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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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    Michigan football can add to Washington’s woes next week

    Free Press sports writer Michael Cohen shares what he learned in Michigan football’s 47-14 win over Western Michigan and looks ahead to the Wolverines’ game against Washington on Saturday:

    Next up

    Matchup: Michigan (1-0) vs. No. 21 Washington (0-1)

    Kickoff: 8 p.m. Saturday, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor.

    TV/radio: ABC; WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050).

    Line: Wolverines by 1½.

    MORE FROM COHEN:Michigan’s blowout win gave J.J. McCarthy a chance to impress. And he delivered

    Know the foe: Washington

    The first five minutes of Washington’s 2021 season were brilliant: The Huskies received the opening kickoff from Montana, a team in the Football Championship Subdivision, and covered 78 yards in nine plays before punching the ball into the end zone on a 1-yard run by quarterback Dylan Morris. Then everything collapsed. The Huskies were thoroughly embarrassed during a 13-7 loss to the Grizzlies that thrust their season into peril. Morris hurled as many interceptions against Montana (three) as he did in four games during last year’s shortened season. The Huskies couldn’t throw the ball (a ghastly 4.9 yards per attempt), couldn’t run the ball (26 carries for 53 yards as a team) and couldn’t convert on third down (4 of 14). They need to right the ship — fast.

    Washington head coach Jimmy Lake, center, stands with teammates on the sidelines against Montana late in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Seattle. Montana won 13-7. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    The player to watch on Washington is cornerback Trent McDuffie, a high-level NFL prospect regarded among the best defensive backs in the country. McDuffie is next in a long line of corners and safeties who played at Washington and got drafted in the early rounds. He will eventually join the likes of CB Byron Murphy (second round, 2019); S Taylor Rapp (second round, 2019); CB Kevin King (second round, 2017); S Budda Baker (second round, 2017); CB Sidney Jones (second round, 2017); CB Marcus Peters (first round, 2015) and CB Desmond Trufant (first round, 2013) as the next member of the so-called DBU — defensive back university. McDuffie allowed one catch for 14 yards against Montana and notched two pass breakups.

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