Michigan Football: 5 things we learned in win over Northwestern

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /
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It wasn’t always pretty but it was effective. Michigan football improved to 7-0 on the season with a win Northwestern and here are five things we learned.

It might have taken longer than some Michigan football fans wanted or expected, but the Wolverines took care of business Saturday against Northwestern.

There were a few tense moments. Michigan football did lead just 10-7 at the half, thanks to some failed opportunities in the red zone. A turnover right before the half nixed a scoring opportunity and it felt like a trap game at that point.

But in the second half, Michigan just bullied Northwestern. The Wolverines pounded the rock to the tune of 295 yards and scored three second-half touchdowns on the ground to win going away.

The attention can finally shift to the top-10, unbeaten showdown with Michigan State next Saturday. But here are five things we learned first from the win over Northwestern.

The pass offense is still an issue

Northwestern doesn’t have a terrible pass defense but Cade McNamara didn’t play well on Saturday. He forced some balls down the field and his deep ball leaves a lot to be desired.

As an example, the long pass to Roman Wilson at Wisconsin should have just been a touchdown but Wilson had to come back to the ball. Cade is smart, tough and he can throw the ball better than he did yesterday, but does anyone have confidence Michigan can beat a top-10 team with that arm?

McNamara averaged 4.7 yards per attempt and got just 129 yards on 27 attempts. When running for nearly 300, that should open up some things, but the Wolverines didn’t create a single explosive play (20 yards or more) in the passing game.

Illinois did beat Penn State with Brandon Peters yesterday, so I guess it is possible. But still, if this team has to rely solely on the passing game to win, it’s probably not going to happen.