Friday, November 9, 2012

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Northwestern


(24) Northwestern Wildcats (7-2, 3-2 B1G) @ Michigan Wolverines (6-3, 4-1 B1G)
Saturday 11/10, Noon ET, Michigan Stadium, ESPN

Goldie Hawn isn't going to be patrolling the sidelines, but it is Wildcat week!

Offense
We found out last week that the Wolverines will be okay next year with Devin Gardner at the helm of the Offense. Granted it was Minnesota, but he put in a solid enough performance so that even with Denard's uncertainty, the game was still on the board in Vegas. That said, the interior offensive line is in some kind of shambles right now. And believe it or not the strength of this Northwestern team is it's defense. Particularly their run defense that ranks 23rd in the nation. That might be because their passing defense is 109th. But who knows.

Michigan will try to get the run game going, but if the interior line hasn't gotten things figured out this week Borges may call Dileo's or Gallon's number more than once or twice. Which is a good thing, yo!

Defense

Fortunately Michigan has already faced Air Force and Nebraska this season. That game experience will be extremely helpful to the Wolverines as they face the 13th ranked rush attack. The Wildcats will dink and dunk, short run here and there and then hit you with something long. Which means the secondary must, must stay home and keep to their assignments. Thankfully Kovacs and Gordon have been great all year. Look for Jake to buckle down on the edge and let's hope Northwestern doesn't successfully use he and Morgan's aggressiveness against them.

Special Teams
Hagerup had an off day last week. It happens. I think he'll bounce back in the comfort of Michigan Stadium and have a good game. Let's just hope the coverage is there cause Northwestern is actually good these special team things. Dennis, you're running out of time this season. Time to break that long one.

Prediction
Well, on paper these teams are pretty close. Strong defense with run-heavy offenses and good coaches. The question is, does Michigan have the talent advantage? Normally, the answer is yes. But this season, the talent is young on the Michigan sideline. But this game is at home, so I'm going to say the young talent does just fine. Look for a big day from Funchess and Gallon in the passing game. No picks for Denard/Gardner. The defense remains sound and keeps NW to season lows.

Michigan wins 27 - 13.

In and around Michigan blogdom, please:

Brian says things are ugly and UM holds down big plays.

Big House Blog says the key will be the Michigan defense.

BWS calls for a close one.

Holdin The Rope says NW's D Coordinator is basically Heisenberg.

Maize and Blue Nation talks line shuffling and claims victory for UM.

Maize N Brew says this thing is going to be super close.

Know your Foe at The M Zone.

Touch The Banner couldn't find any good looking Wildcats, but he improvised.

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