Saturday, November 16, 2013

Preview: Michigan at Northwestern

I apologize, but it's been a crazy week and I haven't had a ton of time to put together a preview. Here's a drive-by. Hopefully things will have settled down by next Friday to get a good preview of Iowa.

Rush Offense vs. Northwestern Rush Defense
Michigan: #97 at 135.33 yards/game
Michigan: #111 at 3.25 yards/carry
Northwestern: #70 at 168.56 yards allowed/game
Northwestern: #60 at 4.11 yards allowed/carry
Advantage: Northwestern

Pass Offense vs. Northwestern Pass Defense
Michigan: #30 passer rating at 148.62
Michigan: #95 at 12 interceptions thrown
Michigan: #108 with 26 sacks allowed
Northwestern: #33 passer rating defense at 118.83
Northwestern: #1 with 18 interceptions
Northwestern: #56 with 19 sacks
Advantage: Northwestern

Rush Defense vs. Northwestern Rush Offense
Michigan: #13 at 107.67 yards allowed/game
Michigan: #12 at 3.20 yards allowed/carry
Northwestern: #47 at 188.89 yards/game
Northwestern: #62 at 4.46 yards/carry
Advantage: Michigan

Pass Defense vs. Northwestern Pass Offense
Michigan: #31 passer rating defense at 118.15
Michigan: #23 with 12 interceptions
Michigan: #61 with 18 sacks
Northwestern: #63 with 131.29 passer rating
Northwestern: #64 with 9 interceptions thrown
Northwestern: #120 with 32 sacks allowed
Advantage: Michigan

Roster Notes
  • Players who held scholarship offers from Michigan include DT Greg Kuhar, DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, OT Eric Olson, WR Kyle Prater.
  • Defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz played SE, TE, and LB at Michigan from 1966-1969. He had 14 receptions for 171 yards and 1 touchdown on offense, returned 2 kickoffs for 19 yards, and made 4 tackles in his career. He was also a graduate assistant under Bo Schembechler from 1970-1972.
  • Offensive graduate assistant Scott Hamel was a walk-on running back at Michigan from 2004-2005.
  • Freshman RB Godwin Igwebuike was Michigan freshman TE Jake Butt's high school teammate last year.
  • Sophomore WR Cameron Dickerson's brother is Garrett Dickerson, a 2014 TE/DE target from New Jersey
  • Michigan comes out with guns blazing on offense, allowing Devin Funchess and Jeremy Gallon each to go over 100 yards receiving.
  • Devin Gardner throws 2 interceptions.
  • Michigan actually looks ready to defend a dual-threat quarterback for once.
  • Cameron Gordon scores a touchdown on a fumble recovery.
  • Michigan 28, Northwestern 24

Last Time They Played . . . 
  • Michigan won in overtime by a score of 38-31
  • Devin Gardner threw for 286 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 pick.
  • Roy Roundtree caught a bomb to put Michigan in scoring position.
  • Kenny Demens made the game-sealing tackle in overtime.


  1. Let's hope for a redemption. GO BLUE!

  2. I believed you've picked Michigan to win every game this year. You're still a believer that we're some sleeping lion that just needs to wake up, huh? I lost belief in an "on" switch after UConn. We're just a shit-poor team right now. There is no "on" switch, no wake-up call, no turning it around. We're losing out.

    1. He picked Michigan to lose vs. MSU I believe.

      Michigan should've been able to win every game except that one this year.

    2. Yeah, I picked MSU to beat Michigan by 3. Obviously, I was wrong on the score.

      I don't think Michigan is a sleeping giant, but then again, they're not playing giants, either. Honestly, I think Michigan is more talented than Penn State and Nebraska - we've just played poorly, suffered from poor play calling at times, got our QB beaten up, etc. There's no easy way to tell whether a team is going to come out and play a good game or not, so most of my predictions are based on which team is more talented.

    3. "They're not playing giants, either." This is exactly right, and what's so frustrating about this season. The schedule, so far, has been as easy as you could hope for.

      UM has played only two good teams, ND and MSU and since ND was at home, we should have been favored to win that game. The other games we have lost (Penn State and Neb) were against mediocre (at best) teams. The fact the UM lost to these teams confirms, unfortunately, that in 2013 Michigan is a middle of the road Division 1 football program. Which stinks, but is still true.

      And even that STILL means UM "should" beat Northwestern. NU has had a terrible run of injuries and their weakness has always been depth. But it doesn't mean UM "will" win -- we'll have to hope for UM to not only win the turnover battle (like last week) but actually score directly on them via that Cam Gordon fumble return (unlike last week).

    4. Absolutely. We gotta play better. The worse part is that we would be 8-1 with even a mediocre O-line. If we had the offensive line of, let's say, Iowa or Minnesota (which isn't a lot to ask for), we would've won against Penn State and Nebraska. Maybe D Hand would've joined us had that happen.

  3. 60% chance of rain + 50MPH expected wind gusts... i think this one gets ugly early.

  4. I've reached a point where I invest neither hope nor despair in what happens on Saturdays. I would like Michigan play well and win. But it would not surprise me if they did not. The team is what it is.

    1. I am sorry to hear that. I, however, cannot let go -- I have been a fan since I was a kid and went to Michigan for undergrad. I somehow cannot separate myself from the team.

    2. Nothing to be sorry for ... it is the right and proper response to what is, after all, a game.

      I too have been a fan since a kid ... which is very likely a time years before you were born. I've seen a lot of Michigan football's ups and downs. I have no intention of ceasing my being a fan. I'm just going to take what comes in stride and not let it become more important than it should be.

  5. Magnus - I really hope you post this; it needs to be said. In fact, it belongs on the front page.

    How depressing that our fans abandon (and even attack) the players and school at the first encounter with adversity. It's unbelievable to me that anyone is talking about it; imagine how long the support of almost any program in the country would last if they quit so easily. In the last few years, imagine Penn St or Ohio. Imagine Michigan State fans over their lifetimes. It's embarrassing; if you played any sports, you guys wouldn't make it to the second half of your first game before the adversity was too much.

    I remember Ryan Van Bergen during Hoke's first year asking, rightly, where all the support for the players was during the bad times. I'll bet his and the current team's response to these posts is the same as mine: If you're thinking about quitting now, then go, quickly. You'll quit eventually and you'll stop clogging up our message boards telling us about what quitters you are!

    Long-time alum

    1. Wait, is the "first game" in your sports analogy above just this football season or every season since 2008? If the latter, that's a long first half! There has been "adversity" for at least five years now. It's nobody's first encounter.

    2. Who's talking about quitting? As for me, I'm simply talking a more healthy and realistic view of the role of Michigan football in my life. I will continue to support the team, and will cheer them on during games. But I will also not become despondent if they lose. That's not attacking the players and that's not abandoning the team.

    3. You know the #1 quality coaches want in any athlete? When they get punched in the mouth, again and again, do they keep getting back up and into the fight? We've got fans that can't sit in the stands and watch other people get punched in the mouth.

      Are you beaten down? Are your nerves raw? Your ego stomped on? Body barely moving and begging to quit? Welcome to the first day of fall camp; you've got a whole season in front of you. Those who stay will be champions.

      But I forgot, you're sitting on your ass while the players work, and stay. That's what "adversity" means: You're getting your ass kicked , you don't see a way out of it, your weaknesses are exposed in front of everyone, and you strap it on and run onto the field. Football is a struggle. If you don't embrace that, consider something non-competitive like jogging.

      I'm amazed at watching the nerve and struggle of these players, and coaches, under adversity. Nobody ever won a championship ring without it.

      -Long-time Alum

  6. Vote tally.... 75 say NW will win.....47 say Mich will.

    This team will struggles on the road, the weather won't help matter. NW wins and the tailspin continues.

  7. Long Time Alum -- Another here. I second your view. This team is playing its heart out. Let's get behind them.