- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan football continued its winning ways against the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday afternoon. The Wolverines won the inaugural George Jewett Trophy between the two teams by winning, 33-7.
The maize and blue dominated the scoreboard and statistics, but after the first half was over, things didn’t look great for Michigan. The Wolverines only lead 10-7 at halftime, but Michigan took over the game in the second half and outscored Northwestern, 23-0.
The Wolverines once again relied on the running game, and like usual, it worked. The maize and blue rushed the ball 54 times for 294 yards and four touchdowns — Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins each had two.
The passing game wasn’t needed much in the second half due to the gaping holes for the running backs, but it worked mostly in the first half — just not the deep ball. Cade McNamara went 0-for-4 in the first half throwing the ball more than 20-yards downfield. McNamara was extremely efficient in the first half with passes less than 20-yards though, he went 19-for-20 when throwing the short or intermediate throws.
The long ball has been a problem area for the Wolverines this season, and it continued on Saturday, but coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t too concerned with that, as he thinks McNamara had a very good game against the Wildcats.
“I thought we did some good things in the passing game,” Harbaugh said. “How many third downs did we have, 20? And we picked up 12. A lot of them through the air. Some through the air, some through the ground. Moving the ball, we did that. I think our only — I don’t think there’s anything wrong other than we forced a few deep balls. But I was pleased with the way we played, we left some meat on the bone offensively.
“Just to answer your question, you know, straightforward, yes: I thought Cade had a very good game. I thought the receivers played extremely well. Protection was very good. So yeah, pleased with our passing game.”
Harbaugh did admit, however, that Michigan probably tried to do a little too much with the deep ball with how Northwestern was playing.
“I think the deep passing game, probably forced that a little bit today,” Harbaugh said. “Their safeties were playing back. And 16 is a really good safety. I think that was the case. There should’ve — forced that a little too much with how they were playing. But, coming down, hitting the check-downs, hitting some of the out-routes, dispersing the ball all over the field, really, in the passing game. We didn’t connect on a deep one, but I don’t think the deep ones were there.”
Cade McNamara didn’t think he particularly forced anything today, except for one pass, but he thinks the offense needs to continue looking to make that big play. McNamara believes that anytime there is a one-on-one opportunity with the receivers he has, then there is a shot.
“I think there is only one ball I forced today; it was on an intermediate play on a play-action,” McNamara said. “I don’t think I was forcing anything downfield. I saw one-on-one opportunities and I took them. I think those are plays that we need in our offense – they were called and I did my best to execute them. I think there is no problem with me taking shots downfield when there is one-on-one coverage.”
Does running the ball bother the gun-slinger? McNamara is only worried about winning games, and he is fine to do whatever works for Michigan.
“I think whatever is working we should stick with it,” he said.
Next week is the big in-state showdown with the Spartans, and McNamara says his team is ready to go. Michigan will need the deep ball to hit next week in a top ten showdown.
“We’re excited and we’re confident,” McNamara said.