Rapid reaction: Michigan's rushing attack too much for Northwestern
Cade McNamara threw the ball around the field quite a bit in Michigan’s win over Northwestern, but it was the ground game, once again, that catapulted the Wolverines to a 7-0 start.
Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins were unstoppable out of the backfield, combing for 229 yards and 4 touchdowns in Michigan’s 33-7 victory over Northwestern. The win now sets up a pivotal Week 9 matchup between Michigan and Michigan State, with both teams undefeated.
It was a little uglier than Jim Harbaugh probably would’ve liked out of the gate. After a bye week, the Wolverines struggled to find the end zone through the first 30 minutes.
Michigan drew first blood, scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run by Corum to take a 7-0 lead just over 2 minutes into the 2nd quarter. The Wolverines were able to drive into the red zone again, settling for a 20-yard field goal by Jake Moody to make the score 10-0.
Northwestern’s Evan Hull responded in a big way, scoring on a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the following possession. Michigan looked to answer, but a Mike Sainristil fumble inside the 3-yard line resulted in a 10-7 score at halftime.
It was all Michigan in the 2nd half, though.
The Wolverines scored on 4 of its first 5 possessions in the final 30 minutes. Corum scored from 5 yards out, Haskins had a 13-yard run and Moody drilled a 44-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter to give Michigan a 27-7 advantage.
Haskins scored the final touchdown for Michigan from 4 yards out.
Michigan ended the afternoon with 294 on the ground, reinforcing its conference-best average. Northwestern found little success offensively in any regard, accounting for just 233 yards for the contest.
McNamara completed 20-of-27 passes for 129 yards in the victory. The Wolverines also converted on 12-of-20 attempts on 3rd down and possessed the ball for nearly 40 minutes. That’s a pretty good recipe for success.
After close calls against Rutgers and Nebraska, there has been some concern about Michigan’s ability to go full throttle for a full 60 minutes. Although there were some bumps out of the gate, it was a strong performance from Harbaugh’s crew.
Next up, a date with Michigan State with the B1G East and the Paul Bunyan Trophy hanging in the balance.