Friday, September 28, 2018

Northwestern Preview

Time: 4:30 EST
Location: Ryan Field
Weather: 58, rain later
TV: Fox
Line: Michigan -14

Normally, bye weeks are time to heal and work on areas of weakness on your team.  Northwestern is coming off a bye but suffered a significant loss when their top offensive player Jeremy Larkin had to retire due to a spine condition.   Michigan off course, is hitting the road for the second time after 3 straight wins at home.

Tale of the Tape:
Mich WR's vs. NW DB's = Michigan
NW Offense vs. Mich D = Michigan
Mich OLine vs. NW DLine = Push
Intangibles = Northwestern
Talent = Michigan

If you look at this game on paper, its a miss-match.   Northwestern has struggled with injuries since their win on the road at Purdue, their tackles have been banged up and they just surprisingly lost their top weapon on offense.  That doesn't look good when you are facing a top defensive line and a Don Brown defense.

The flip side is Northwestern does have a veteran QB in Clayton Thorson and coming off a bye week where they were able to prepare for Michigan for two weeks.  They're also in need of a big win and one over the Wolverines would fit the bill.

Think, can I catch a Cubs game while I'm here if...…………
  • Michigan's Oline plays like they did last week
  • Higdon goes off again 
  • Shea and the WR's are taking advantage of NW's DB's
  • Michigan plays well on the road 
  • Gary and Winovich continue to pressure Thorson non-stop
  • The Missile is shutting down the running game
Yell, why are these damn games so close if...………….
  • Michigan continues to struggle on the road 
  • Northwestern is pulling out trick plays 
  • Michigan thinks the 4:30 start is actually a night game 
  • Northwestern is able to gain yards in the run game 
We know that Pat Fitzgerald is a good coach and will have his team ready.  Before their two game losing streak, Northwestern had the top win streak in the country, after finishing with 8 straight wins last year.   The Wildcats are known for starting slow and finishing fast.    

Michigan has a clear advantage on both sides of the ball.  Losing Larkin is a huge deal as their backups haven't seen a ton of snaps this year.   The best news for Northwestern would be if their two offensive tackles are healthy after the bye week.   If they are still injured, Winovich and Gary will have a field day at Ryan Field.  

Northwestern is not terrible on defense as the offense gave up 3 TD's in the loss to Akron.  They will do what every defense does against Michigan, stack the box to stop the run and let Shea Patterson and the Michigan WR's beat them.   The goal for Northwestern is to keep the game close, the goal for Michigan is to end the game early. 

Michigan 31 Northwestern 10


EzmoB said...

This game is not going to be easy at all imo. JH needs to trust his offense and open it up more.

EzmoB said...

Is Michigan still on the bus? What in the world!!

posty55 said...

I love Michigan and I have made every excuse..I had tears in my eyes when jimmy came home..and I’m writing this as Michigan is losing in the 4th and I don’t care if they win...THIS IS HORRIBLE..So unacceptable, so depressing watching this team play..if I’m a recruit for Michigan I’m looking around...finally...and this hurts..only way we beat Ohio state is if Urban leaves...WE HAVE NO SHOT..

EzmoB said...

These refs I tell you boy!

Ugly win. First half was ugly ugly ugly!

But we won.

I think the boys are going to learn from this game and grow. Defense woke up in the 2nd half.

Go blue!