Tomorrow’s Big Ten contest between the Michigan Wolverines and Northwestern Wildcats features a matchup of one team that has lost its offense and another that has simply lost its heart. Despite how hard both teams try to lose this game, college football is set up so that one of these schools will leave with a victory.
The Wolverines’ running game has gone from bad to putrid recently, rushing for a total of -69 yards over the past two games. That’s led to a meager 19 points for Michigan in the past two weeks. Northwestern has rushed for 467 yards and scored 34 points over the past two games. While the numbers for Northwestern look better, the Wildcats come into this game on a five-game losing streak. One of these teams getting back to winning will take an effort that they haven’t been able to muster lately.
The past three losses for Northwestern all came by a touchdown or less. Michigan, on a two-game losing streak itself, is just a couple of weeks removed from a 23-point loss at the hands of the Michigan State Spartans. Before the past two games, the Wolverines were averaging 42 points per game. The same personnel are taking the field for Michigan tomorrow and are all listed as healthy. Northwestern, on the other hand, is still dealing with a myriad of injuries all over its roster.
The Wolverines may seem to be in more of a funk if you look at the stats, but they also have talent that has proven itself to have a higher ceiling than the Wildcats. The issue for both of these teams has been execution. This game seems too close to call because it’s hard to determine which team will find a way out of its funk. At some point tomorrow, one of these teams will get a win whether they want it or not.