Friday, October 7, 2011

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Northwestern

This week the Wolverines hit the road to Evanston, IL for their first road game of the season. While I'm particularly excited to ever go on the road. At least the Michigan faithful will be spared this atrocity: 

I hate everything about that video. I really think there is no one to blame other than:

Okay, that makes me feel a little better. 

MGoBlog did a survey recently and asked the MGoFaithful, in one of the questions, how they felt about Pop Evil and In The Big House. And for those 1,431 who loved, liked or were neutral I would like you to turn in your Maize and Blue and go buy yourself a shamrock and a leprechaun outfit. Just embarrassing.

Alright enough about that, let's talk about the game.

(12) Michigan (5-0, 1-0) @ Northwestern (2-2, 0-1) Saturday, 7:00 ET BTN 

Northwestern is 89th against the run. Yeah they got gashed by Army, but Michigan isn't that far behind them in rank at 7th (granted is almost a full hundred yards difference, but still). And it looks like Borges is finally getting into a little bit of a rhythm. We saw some new things last week like the "Fritz" (as Brian at MGoBlog so aptly dubbed it)and the pass, catch, run TD's by Vincent Smith. Wrinkles are fun and they excite me. Let's see more and I think we'll be ok. But if worse comes to worse with the run game, the Wildcats are giving up 245 yds per game passing (85th).

Last week was fun, wasn't it. Not only that we shut someone out. But that we shut out a Big Ten team. Granted the Gophers have issues man, but still. Right now Michigan is 4th Nationally in scoring defense. That said we've faced the 56th, 75th, 104th, 55th and 106th ranked scoring offenses. The good news is Northwestern is right in the middle at 64th nationally.

Yeah but man they run.

Yes, yes they do. But, they rank 24th nationally which is behind EMU (12th) and just ahead of SDST (33rd) for which we gave up 207 and 123 yards respectively.

But Persa man!

Sure, Persa made his season debut last week. But I don't know if he's fully healed. The Wildcats are still going to run and we'll likely see some trickeration with he and Colter. But if the D-line can continue playing at a high level and Jake Ryan can be disciplined and not give up contain, Michigan will be fine.

Special Teams
I have a feeling Hagerup and Gibbons are going to have significant roles in this game. Let's hope Will got his game jitters out last week and Brandon can continue kicking it straight.

The Prediction
Yes, it's Michigan's first road game. But with Trumpy out, Persa tender at best and us having an actual functioning defense, I'm not sure Northwestern has enough to keep up. If Michigan's offense can keep humming this thing could be a blow out. Michigan 35 - Northwestern 27.

And now for some actual previews

BWS says the key is defense and the passing game.

Maize and Blue Nation has the chart and it is very, very blue.

Maize and Go Blue has more records to watch for and says UM wins comfortably. 

MGoBlog calls for an early exit from Persa and a Michigan win.

The Big House Blog Predicts a win but push for the Wolverines.

The M Zone and Know Your Foe gives us a plethora of A-list celebs and comfortable win prediction.

The Wolverine Blog blames a dumb Denard INT for keeping the win close.

Touch The Banner has figured out that Denise Milani trumps any football preview.

Maize Pages Says Michigan is a 60-minute football team and calls for a safety. 

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