Free Press sports writers predict winners of Michigan football's game Saturday against Northwestern (noon, Fox) at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor:
The Wolverines will go vanilla and run the ball all afternoon. They won’t show any new wrinkles to Michigan State because they won’t have to. The Wildcats have the No.117th ranked rush defense in the country (205.7 yards per game), so the Wolverines won’t have to throw. All they have to do is run, eat up clock and get to the MSU game undefeated. Pick: Michigan 35, Northwestern 17
A trap game on paper won’t be a trap game on the field. Michigan cruises to set up a thrilling showdown with Michigan State next week. Pick: Michigan 45, Northwestern 13.
The fortunes of Michigan and Northwestern have changed dramatically since the end of last season. The Wildcats no longer resemble the same formidable bunch that won the Big Ten West last season. The Wolverines, meanwhile, are far better than they were during their 2020 debacle. Michigan, which hasn’t lost to Northwestern since 2008, should suppress an offense ranked 110th in scoring, while Cade McNamara and Co. put enough points on the board to seal the team’s seventh straight win. Pick: Michigan 35, Northwestern 10
The Wildcats found a better compete level the last few weeks, if you'll forgive the coachspeak. It won't be nearly enough. MSU got to the rivalry game undefeated. No way the Wolverines don't get there unscathed, too. Pick: Michigan 34, Northwestern 16
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan football predictions vs. Northwestern