The 2022 season was the best in years at Michigan as the Wolverines knocked off rival Ohio State, won the Big Ten title game and reached the College Football Playoff or the first time. Is regression coming this year? We think a little bit, yes.
Michigan Wolverines 2022 Football Season Betting Guide
Michigan’s only regular-season loss in 2021 was a 37-33 defeat at Michigan State in which the Wolverines blew a 30-14 third-quarter lead. However, U-M simply needed to upset Ohio State in Ann Arbor in the regular-season finale to reach its first Big Ten title game and it did just that with a 42-27 shocker.
Hassan Haskins rushed for 169 yards and tied a school record with five touchdowns. Quarterback Cade McNamara was 13 of 19 passing for 159 yards, but only had to throw the ball three times in the second half as the Wolverines ground out touchdowns on all four of their complete drives after halftime. Michigan earned its first win over the Buckeyes since the 2011 season, snapping an eight-game losing streak. U-M leads the all-time series 59-52-6 after 117 editions of “The Game.”
The Big Ten title game was a 42-3 rout of Iowa. The 39-point margin of victory was the Wolverines’ most lopsided win over the Hawkeyes since a 63-7 victory in 1971. The Big Ten title was the Wolverines’ league-leading 43rd and the first since the conference switched to the two-division alignment in 2011.
However, UM was no match for eventual national champion Georgia in the Orange Bowl national semifinal in losing 34-11. U-M had allowed just 10 sacks and 27 tackles for loss all season; the Wolverines surrendered four sacks and seven tackles for loss against the Bulldogs.
Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson last season was the Heisman Trophy runner-up. He started all 14 games along the defensive line; finished third on the defense with 62 tackles including 16.5 for loss, a program-record 14 sacks, three pass breakups; also registered 12 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He’s now in the NFL. So is fellow defensive star David Ojabo. He appeared in all 14 games with six starts at outside linebacker; made 35 tackles including 12 for loss, 11 sacks, and three pass breakups, also had eight quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery, and a program-record five forced fumbles.
McNamara is back at quarterback but will battle former touted recruit JJ McCarthy in fall camp. McNamara started every game last year and completed 210-of-327 pass attempts for 2,576 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions along with one rushing touchdown. Coach Jim Harbaugh did give the nod to McNamara heading into camp.
“Cade is the starting quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “Now, eventually over the training camp, J.J. will get the same opportunity that Cade will. They’re both gonna get a ton of reps. There’ll be time to have that competition and determine who the starting quarterback is for the first game. … McNamara is going to be really tough to beat out for the starting quarterback job. McCarthy is going to be really tough to beat out for the starting quarterback job.”
Star running back Haskins is also gone. He led the team with 270 carries totaling 1,327 yards for a program season-record 20 touchdowns and added 18 receptions for 131 yards last year. The No. 1 this year will be Blake Corum. He appeared in 12 games at running back and also returned kickoffs; carried 143 times for 952 yards with 11 touchdowns and added 24 receptions for 141 yards and one touchdown; also returned 12 kickoffs for 304 yards.
Big-play Ronnie Bell leads the returning receivers. He appeared in one game last year at wide receiver and punt returner; caught a 76-yard touchdown and returned one punt 31 yards before going down injured.
Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis left for Miami (Fla.) and has been replaced by two guys: Matt Weiss spent last year working with the quarterbacks – and several years before working with the Baltimore Ravens – and Sherrone Moore spent the last few seasons working with the tight ends.
Mike Macdonald’s stay at Michigan as the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator lasted one season as he lefty for the Baltimore Ravens to take over as the team’s defensive coordinator. The new DC at Michigan is Jesse Minter. He’s a rising star who spent years with the Ravens, and now he has to reboot the defense that allowed 330 yards just 17 points per game.
Schedule-wise, Michigan should be unbeaten when it visits Iowa on Oct. 1 and could be unbeaten when it visits Ohio State on Nov. 26 likely for another trip to the Big Ten title game.
Michigan 2022 Prediction
- 10-2 record, no return trip to Big Ten title game