This week, I like Northwestern and the points. I personally prefer Michigan (of course), but Northwestern is proving to be a gutsy team. They’ve got a good coach and they play hard all the way to the end.
Like the Wildcats’ game last week — at Illinois — I believe the game this Saturday night will be a close game with Michigan coming in on top at the end. Last week, Northwestern held a 28-10 lead in the 3rd quarter against the now 5-0 Illinois team. If not for the Wildcat defense giving up a late touchdown with 13 seconds to go, Northwestern may have won.
Dan Persa aggravated his Achilles in the late 3rd quarter after throwing 4 touchdowns on only 14 attempts. He is expected to play this week, but for how long? I believe he can get knocked out at any hit.
However, I have great confidence in the back-up Kain Colter. His passing stats are not stellar, but he can run and he’s played well in the absence of Persa. Colter actually leads the Wildcats in rushing yardage.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they have lost their starting running back Mike Trumpy for the year. He tore his ACL in the Illinois game and is out for the year. He was averaging 5.2 yards a carry and was 2nd in carries and rushing yards.
So why do I like Northwestern you ask?
I am really interested to see how Michigan plays this week outside the friendly confines of the “Big House”.
I believe this might be one of those frightful “trap” games for Michigan. I hope they prevail, and I do believe they will, but I see Northwestern covering the 8 points.
Northwestern has been on the road 3 out of the first 4 games, winning at Boston Collage and losing two tough ones at Army and Illinois. They should feel very comfortable at home this week.
As we all know, Michigan is playing great under the leadership of the great and powerful “Hoke” but the first 5 games have been at home. We have yet to see a road performance.
Michigan should be able to earn yards on the ground against a porous Northwestern run defense, one of the worst in the Big Ten. With those new formations Michigan is working with, it could be a long afternoon for the Northwestern defense.
However, Persa provides a passing threat that Michigan has not faced all season. He is going to air it out to his good wide receivers and tight end. This will be a huge test for the Michigan secondary. Michigan beat supposedly good passing teams in Notre Dame and San Diego State, but once again that was at Michigan Stadium.
I see this one as being a high scoring affair with Michigan coming out on top, but Northwestern will cover the 8 points. So says Danny Dee Sawicki
Danny Dee Sawicki’s B1G Pick of the Week is: Northwestern +8
Last week’s pick of the week: Northwestern +8 ½
Season Record: 3-1-1