Saturday Morning Preview: Northwestern

Every Saturday morning we will have a bite size preview of the Michigan opponent of the week.

Opponent: Northwestern

Location: Ryan Field

Game Time/TV: 4:30 p.m.

Betting Line: MICH -14.5

Coach: Pat Fitzgerald (13th Season)

Depth Chart:

2017 Record: 10-3

2018 Record: 1-2

Top storylines:

Coming into this year, Northwestern had high expectations off a 10-3 season and a win in the Music City Bowl. They were expected to be one of the main competitors with Wisconsin in the West division.

Things have not worked out how the Wildcats planned. The team won their first game of the season at Purdue on Friday night of the opening weekend and everyone figured they would roll through their next two games before facing Michigan. They ended up losing badly at home to Duke 21-7 and then had a disastrous 39-34 loss to Akron.

The Wildcats’ have not been playing particularly well on either side of the ball. They have scored 24.0 points per game (ppg) which is 103rd in the nation and their defense has allowed 29.0 ppg which is 87th in the nation.

NU quarterback Clayton Thorson tore his ACL in last years bowl game and made a speedy recovery to be on the field in Week 1 against Purdue. Thorson has 753 passing yards, three TDs and three INTs. It is fairly safe to assume that Thorson is not 100 percent recovered from his ACL injury.

Jeremy Larkin is the leading rusher for NU with 346 rush yards and five touchdowns. Larkin also has added 127 receiving yards.

The leading receiver for the Wildcats is Flynn Nagel with 226 yards. He has 20 catches through the team’s first three games.

On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore Paddy Fisher has been great once again. He led the team in 2017 with 111 tackles as a freshman and he once again leads the team with 28 tackles through three games. Safety Jared McGee has three tackles for loss thus far.

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