WNUR’s Predictions for Northwestern football vs. Michigan

The WNUR Sports staffers offer their predictions for Saturday’s football game between the Northwestern University Wildcats and the University of Michigan Wolverines, including the victor, score, and a player to watch.

Photo Credit: The Daily Northwestern

Jim Sannes (@JimSannes): Michigan 27, Northwestern 17. Although Michigan is sixth in the conference in rushing yards allowed per game, they have only given up 3.7 yards per carry and seven touchdowns on the season. Most of this is due to the ridiculous play of linebacker Jake Ryan, and I think the ‘Cats are going to have a tough time with him on Saturday. Regardless of whether it’s Denard Robinson or Devin Gardner, I think the Wolverines will be able to move the ball against the ‘Cats D. Player to Watch: Jake Ryan.

Zach Kisfalusi (@zKisfalusi): I won’t give a prediction because I will be doing color for the game. Player to Watch: Devin Gardner for Michigan to test the Northwestern defense. Player to watch for Northwestern is Venric Mark, who looks to prove he is the fastest player in the Big Ten with a huge day in the return game.

Joe Misulonas (@jmisulonas): Michigan wins 27-24. Northwestern leads going into the fourth quarter 24-14, despite Michigan gaining 150 more offensive yards in the first three quarters. With four minutes left, Michigan is down three, Denard Robinson looks like he’s about to be sacked by Tyler Scott, when he slips through, runs 31 yards for a touchdown and takes the lead. Northwestern drives down field in the final minutes, setting up a 58-yard field goal by Jeff Budzien, who makes it, only to find out there was a holding on the play, setting up a failed Hail Mary to lose the game. Michigan wins 27-24 (they missed a two point conversion at some point.) Player to Watch: Jeff Budzien, as I’m certain this game is going to come down to another game-winning field goal attempt.

John Castellanos (@JJCast15): Northwestern 24, Michigan 21. Oh this is going to be a roller coaster of a game. Expect both teams to have periods of time when everything goes right, and then others when everything goes wrong. It’ll all come down to a last second kick by Mr. Automatic himself, Jeff Budzien. Player to Watch: Jeff Budzien.

Tralon Williams (@TralonWilliams): With 2 weeks to prepare for this game, watch for the Cats to come out clicking on all cylinders. The question is can they keep it up for 4 quarters. The Defense has to put pressure on Denard Robinson and force turnovers to win this game. Score: 38-35 NU. Player to Watch: David Nwabusi. If he causes 1 turnover, the Wildcats will beat Michigan.

Jeffrey Eisenband (@JeffEisenband): Northwestern 34-31. Who knows if Northwestern will ever come into Ann Arbor as the higher ranked team ever again? Northwestern has had the bye week to mentally prepare for the final quarter of the season and have the confidence to hang tough in the Big House. Denard Robinson is not 100 percent healthy, but Kain Colter is. Player to Watch: Kain Colter.

Cameron Albert-Deitch (@c_albertdeitch): Northwestern, 28-24. Without Denard Robinson, the Wolverines are a little one dimensional (Robinson is the team’s leading rusher). But with Robinson, the Wildcats might be in trouble – especially given the Northwestern defense’s struggles against running quarterbacks. Northwestern will rely once again on the running game to wear down a Michigan defense that has been giving up 143.2 rushing yards per contest. Player to Watch: Mike Trumpy.

Nick Scoliard: 35-31 Northwestern. Even with Denard Robinson out or not at 100%, the defense is going to have to play at their best. Northwestern’s offense really started clicking in the Iowa game, largely due to the fact that Mick McCall finally had a good game plan. If they can continue that, get a great game from the defense, and Colter keeps using his legs and his arm, then I think the Wildcat can get a close win at the Big House. Player to Watch: Kain Colter.

Kevin Harris (@kevharris711): 24-16 Michigan. Unfortunately I think Denard Robinson will finally be back to nearly full health once again this week and the #24-BCS ranked Cats will struggle in the always noisy Big House. The NU defense should have another big day though as the Wolverine are just as bad through the air as the Wildcats. And while there will surely be a lot of rushing yards in this one with Kain Colter getting a majority of the snaps, Northwestern will fail to convert in the red zone and won’t be able to mount a fourth quarter comeback after falling behind early. Player to Watch: Jeff Budzein – I’m predicting 3 field goals.

Tweets from the Crowd

(@DougRaftery): Michigan 49, Northwestern 3. Just kidding, Michigan is going to get the W by 14 for real. 31-17 is the real prediction.

(@HarrySwartout): Northwestern 24 Michigan 21. We’re underdogs in the road and the Cats are good for one upset like that a year.

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