Michigan Football: 3 stats that defined Wolverines win over NIU

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /
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Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /

Michigan football clobbered Northern Illinois on Saturday and here are three stats the tell the story of the Wolverines win.

It’s funny how few weeks of good football can really change a narrative. It wasn’t long ago that Jim Harbaugh was on the hot seat with major questions surrounding his Michigan football program.

To be fair, Michigan hasn’t really done anything yet. The win over Washington was nice, especially with everything at stake recruiting-wise that weekend, but three games don’t make a season.

That being said, this Michigan team feels different.

There is a different energy. The guys seem to really have fun playing together and if you think that doesn’t matter, look back at the last season’s basketball team.

Having the right kind of culture means everything. The Wolverines have talent. They always have — the team talent rankings every year will tell you that.

But they haven’t gotten the most out of that talent. That seems to be changing. Harbaugh definitely is re-energized and his new coaching staff and doing a great job — on the field, off the field (culture), and when it comes to recruiting.

And everything is coming together on the field as evidenced by a 63-10 win. That followed wins by 33 and 21 over Western Michigan and Washington.

Big Ten play starts this week and all this optimism could be wiped away with one bad performance. But before we look ahead to Rutgers, here are three stats that defined Michigan football’s win over Northern Illinois.

Michigan runs for 373 yards and averages 7.8 per rush attempt

The running game has told the story for Michigan’s offense in every game so far this season as the Wolverines have rushed for at least 320 yards in all three wins.

Yes, two of those teams were MAC opponents, but Michigan football dominated how you’d expect and did the same against a very stingy Washington defense.

On Saturday, the Wolverines continued generating explosive plays in the running game. Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards both had touchdown runs that covered at least 50 yards.

Corum had another long run and Cornelius Johnson hauled in an 87-yard touchdown catch, not to mention a pair of 24-yard gains, one run and one reception, by A.J. Henning.

Michigan is third right now in the nation in scoring offense and the dominant running game is the biggest reason why and against NIU, the 373 yards and nearly eight yards per carry, were the biggest reason the Wolverines rolled to an easy win.