Saturday, November 10, 2012

Final thoughts on Michigan's win over Northwestern

Northwestern is a name doesn’t bring out a lot of fear in college football fans, but the Wildcats have been a pretty good team this year and I had a feeling that Saturday’s game would be a tight one.
I predicted Michigan winning 31-24, so I am happy with that as my predictions have been way off lately.
I certainly didn’t see the game coming down to a miracle at the end of regulation, but that seems to be something Northwestern lets happen.
The thing that was lost in the finish was the importance of Roy Roundtree finding a way to make that amazing catch. Sure, there was a penalty on the play, but in college pass interference is just a 15-yard penalty. Had Roundtree not made the juggling catch, the ball would have been put at the Northwestern 47 with eight seconds left. It would have been very tough for Michigan to get enough yards while stopping the clock to get a lengthy field goal.
Roundtree’s catch was clutch and he and Jeremy Gallon made some great plays during the game. That catch by Roundtree could go on to define the season if Michigan is able to get to a possible 10 wins (including a bowl victory).
The defense struggled on Saturday, but they aren’t the first to do so against Northwestern. Colter made some great plays for the Wildcats. It’s okay to expect the Wolverines to do better, but they are still going to have some down performances during the season.
As high as the win was for Michigan fans, I am sure they have to be disappointed about Nebraska’s win over Penn State.
An upset seemed to be brewing with the Nittany Lions up 20-6 at halftime, but Nebraska found a way to win. The Cornhuskers were the benefit of a big call on the McGloin “fumble” at the goal line, but that is how it works when you don’t control your own destiny.
Michigan has two games left and it appears that Denard Robinson’s injury may be more serious than the coaches either thought or let on. Devin Gardner has played well at quarterback, so well that some Michigan fans want him starting the rest of the season regardless of Robinson’s status.
I think Robinson deserves the right to be the quarterback if healthy, but certainly you have to keep Gardner prepared.
In fairness to Robinson, Gardner hasn’t faced impressive defensive units in his two games as a starter.
Michigan gets Iowa next week and I would think the coaches don’t want Robinson to face Ohio State without playing for three weeks, so I would expect to see him in action to some capacity if he is ultimately expected to play against the Buckeyes.

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