Football

Sophomore defensive end Aidan Hutchinson grew up around the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry.

Aidan Hutchinson knows what this rivalry is all about. He grew up in Dearborn, less than 100 miles from both schools. He heard stories about it from his dad, a standout linebacker at Michigan in the early 1990s. In high school, he was recruited by both sides.

Junior wide receiver Nico Collins had a 51-yard catch against Maryland but no receptions the rest of the game.

For four years, Collins terrorized defenses with the athleticism and imposing frame that made him one of the most talented players Hood has coached. Watching from the stands all those years, Hood’s kids idolized Collins and watched in awe as he accounted for 2,773 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career with Clay-Chalkville. So now, when they watch Michigan together, their pride is a family affair. “My kids still look at the TV, ‘Where’s Nico?’ Hood said. “… It’s really fun to watch.” Thousands of miles away in Ann Arbor, Michigan fans find themselves asking the same question every week. For them, it’s a matter of frustration, sparked by the contrast of Collins’ generational talent paired against his inconsistent usage.

Despite two losses on the season, the Michigan football team still has three chances, including two rivalry games, to make a statement.

A two-loss Wolverines played a Maryland team that likely won’t qualify for a bowl. Michigan won, 38-7, in a game it was supposed to win by something like that score. The outcome was never in doubt. A healthy percentage of the fans in College Park wore maize and blue, and then went home happy.

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It seemed destined to be another boring, easy, road win for Michigan, and save a few special-teams plays that kept it just interesting enough, that’s exactly what it was. The Daily breaks down the good, the bad and the ugly from the Wolverines’ 38-7 win:

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COLLEGE PARK — Jim Harbaugh is not one to disclose his gameplan, even after a win.

But whatever he envisioned for Saturday’s trip to 3-5 Maryland, giving up a pair of six-minute drives into the red zone before halftime wasn’t it.

Senior safety Josh Metellus had nine tackles and an interception on Saturday.

COLLEGE PARK — After the ball had found Josh Metellus and landed in his hands like a soft pop-up, after he had gotten up from the pile and turned toward the sideline and after Maryland’s hope of doing something had been extinguished as much as mathematically possible in the first quarter of

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COLLEGE PARK — Giles Jackson had scored a touchdown before, back in September. But that one didn’t feel right.

Jackson ran the wrong route then, and though he caught the pass anyway — in the fourth quarter of a 52-0 blowout of Rutgers — the score was somewhat meaningless.

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COLLEGE PARK — It took all of 11 seconds.

Redshirt freshman running back Hassan Haskins ran for 149 yards last Saturday against Notre Dame as the Wolverines dominated the Irish, 45-14.

Until then, it’s a simple matter of proving that the Wolverines’ last six quarters — in which they’ve outscored a pair of top-10 opponents, 59-21 — are no mirage and that maybe, somehow, this is the year Michigan can finally take down the vaunted Buckeyes. Against Michigan State and a quietly 6-2 Indiana, that will be a challenge. Both teams, despite their flaws, carry enough weaponry to challenge the Wolverines’ presumed growth, even in losses.

The Michigan football team beat Notre Dame last week and is expected to win easily on Saturday when it goes to College Park to play a reeling 3-5 Maryland.

I think those thoughts are scattered enough for today. Should the Wolverines take care of business on the eastern seaboard this weekend (stunningly inconsiderate to traveling student newspapers to add a team to the Big Ten that geographically does not belong, but I digress), we’ll all be gearing up for an emotion-filled Michigan-Michigan State game soon. The Spartans appear on the verge of catastrophe, but, as we all know, that all goes out the window when Mark Dantonio gets his annual shot at Harbaugh.