Michigan is coming off a much needed win last weekend against Indiana, and will look to continue that momentum this Saturday when they take on the Northwestern Wildcats.
Date and Time:
Saturday, November 8th, 2014
3:30 PM EST on ESPN2
What to Expect:
Michigan needs a win this week in order to keep their bowl game dreams alive, but Northwestern has been a thorn in the Wolverines side in recent year. It will not be pretty, and last year, the two teams went into triple overtime in one of the sloppiest games played that season. I expect more of the same this season, potentially even worse.
Northwestern comes into the game with a record of 3-5, while Michigan will enter the game right next to them at 4-5. Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald will be looking to spoil Michigan’s chances in this one, so expect to see the Wildcats pull out any and everything they have up their sleeves.
Players to Watch:
Drake Johnson is the name that immediately comes to mind here. After coming off a career day last week, Johnson will be hungry for more carries, and to prove he is not a one game wonder. On the opposite side of the ball, Bryan Mone has stepped up at the defensive tackle position in recent weeks, so he will look to feast upon a Northwestern team that is trending downwards.
Northwestern has playmakers as well, even if their record suggests otherwise. Quarterback Trevor Siemian is a player to watch here, although he has not passed for more than 269 yards or more than one touchdown in a single game this season. The Michigan defense needs to be as aggressive and hungry as last weekend versus this quarterback matchup.
Michigan 17 — Northwestern 10 (regulation)
Michigan keeps its chances for a bowl game alive this week, and I think their defense will be too much for the Wildcats. Michigan needs to force turnovers, and be sure their offense controls the football to secure a conference victory on the road.
Michigan’s offense will need to protect the football as well, and not allow short-field possessions that can lead to easy points. When all is said and done, Michigan extends Northwestern’s losing streak to 4 straight games, and walk out of Evanston victorious.