Roundup: National media on Michigan football after Northwestern win

·4 min read


No, Northwestern wasn’t the most inspiring matchup for Michigan football in Week 8, and while the Wolverines handled business, the national media is somewhat in wait and see mode with fellow 7-0 Michigan State up next week.

Still, the maize and blue are getting mentioned, with one outlet finally including Michigan in its weekly roundup (weirdly, that wasn’t the case before Sunday), while the usual suspects are still high on the Wolverines. With MSU, Penn State, and Ohio State still on deck, there’s a lot more work to do, but the maize and blue are getting more love than the Spartans and Nittany Lions at this juncture.

Here is what the media is saying about Michigan football.

List

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ESPN’s David M. Hale

For the first time all year, after the Wolverines got their seventh win, David M. Hale included more about Michigan than a cursory mention or backhanded compliment. Hale still kind of have a backhanded compliment by calling the maize and blue offense vanilla (it may be relatively one-dimensional, but it’s not quite vanilla), but we’ll take the win here.

Wake Forest and Michigan both remained undefeated
Saturday, their respective cases for serious
consideration getting ever stronger.

For the Wolverines, the game plan has been as simple
as a pair of pleated khakis. They beat Northwestern
33-7 behind some stellar defense and 119 yards on the
ground from Blake Corum. Michigan hasn’t thrown for
more than 255 yards in a game this season, but it also
hasn’t needed to. Jim Harbaugh might be running a
vanilla offense, but it’s really good vanilla – like that
French vanilla ice cream with sprinkles.

ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren

VanHaaren was on-site at the Northwestern game, and his mention has Michigan football at No. 5 in the ESPN power rankings.

5. Michigan Wolverines (7-0)
The Wolverines avoided any chance of a loss
looking ahead to its game against Michigan State and
handled Northwestern in a 33-7 win. Minus a few
fumbles, it was a relatively uneventful game that saw
Michigan finish with 294 rushing yards and four
touchdowns on the ground. The defense held
Northwestern to 233 total yards of offense and had a
fumble recovery and an interception, with a blocked
punt on special teams, as well. Michigan moves to 7-0
as it now prepares for the short trip to East Lansing to
take on the Spartans. — Tom VanHaaren

Sporting News

Friend of the site Bill Bender has Michigan at No. 7 in his College Football Playoff power rankings and notes that the biggest tests for the Wolverines remain ahead.

Michigan avoided a trap-game loss by controlling the tempo in a 33-7 blowout against Northwestern, which ensured a top-10 showdown against Michigan State to close out October. The Wolverines continue to ride the tag-team of Blake Corum (117 yards, 2 TDs) and Hassan Haskins (100 yards, 2 TDs), and the defense remains stout with SN Midseason All-American Aidan Hutchinson. Cade McNamara will have to take his game to another level knowing the Wolverines have road games at Michigan State, Penn State and a home game with Ohio State. Michigan is 3-15 on the road against those teams since Lloyd Carr retired after the 2007 season. Time for Jim Harbaugh to prove it once and for all.

Sports Illustrated

Pat Forde apparently thinks rather highly of the Wolverines, putting Michigan at No. 2 in the SI top 10.

Last game: Beat Northwestern 33–7
Next game: at Michigan State Oct. 30

The Wolverines were in a scrap for a half against the Wildcats, then pitched a 23–0 shutout after intermission. This was exactly who Michigan is: slamming the ball at Northwestern on the ground, with both Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins gaining 100 yards; the defense keeping the Wildcats out of the end zone other than a 75-yard run in the second quarter; special teams chipping in a blocked punt. Michigan still doesn’t have much juice in the passing game, throwing for 163 yards with just 5.1 yards per attempt and no completions longer than 18 yards. Even at 7–0, the Wolverines have improving to do to win their division.

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