At the start it looked bad for Michigan. A quick stop by the Northwestern defense was followed up by a long drive in which Michigan gave up a few big chunks of yardage -- and a lot of rushing yards. After the Wildcat touchdown Michigan's offense finally found itself with Gardner running the show. Ten plays and 78 yards later Michigan tied the game.
The next offensive drive would stop inside the Northwestern ten-yard line after a Fitzgerald Toussaint fumble, but the Michigan defense would get the ball back to set up Michigan's second touchdown.
The defense looked good until Trevor Siemian came in off the bench for a two minute drill drive to tie the game at 14.
- Michigan -- just as when Robinson is in the game -- is almost completely dependent on its quarterback to move the ball. Gardner has 76 yards passing and 48 yards rushing and has been the only reliable cog in the offense so far. His completion percentage isn't great -- under 50% -- but the throws have been solid for the most part, and he hasn't had a lot of time to set up and make them.
- The quarterback is going heavily in the direction of Jeremy Gallon, who has 5 catches for 44 yards.
- Fitzgerald Toussaint leads the team in rush yards at the break with 65 on 11 carries, but 50 of those yards came on his long run that ended in a fumble near the end zone. So yeah, 1.5 ypc on all the rest isn't very comforting for the state of the run game.
- I expect we see Jack Miller or Joey Burzinsky at some point in the second half. The interior of the line has looked rough thus far.
- Defensively the first long drive was predicated on three big plays. The first was an incredible catch by Christian Jones for a first down near the sideline. The next two were long runs where Jake Ryan didn't do a good job keeping the play inside.
- Then, right before halftime Northwestern ran a smart two minute drill bringing Trevor Siemian off the bench for the game tying touchdown.
- Between those drives Michigan forced two punts and a fumble without giving up more than 35 yards.
It is going to be a tight one