Off to a 5-0 start with its highest AP ranking since 2000, No. 13 Northwestern fell flat in the first half against No. 18 Michigan in the Big House. Here’s what went down:
- Michigan got off to a fast start as Jehu Chesson scored on the opening kickoff with a 96 yard return. After the Wildcats went three and out, the Wolverines scored again on a 7 play, 59 yard drive, highlighted by a 32 yard pass to tight end Jake Butt. The score was 14-0 Michigan after less than five minutes of game play.
- Later in the first quarter, the Wolverines scored again from the goal line after the Wildcats’ defense allowed a 34 yard run to opposing fullback Joe Kerridge. Lined up for a third and one, Kerridge went untouched before being taken down in the red zone.
- The Wolverines showed why they were one of the top scoring defenses in the nation, when Jourdan Lewis stripped the ball out of Mike McHugh’s hands and returned a Clayton Thorson pass to the endzone. Northwestern, another top scoring defense, has zero takeaways thus far.
- Thorson didn’t look that bad when throwing the ball early, going 9 for 16 with 71 yards. However, NU’s offensive line greatly underperformed, allowing multiple sacks to the redshirt freshman.
- Michigan QB Jake Rudock had all kinds of time in the first half, as the Cats’ defensive line was unable to penetrate into the second level. Thus far, Rudock has thrown for 119 yards on 10-for-15 attempts.
- Northwestern’s usual stud Justin Jackson has been bottled up all day, only managing 11 rushing yards on eight carries. He also added one catch for three yards.
- Northwestern only had three plays that went for 10 yards or more in the first half, while Michigan had eight.