Michigan Football Predictions Against Northern Illinois
Michigan is a 26.5 point favorite compared to visiting northern Illinois later in the day, which is a really big number. Still, it looks like Michigan can cover that massive gap against a team that can’t stop the infractions. NIU is 1-1 after an unlikely season opener over Georgia Tech, but the Huskies are really struggling to stop the race. As we’ve seen for two weeks Michigan love to hit the rock and will likely do so with ease against northern Illinois. Michigan should win easily, but what will the score be? We strive to find out for ourselves …
The last time Rocky Lombardi was at Michigan Stadium, he wore a Spartans uniform and threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns, giving the Wolverines their first loss of the 2020 season as a 21-point underdog. Something tells me the Michigan defense hasn’t forgotten about this game and, in particular, that Lombardi performance. Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo have a big day and Michigan gets their first pick six of the season.
Can we finally see what the passing attack is capable of, or is it another 60 full minutes of smashing football? Either way, these are the BIG Wolverines.
Michigan 49, Northern Illinois 13
I don’t think there is much to say about this one. The strength of Michigan makes the ball run and the weakness of northern Illinois stops the race. The Wolverines ran for 343 yards against Washington last week; they could exceed 400 this week. I’m expecting some big games from Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum, and I think we’re getting a good dose of Donovan Edwards as well. I wonder if we’re going to see Cade McNamara throw it. I don’t think we will, but it would be nice to see what the attack looks like with a little more balance.
I’m also anxious to see if Mike Macdonald can rack up another impressive performance. He did a great job putting Aidan Hutchinson in a position to have an impact the last two games and he also made the necessary adjustments to shut down a pretty good offensive team in West Michigan and a respectable Power 5 team in Washington, although their attack was quite poor.
There are a few interesting scenarios to look at from an observational point of view, but the result is not really up for debate.
Michigan 51, Northern Illinois 17
Another week, another game in which the Michigan No.25 is very unlikely to be tested. This week’s game looks like another blowout in the works for the Wolverines.
Sure, running back Harrison Waylee is leading a peak offense in northern Illinois that averaged 204 yards per game over two weeks, but the Huskies’ defense looks as bad as their offense looks good. And with the Wolverines running back duo of elder Hassan Haskins and sophomore Blake Corum having passed, around and through Washington’s Power 5 defense last week, I would expect it to be a difficult night for the defensive front in northern Illinois.
The Huskies have a sort of ringtone in Redshirt junior quarterback Rocky Lombardi, who already has a win over Michigan under his belt (Lombardi played for Michigan State in the 2020 game), but it really comes down to the cast. characters that Lombardi has around him. Much like western Michigan, I expect northern Illinois’ offensive and defensive fronts to wear down under pressure from Michigan’s more talented lines and running backs. The Huskies just don’t have the manpower to keep this game close.
Michigan 38, Northern Illinois 13
Michigan is rising high, and while they might return to Earth at some point, it won’t be this week. Northern Illinois poses no threat to wolverines. While former Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi beat Michigan at the Big House less than a year ago, the talent he has around him this time around doesn’t is not comparable.
While I expect Michigan to continue playing, I’ll be curious to see a few things that could be revealing for the team’s long-term development. First, will the offense have a more balanced offense after throwing for just 44 yards in the last game? Also, how many JJ McCarthy will we see? If Cade McNamara doesn’t seem comfortable pitching against NIU and JJ walks in and starts pitching him, the rumbles of a QB controversy could begin. But until then I expect the Wolverines to win easily and start the season 3-0 before the conference game.
Michigan 45, Northern Illinois 7