The Michigan Wolverines beat the Northwestern Wildcats 10-9 Saturday, and once again left us all wondering how good Team 135 could be if they had any type of offensive production week to week. TBHR gives the game to the Wolverines’ defense for the win, but would also like to give credit to a few players that stood out in the matchup.
Game Ball: Michigan Defense
Michigan has won four games in a row against Northwestern, including nine of the last ten. It was a lackadaisical performance all around, as both teams headed into the halftime break with the scoreboard reading “M00N.” But once again, credit the Michigan defense for stepping up when it mattered most.
Michigan led 10-3 with 3:10 left to play when the Wildcats took over for the last possession of the contest. Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian led his squad 74 yards down the field for the potential game tying score with three seconds remaining on the clock. However, the Wildcats elected to go for two but failed as Siemian lost his footing—probably because Frank Clark was about to make him part of the turf—and gave Michigan the much needed win.
The defense has been tremendous the majority of the season and has especially turned it on during the last two weeks. The Wolverines gave up 273 yards and a touchdown through the air, but they also allowed a season low of -9 net rushing yards, proving they still have one of the nation’s top run defenses.
Jake Ryan (who else?) led all tacklers with 11, including seven in the first half. This marked the fourth consecutive game that he has posted 10 or more tackles. He also recorded an interception in the first quarter, which is surprisingly the first of his lengthy career. Junior defensive end Mario Ojemudia recorded two big sacks in the contest, and sophomore defensive tackle Matthew Godin posted his first career interception in the second quarter.
Michigan has two games remaining on its schedule, including a home matchup against Maryland, and “The Big One” at Ohio State for the season finale. The Wolverines are just one win away from becoming bowl eligible, and it looks like the defense will have to carry the load in order for them to earn a spot in the postseason.
Stay tuned Wolverine fans, stay tuned.
Derek Devine is a contributing blogger for TBHR. Follow him on Twitter here!