Time for picks for Northwestern vs. Michigan, and we're pretty split this week.
Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan)
Two weeks ago, I predicted a Northwestern win against Nebraska because I thought NU matched up well against the Huskers, and... I was almost right. This week I'm doing the same, and since I haven't learned my lesson, I won't predict a game-winning Hail Mary for Michigan. Michigan's offensive line has really struggled and its had negative rushing yards in two straight games. That won't happen again, but the Wolverines won't have much success on the ground and the NU pass rush will get to Devin Gardner — expect Ifeadi Odenigbo's rise to continue. NU will get a few turnovers and do enough on offense behind Kain Colter and Treyvon Green to win.
Northwestern 26, Michigan 20
Chris Johnson (@ChrisDJohnsonn)
Most teams riding five-game losing streaks aren’t favored to win the next game they play. I don’t have any numbers to support that statement, but it seems safe to say the guys in Vegas don’t value “negative momentum” in the line creation process. Northwestern has plenty of that, yet it’s still favored (-3) to beat Michigan this weekend. Part of that has to do with the fact Michigan isn’t playing very well, either: the last time the Wolverines won a game without giving up 40 or more points was the same weekend Northwestern played Ohio State (October 5).
Remember those days, when Northwestern was considered a conference championship contender? They’ve felt more distant – literally and figuratively – with each passing week. Northwestern hasn’t won since the week before that – a 14-point win over Maine – and hasn’t beaten a BCS conference opponent since September 7 (48-27 win over Syracuse). The Wildcats are starting to get healthier, but Michigan is desperate for a victory and, well, all those four and five-star players have to put together a complete performance at some point, right? I say it happens this weekend. Northwestern will give the Wolverines all they can handle, but Devin Gardner will throw a late touchdown pass to Jeremy Gallon to deal the Wildcats another devastating close loss.
Michigan 31, Northwestern 27
Josh Rosenblat (@JMRosenblat)
Michigan and Northwestern are both struggling at the moment, there’s no doubt about that. After dropping two in a row and three out of four, Michigan is in desperation. And, as is the case for a few weeks now, Northwestern has its back against the proverbial wall. It’s hard to say which team will be more mentally ready to play come Saturday afternoon and the opening few minutes could say a lot about where each team stands. Michigan, though, still has a lot weapons and is more talented than Northwestern on both sides of the ball. That talent could be too much for a reeling Northwestern squad to overcome.
Michigan 27, Northwestern 20
Callie Counsellor (@CCounsellor)
Both of these offenses have had their struggles this season, but they seem to be going different directions. Michigan scored only 19 points in the last two weeks and gained negative rushing yardage in both games. Northwestern, on the other hand, was finally able to establish some offensive rhythm behind its running game two weeks ago against Nebraska. After a bye week and some much-needed rest, NU is in a good position to continue its upward trend on offense while Michigan may continue to struggle. The Wildcats will be able to get some pressure on Devin Gardner and Treyvon Green will have another big game.
Northwestern 17, Michigan 14
Nate Williams (@BigEasyCat44)
For the 2nd straight week we get a favorable B1G matchup. Its not so much that I think NU will play good enough to win, but more so that Michigan will play bad enough to lose. I actually expect to see some big things out of the first half out of the NU offense. I think we put up 21 on Michigan in the 1st half and get conservative enough to let a pretty weak Michigan team jump back in the game. After seeing what Nebraska did to the Michigan offense I expect to see a similar output. Handful of sacks, tfls, and Ints. Im calling for a huge day out of our defense.
I think it goes down similar to the Nebraska game with a much different ending. Its a "must win" for the cats, and it seems like Michigan has lost its swagger and some guys have "packed it in."
Northwestern 28, Michigan 20
Henry Bushnell (@HenryBushnell)
I don't buy the idea that Northwestern is "due" for a win, but I do buy the advantage of the bye week, and I also buy this: Michigan has been laughably pathetic recently, particularly on offense. The Wildcats haven't been too impressive themselves, but they should've beaten Nebraska in Lincoln -- the same Nebraska team that beat Michigan at the Big House last Saturday -- and they should be fired up playing at home. Northwestern's offense could struggle, but Devin Gardner will give the Wildcats some rather early Christmas presents, and Pat Fitzgerald's team will get a first Big Ten win that many believe should have come over a month ago.
Northwestern 26, Michigan 20