Michigan football schedule predictions and early game-by-game preview for 2016. Projecting how the Wolverine will do this year.
Is Jim Harbaugh’s second year going to be a dream season? Will the Wolverines come up with the key wins needed to get to the Big Ten title game? Check out the preseason predictions for every game.
Sept. 3 vs. Hawaii
Michigan will come out fired up and looking to make a big early statement out of the gate. This one will be over after two drives.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan 41, Hawaii 6
Sept. 10 vs. UCF
The Knights will be far, far better than last year’s version, but it won’t matter. The Wolverine defense will be suffocating from the start, coming off the layup over Hawaii to dominate Scott Frost’s offense. Michigan will look fantastic.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan 37, UCF 7
Sept. 17 vs. Colorado
Can Colorado come close enough to have the potential to fire up a Kordell Stewart-to-Michael Westbrook moment? Nope. The Buffalo defense will get steamrolled over as Michigan looks every bit the part of a team stampeding towards a phenomenal season.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan 31, Colorado 10
Sept. 24 vs. Penn State
Can Michigan keep up its incredible start to the season defensively? Yeah, but Penn State’s defense will do its part, too, to keep this a close, tight game. The Wolverines will hit on two big pass plays to break free in the second half, but it’ll be a tough time getting there.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan 17, Penn State 12
Oct. 1 vs. Wisconsin
The two teams haven’t played each other since 2010 – a 48-28 Badger win – and Michigan hasn’t won since 2008. In a terrific game, the Wolverines’ run defense will hold up in the second half to stop decent Bucky drives. Wisconsin will have its chances, but will have to settle for too many field goals.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan 27, Wisconsin 19
Oct. 8 at Rutgers
Rutgers will be coming off a trip to Ohio State the week before, and it won’t be welcomed home with an easy outing. At 5-0, the Wolverines will be rolling on the way to an easy win for the second year in a row. Rutgers won, 26-24, two seasons ago – that’s not happening against a humming Michigan offense.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan 37, Rutgers 14
Oct. 22 vs. Illinois
The Wolverines won’t necessarily need a break in the middle of the season, but it’ll get it with a rejuvenating bye week. Illinois won’t be in the game from the start. There will be several great games and days for Lovie Smith. This won’t be one of them, especially for his offense.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan 38, Illinois 10
Oct. 29 at Michigan State
There’s no way, no how this will be anywhere near as classic as last season’s punt block thriller, but it’ll still be an outstanding game. It’ll be two heavyweight defenses trading big shots, and two hard-nosed running games controlling things throughout. Michigan State’s ground game will be just a wee bit better in yet another series victory.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan State 20, Michigan 16
Nov. 5 vs. Maryland
Former defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin will try to bring the thump, but the offense won’t be able to do its part. Michigan will bounce back from the Michigan State performance with a workmanlike victory to get back on track. Then it’s back on the road to face …
Preseason Prediction: Michigan 34, Maryland 10
Nov. 12 at Iowa
The Hawkeyes will be coming off a road loss at Penn State, and they’ll need a clutch victory to get back into the Big Ten title chase. They’ll get it with a terrific game from quarterback C.J. Beathard and a late field goal to stun Michigan in the final moments.
Preseason Prediction: Iowa 20, Michigan 17
Nov. 19 vs. Indiana
After two losses in the previous three games, Michigan will come out roaring in the home finale. Indiana came really, really close to coming up with a shocking upset last year, but the run defense won’t get mowed down this time around.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan 37, Indiana 13
Nov. 26 at Ohio State
The Wolverines will lose their two key road games before this – can they make it 0-for-3? Yeah, but they’ll put up a great fight. Ohio State will be deep in the hunt for the Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff chase, but it’ll all go bye-bye with a loss – it won’t happen. The Buckeyes come up with yet another win in the greatest of rivalries with the defense coming up with the one big stop it needs in the final moments.
Preseason Prediction: Ohio State 23, Michigan 21
2016 Prediction: 9-3
2016 Big Ten Prediction: 6-3