White – win, Jordan Johnson- win, Marina Nazario -win

Michigan faces another defense that struggled mightily in 2013. Utah will continue to struggle defensively as they return just five starters on that side of the ball. A few turnovers by Gardner will hinder Michigan’s margin of victory, but the Wolverines will get the job done for a fourth week in a row by a final score of 34-17. Jordan Johnson

Minnesota

Rob White – win, Jordan Johnson- win, Marina Nazario -win

Minnesota is a team that has been steadily improving. Even though Michigan thumped them last year, the Gophers had a strong season, finishing with an 8-5 record. The Wolverines simply have more talent than the Gophers and I don’t see them slipping up here, at home, to a team they have dominated over the years. Michigan wins 38-21. Rob White

Rutgers

Rob White – win, Jordan Johnson- win, Marina Nazario -win

Rutgers has 16 returning starters as they head into their first Big-Ten season. Just as they did a year ago, Michigan will have to face a tough team, on the road and under the lights, in pursuit of their sixth win. Penn State prevented the Wolverines from starting the season 6-0 last season, but Gardner and the Wolverines passing attack will be too much to handle for a defense that ranked 123rd in the nation last year. Michigan wins 31-17. Jordan Johnson

Penn State

Rob White – win, Jordan Johnson- win, Marina Nazario -win

Michigan seemingly had Penn State defeated twice last season in Happy Valley, before falling in 4 overtimes. James Franklin has revved things up in State College, but the fact remains that scholarship reductions have taken a toll on the Nittany Lions depth and they are still 1-2 years away from being a real force in the Big Ten. This game will be played Under the Lights at Michigan Stadium and the Wolverines will handle Penn State this year in an easier than expected win 35-17. Rob White

Michigan State

Rob White – loss, Jordan Johnson – loss, Marina Nazario -loss

Although Michigan State won’t experience the same level of success as they did in 2013, the Spartans will be a tough team to handle this season. I expect both defenses to start strong in this game, but Michigan State’s defense will have the final word. The Wolverines would have to get a perfect game out of Devin Gardner to stand a chance in this one. MSU wins 30-17. Jordan Johnson

Indiana

Rob White – win, Jordan Johnson- win, Marina Nazario -win

Much like Minnesota, the Hoosiers are a fast improving team. They have a high-powered offense, but a very suspect defense. The Wolverines are a more balanced team and have more depth than Indiana. Last year this game was a shootout. This year, Michigan’s ever improving defense will slow the Hoosiers down a bit. Another thing to keep in mind, is that Indiana’s defense is awful. Michigan wins 49-24. Rob White

Northwestern

Rob White – win, Jordan Johnson – loss, Marina Nazario – win

Thanks to conference realignment, this game, like the game at Michigan State, will be played on the road for the second consecutive season. The Wildcats have had Michigan on the ropes and virtually defeated in each of the last two seasons. However, thanks to a frenzied field goal last year and a circus catch by Roy Roundtree two years ago, Michigan was able to literally snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in both games. The Wildcats suffered a major hit with the loss of Venric Mark. Michigan, if they are the team I think they will be, should be in high gear by this point in the season. Wolverines prevail 28-20. Rob White

Maryland

Rob White – win, Jordan Johnson- win, Marina Nazario -win

After dropping two of their last three games, according to my projections, Michigan will have a much-needed week off heading into this matchup. Maryland, even with a weak defense, will bring tough competition to the Big Ten this season. Michigan’s run game will drive the Wolverines to victory in this matchup. Michigan wins 40-27. Jordan Johnson

Ohio State

Rob White – loss, Jordan Johnson – loss, Marina Nazario – loss

Ohio State narrowly escaped Ann Arbor last year with a 42-41 victory. The series shifts back to Columbus this year and the Buckeyes, despite the loss of Braxton Miller, still have a more talented roster than the Wolverines. This should be a another tight game, but I think OSU will get the win.

For more Michigan Football predictions, check out Anthony Catania’s game-by-game picks

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