WNUR Predictions: Northwestern vs. Michigan
WNUR’s staff predicts how Northwestern will fare when they host the Michigan Wolverines tomorrow at 2:30
Eric Klaus (0-0) (@Eklaus1): Northwestern 17, Michigan 13. This is an incredibly tough game to pick as these two teams have been inconsistent all season. However, I think Northwestern will show a little more focus and urgency this weekend following two disappointing losses. Turnovers will be the key in this game and I think the ‘Cats will be able to pick up off Devin Gardner a couple of times to win a potentially sloppy game. Player to Watch: Trevor Siemian. Siemian won’t have to be great for the ‘Cats to win this game but if he struggles like he did last week then the ‘Cats might not have much of a chance. If Siemian can manage the game by sustaining drives and limiting turnovers then the ‘Cats should be in this one until the end.
Ben Goren (3-3) (@BenG412): Northwestern 21 Michigan 14. I have a feeling… Player to Watch: Trevor Siemian. One more bad game and his NU career could be over. Talk about pressure.
Nick Scoliard (2-4) (@NickScols): Northwestern 17 Michigan 10. It won’t be fun to watch, but Michigan is pretty terrible. Player to Watch: Nick VanHoose. VanHoose at his best is a shutdown corner. But lately, we haven’t seen a lot of that. With Gardner in the pocket, VanHoose will be tested a lot, especially if NU continues to have problems getting pressure. If he can perform well, the ‘Cats can hang on.
Jason Dorow (1-4) (@jasondorow): Northwestern 31, Michigan 24. Northwestern can’t afford to go to South Bend at 3-6. The defense will be back to its prior form and Trevor Siemian silences the haters for one weekend as the ‘Cats nab a home victory. Player to watch: Ifeadi Odenigbo. NU’s super athletic defensive end has been fairly silent for several weeks. He can make some noise Saturday by taking down Devin Gardner a couple times.
Ryan Fish (3-4) (@RyanMFish): Michigan 21, Northwestern 20. Michigan is not a good football team. Neither is Northwestern. While I think it’ll be close, it’s hard for me to believe the ‘Cats will come away with a win considering how bad they looked last week. I think Michigan is able to do just enough to steal this game late in the fourth quarter. Player to watch: CB Nick VanHoose. Like most of the defense, he looked a step behind all afternoon against Iowa, and Jake Rudock burned him on several occasions. VanHoose will draw a tough assignment this weekend, dealing with either Devin Funchess or Amara Darboh.
Ari Ross (2-5) (@aross50): Michigan 13-10. I’ve pretty much lost all hope for this Northwestern team. The offense is really bad and there isn’t a easy fix, unless Siemian start’s playing better, and the defense is faltering more and more each week. Michigan’s a winnable game, but they’re the more talented team on paper. In an ugly game, I think Michigan wins the battle in the trenches, Northwestern has trouble covering Devin Funchess over the middle and the ‘Cats lose another at Ryan Field. Player to Watch: Trevor Siemian, QB, Northwestern. If Siemian plays well enough, with the help from his offensive line and wideouts, the ‘Cats will have a chance to win this game. I just don’t see that happening.
Ian McCafferty (0-4) (@Itmccaf52): 17-16 Northwestern. This is a matchup of two wildly inconsistent teams. Northwestern played well earlier in the year, but has been terrible the last couple of weeks, and Michigan has not had two good games back to back all season. Both teams have poor all around statistics, but the Wildcats will have a slight edge playing at Ryan field. This is a game that NU has to win to keep any hopes of getting into a bowl game alive. It’s not going to be pretty, but somebody has to win. Player to Watch: Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan. Even with shaky QB play this season, Funchess has still managed to have 48 receptions for 572 yards and 4 touchdowns. He should have a big day against a Wildcat defense that gives up 222.3 passing yards per game.
Zach Pereles (2-3) (@zach_pereles): Michigan 24 Northwestern 10. Michigan’s struggles have been much more well-documented, but this Northwestern team is absolutely atrocious. Michigan is riding a season-high one game winning streak into Evanston, and it’s going to become a two-game winning streak. Key Player: Trevor Siemian. Will he at least look like a player deserving of a Division 1 scholarship? He hasn’t over the past few game.
Sam Rudnick (0-1) (@luhtammer): Michigan 24 Northwestern 27. Northwestern should be seeking to avenge a disappointing performance last week against the Hawkeyes. The Wolverines did not look good on the road 2 weeks ago against the Spartans and may struggle a bit in Evanston. Player to watch: Devin Funchess. If the northwestern’s defense can limit the production of Michigans top receiver they can come out with the victory. This may be a tall task for an average secondary.
Josh Burton (0-3) (@josh_burton1): Northwestern 31, Michigan 14. Michigan is a really, really bad football team that recently saw its athletic director resign and may seen its coach fired this offseason. On the other hand, Northwestern isn’t really that good either. But it’s family weekend at NU and Justin Jackson is the best skill position on either team right now, so if the Cats give him his due in carries, they should be able to get the win. Player to watch: Justin Jackson. Michigan has been gashed the last weeks on the ground by Michigan State and Indiana. There’s no reason Northwestern can’t get in on the act and that all starts with star freshman Jackson.