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Michigan Could Be Double-Digit Dog For First Time since 2014

Something is rotten in the state of Michigan. And the smell is coming squarely from John O’Korn, the Michigan Wolverines starting quarterback.

Since being thrust into the starting lineup following Wilton Speight’s back injury, O’Korn has thrown for 256 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions in two starts. His poor play has led to the Wolverines losing to their in-state rival (Michigan State) and needing overtime to beat a team without one credible win (Indiana).

It’s not all O’Korn’s fault. This Michigan team is young and, without a potent offense, they will simply be held to winning tightly contested games rather than blowing out opponents like last season. The team is tough as nails but is not built to be blowing the doors off any opponent.

This lackluster offense is a big reason why Michigan is currently a 10-point road underdog for its contest against undefeated Penn State this weekend. If this line holds steady, it will be the first time Michigan closes as a double-digit underdog since November 29, 2014 when the Wolverines took on an Ohio State team that would go on to win the national championship.

Many fans in Ann Arbor will remember that game affectionately as Brady Hoke’s last as Michigan head coach. Not long after, Jim Harbaugh was brought in and the Wolverines have yet to find themselves as double-digit dogs since.

Interestingly, the last time a Harbaugh-led team closed as a double-digit underdog was October 2, 2011 when he was with the San Francisco 49ers – a game the 49ers won outright. The last time a Harbaugh-led college team was an underdog came during his final season at Stanford when the Cardinal were 10.5-point dogs to Oklahoma in the Sun Bowl.

Michigan As a Double-Digit Dog The Past Decade
DateOpponentClosing Michigan LineSU/ATS Record
Nov 29, 2014@ Ohio State+21.5L/W
Oct 25, 2014@ Michigan State+16.5L/L
Nov 30, 2013vs Ohio State+15.5L/W
Sept 1, 2012@ Alabama+13L/L
Nov 27, 2010@ Ohio State+17L/L
Nov 21, 2009vs Ohio State+10L/L
Nov 22, 2008@ Ohio State+20.5L/L
Oct 18, 2008@ Penn State+24.5L/L
Jan 1, 2008@  Florida+10.5W/W