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Detroit News predictions: Michigan vs. Northwestern

The Detroit News

Angelique S. Chengelis, Matt Charboneau, Bob Wojnowski and John Niyo offer their predictions on the outcome of Saturday's Michigan-Northwestern game.

Drake Johnson and Michigan host Rutgers at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on the Big Ten Network.

Angelique S. Chengelis: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh  wisely pointed out this week that the Michigan and Northwestern defenses won’t actually face each other, but let’s be clear — this game will be about the defenses. In this instance, with the home-field advantage, the edge goes to the veteran QB Jake Rudock  over Northwestern’s redshirt freshman QB Clayton Thorson. Michigan 13-7

Matt Charboneau: The first one to double digits might win this one as the two best defenses in the nation square off. It’s hard to find a glaring advantage on either side, other than the fact the Wildcats enter the game unbeaten. The team that takes care of the ball will come out on top, and that will likely be the home team. Michigan 13-10

Bob Wojnowski: Two stellar defenses, two game-managing quarterbacks, two quests to be legitimate contenders. Michigan’s defense shuts down one-dimensional teams, and Northwestern is run, run, run and hope freshman QB Clayton Thorson  doesn’t make a mistake. It’s effective enough to be 5-0, but the Wolverines defensive front is deep enough to stuff it. If healthy, De’Veon Smith and Drake Johnson give Michigan a solid running tandem. Michigan 20-9

John Niyo: The top two scoring defenses in the country? Go figure. And based on recent history, this one should be close, too. But Michigan’s better equipped offensively to make a few big plays and tip the scales. Michigan 20-14