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Michigan Wolverines football: Breaking down a tough slate of road games

Here is what to expect from this year’s Michigan football road schedule.



Michigan Wolverines football
Oct 19, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (9) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 Michigan Wolverines football schedule is looking tough. The Maize and Blue have a glaring road test at Penn State, but there are also several other major matchups on the slate for Jim Harbaugh’s program. Trips to Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan State, and more make this year’s road slate as challenging as it has been in quite some time.

Michigan Wolverines football schedule littered with tough road games

Of the Wolverines’ 12 regular-season matchups, Michigan football will play five road games, all of which are Big Ten matchups against some stout conference foes. The first road test is a late-September matchup against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who are under new management this year. Currently, the Wolverines hold a 7-4 all-time lead in their series against the Cornhuskers, riding a three-game winning streak heading into the 2023 season.

In 2021, Michigan football achieved its first-ever win in Lincoln as Jim Harbaugh’s first Big Ten title-winning squad narrowly defeated a 3-9 Nebraska team by a score of 32-29. Last year, Michigan defeated another struggling Nebraska team in Ann Arbor by 31 points. However, this fall may present a different challenge. Playing in Lincoln is tough, and with the Matt Rhule rebuild looking promising so far, this game is bound to be a tough test.

Following the game against Nebraska, the Wolverines will face off against Minnesota, who has been on the rise since hiring PJ Fleck. Last year, Minnesota had a solid 9-4 record, and they pulled off a stunning upset against a top 5 Penn State team in 2019, making this road game one to watch in the Big Ten.

Numerous tough battles on the road against Big Ten East foes

In mid-October, Michigan football will make a short trip north to face the Michigan State Spartans. The last time the Maize and Blue visited East Lansing, they fell short by four points. However, Michigan managed to win all their remaining conference games, securing the program’s first Big Ten title game victory. Last season, the Wolverines returned the favor with a 29-7 win over the Spartans in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan football will look to continue that trend this fall.

Overall, Jim Harbaugh has a 4-4 record against Michigan State since taking over as head coach. In 2023, Harbaugh could take the lead in the series with MSU and also tie Mel Tucker in their head-to-head matchups.

The real road tests will start in mid-November as Michigan football travels to face the Penn State Nittany Lions for their “stripe out” game. Michigan holds a 2-1 record against Penn State this decade and a 2-0 record over the past two seasons. If the Wolverines want a shot at the College Football Playoff and Big Ten title contention, defeating the Nittany Lions on the road is crucial. So far, Jim Harbaugh has a 2-2 record in Beaver Stadium, most recently securing a 21-17 victory over the Blue and White in last-second fashion during an impressive 12-2 overall season.

Lastly, a game that many fans might not be closely following is a Week 12 road game at Maryland. As many recall, the Wolverines had a close matchup with the Terrapins in 2022. With this year’s game sandwiched between Penn State and Ohio State, Maryland poses a potential trap game for the Maize and Blue.

2023 road slate is nothing that the Maize and Blue cannot handle

The 2023 Michigan Wolverines football road schedule is daunting, but the Maize and Blue are well-equipped to handle it as they pursue a third-straight conference title and a College Football Playoff appearance.

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