WNUR’s Predictions of Northwestern versus Michigan

The WNUR Sports staff weighs in with their predictions for this Saturday’s football game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Michigan Wolverines. If you want in on the action, simply leave your prediction in the comments below, or you can tweet them @WNURSports.

David Banks/Getty Images

David Banks/Getty Images

Zach Kisfalusi (@zKisfalusi): Northwestern 20 – Michigan 17. Both teams struggle on offense at Ryan Field in the blistering wind. Player to Watch: Jeff Budzien as he has the game winner.

Jim Sannes (@JimSannes): Northwestern, 23-17. Northwestern was on a bye last week… and they out-rushed Michigan. Over the last two weeks, I have more rushing yards than Michigan. This is not a formula for success. The ‘Cats offense is able to do enough to get the win. Match-Up To Watch: Northwestern’s defensive ends against Taylor Lewan.

Cameron Songer (@CameronSonger): Michigan 28, Northwestern 20. The fact that everyone seems more concerned about Northwestern’s jerseys and Venric Mark’s medical redshirt than the actual game tells you a lot. Michigan is a more talented team right now, but neither team has played consistently in conference. Player to Watch: Matt Wile, punter, Michigan. Other than the fact that I went to high school with him, I’ll be watching because field position will be key if the Wildcats struggle offensively.

Jeffrey Eisenband (@JeffEisenband): 34-31, Northwestern. Northwestern finally gets a team under as much pressure as itself. Kain Colter bares down for the start of his final home stretch as a Wildcat. Jeff Budzien knocks in a 44-yard field goal as time expires to end the losing streak. Player to Watch: Warren Long.

Ben Goren: All is become despair. Yay, though the Wolverines who ventured West from the Arbor of Ann are weakened from past duels, the weary Wildcats have yet to prove their mettle in the field of battle versus a worthy foe. Fitzgerald Toussaint will marshall his troops for gains of over 100 metres and two times will he break the plane of the goal line, leading his clan to a 31-13 victory.

Nick Scoliard: Michigan 21 Northwestern 17- Both offenses will stall during the game, but Michigan will end up coming on top as the ‘Cats keep stumbling. Player to Watch: Kain Colter. With huge injuries on the offense, it will all fall on Colter’s shoulders to lead the offense to their first Big ten win.

Jason Dorow (@jasondorow): Northwestern, 34-31. The bye week gave the ‘Cats time to get healthy, and NU desperately needs this game as they push for a bowl berth. Michigan has plenty of talent on offense. The Wildcat defense from NU’s last two outings has to show up. Player to Watch: Treyvon Green.

Ryan Fish (@TheFishTweets): Northwestern 20, Michigan 17. The Wolverines are really floundering down the stretch, just maybe not as badly as the ‘Cats have been since Week 6. Coming off a bye, however, Northwestern is getting healthier and Fitz has had his focus on Michigan for some time now. Northwestern needs to win 2 of its last 3 to become bowl eligible, and I think that desperation (hopefully) makes them play with a sharpness on Saturday that we haven’t seen in a while. I see Budzein making a big kick in the final minutes. Player to Watch: Michigan WR Jeremy Gallon.

Matt Cowen: Northwestern 24, Michigan 21. Both teams have been poor of late. This one is in Evanston. Is it possible for both teams to lose? I’ll go with the ‘Cats to win this one. Player to Watch: Devin Gardner – Will he be able to protect the ball? Foolish turnovers will doom the Wolverines.

Jasper Scherer (@jaspsch): Northwestern 24, Michigan 17. The Wolverines can never seem to produce on the road, and their nonexistent run game will allow the ‘Cats to focus on defending the pass and potentially add to their nation-best 18 interceptions. Player to watch: Kain Colter. Colter has struggled recently, and he’ll need to come up big in lieu of Northwestern’s depleted backfield.

Ari Ross (@aross50): Northwestern 17-16. This game is a must-win for Northwestern. Michigan is a beatable team, but they, like Ohio State will be the more talented, bigger and physical team on paper. If Northwestern can force Michigan into turnovers and win the turnover battle, the ‘Cats will have a very good chance to win. If Northwestern can stop the run, as Michigan State and Nebraska did, forcing Gardner to throw the ball more than he would like, the ‘Cats will win this game. Player to Watch: Devin Gardner. The outcome of the game will heavily depend on which Michigan QB shows up, the inconsistent one who’s thrown 11 interceptions, or the highly-recruited and talented quarterback who’s thrown for 14 touchdowns this year.

Jesse Kirsch (@JesseRKirsch): Northwestern 24-21. This is a tale of two teams in dire need of conference wins. Both teams lost to Nebraska (although many Wildcat fans would discredit that Hail Mary victory), so they are arguably on equal footing. Despite injury, Northwestern has much more to prove in my mind, and I think Fitz finds a way to scrap up the win. Watch for Tony Jones to have a few big receptions as Michigan’s pass defense has many more weaknesses than the run.

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