Monday, October 1, 2007

Michigan 28 Northwestern 16

Michigan escaped Evanston with a 28-16 victory, pulling away late to make the margin seem larger than it really was. Amado Villarreal started off the scoring with a 27 yard field goal on Northwestern’s initial possession. In a surprise move, Chad Henne got the start at quarterback and led the Wolverines down the field, connecting with Mario Manningham on an 11 yard touchdown pass on Michigan’s first possession of the game. That put Michigan on top 7-3 before Omar Conteh answered back with a 49 yard touchdown run to put Northwestern on top 10-7. Villarreal tacked on two more field goals from 49 and 27 yards before halftime to push the Northwestern lead to 16-7 at halftime. Henne threw two more touchdown passes in the second half to Carson Butler and Adrian Arrington. Mike Hart capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter with a one yard touchdown run that put the game out of reach.

Michigan Offense vs Northwestern Defense

Chad Henne started for the Wolverines and looked effective on his first drive, going 4-6 for 65 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Mallet came on to replace Henne on Michigan’s second drive and struggled leading the offense the rest of the first half going 5-11 for 67 yards. Mallet’s best play of the game came on a third and five where he was pressured out of the pocket and hit Adrian Arrington on the sideline for a first down. Any talk of a quarterback controversy (which was ridiculous to begin with) was ended with the play of Henne on Saturday. Henne ended the day 18-27 for 193 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers. With his first touchdown pass to Manningham, Henne surpassed John Navarre for the career passing touchdowns record. Manningham hauled in 10 catches for 123 yards and that one touchdown. The Northwestern DB’s gave Manningham a cushion which left the 10-15 yard underneath routes open all day long.

Mike Hart continued his streak of 100 yard games this season, rushing for 106 yards on 30 carries. Northwestern’s defense did a great job of containing him in the first half, limiting to just 30 yards. When Henne returned to the field in the second half, the improved passing game seemed to open up some holes for Hart. John Gill led the way for the Wildcats with 10 tackles and one sack for the game.

Edge: Michigan

Michigan Defense vs Northwestern Offense

Northwestern moved the ball at will in the first half on the Wolverine defense, scoring all of their 16 points in the first half. C.J. Bacher completed passes to six different receivers in the first half. Northwestern had success running the ball with Omar Conteh who carried the ball 15 times for 119 yards, good for a 7.7 average. Bacher also was able to run the ball, gaining 38 yards on the ground excluding sacks. The Michigan

The defense picked up its intensity in the second half, forcing five turnovers. In fact, four consecutive Wildcat drives ended with a turnover. Brandon Graham and Shawn Crable forced fumbles, one of which was recovered by Crable and the other by Terrance Taylor. Morgan Trent, Obi Ezeh, and Tim Jamison each had interceptions of Bacher.

Edge: Push (first half to Northwestern, second half to Michigan)

Special Teams:

Michigan’s kicking woes continue as Jason Gingell missed a 26 yard field goal and a 39 yarder. That makes him 3-9 on the year, and 1 for his last 7. Crossing our fingers just isn’t getting the job done; we need some new go-to superstition. Zoltan Mesko continued his great year, booting a season long punt of 60 yards that pinned the Wildcats at their own one yard line. Mesko’s six punts went for an average of 44.5 yards and three of them were downed inside the 20.

For Northwestern, Amado Villarreal stayed perfect on the year, making two field goals from 27 yards and one from 49. Return-wise, Stephan Simmons’s kickoff return for 52 yards was the only significant return for either team on the day.

Edge: Northwestern


It seemed like there was more maize and blue than purple in the stands at Ryan Field. Home field advantage was nonexistent as the Michigan fans were as loud, if not louder than the Northwestern fans. The teams came into the game with opposite momentum. Northwestern had just been blown out by Ohio State and the week before that had lost to Duke. Michigan had won two in a row over Notre Dame and then #10 Penn State. None of this was evident from the way that both teams opened the game. Northwestern seemed to be riding high on momentum while the Wolverines played sluggishly.

Edge: Push

Player of the Game: Chad Henne 18-27 193 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT

Henne gutted this one out after he was only supposed to play the opening series of each half. He stayed on and played the entire second half, leading the Wolverines to victory.

Monday Press Conference Tidbits:

· Mike Massey who left the Northwestern game with an injury to his left knee will have surgery this week and is out for the rest of the season.

· Freshman Zion Babb has been moved from WR to CB. It wasn’t said outright at the press conference, but my guess would be that this move came about due to the departure of Johnny Sears.

· Tim McAvoy is listed as the starter at RG for Eastern Michigan. McAvoy left the Northwestern game with an injury, but Lloyd Carr declined to comment on any injuries besides for Massey’s.

· Carr also refused to comment on the Artis Chambers situation that was reported earlier today.

· Carr did mention that K.C. Lopata might get a chance to win the field goal kicking job this week. Carr said that he’d look at both Lopata and Gingell in practice this week before making his decision.

· Henne said that he expects to start on Saturday against EMU

· Michigan Stadium became an octogenarian today, celebrating its 80th birthday. The first game at Michigan Stadium was played 80 years ago today. Special prize to anyone who can respond in the comment section with the score and opponent that Michigan faced that day.

Thank you to everyone who tuned into WCBN’s first ever road game broadcast. We were faced with some technical difficulties but somehow we got it figured out with about 5 minutes to spare before kickoff. We hope you’ll tune in again on Saturday as Michigan hosts Eastern Michigan. That game will be televised on the Big 10 Network, but you can catch our broadcast live at noon by going to and clicking on the sports stream.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Michigan beat Ohio Wesleyan 33-0, with the first score being a TD pass from Louis Gilbert to TE Kip Taylor.