Originally posted on The B1g Time  |  Last updated 11/8/12
No. 24 Northwestern (7-2, 3-2) vs. Michigan (6-3, 4-1), Saturday; 12pm ET ESPN Line: Michigan - 10 Last Meeting: 2011 (42-24 Michigan W) 3 Players to Watch: 1) Denard Robinson (QB Mich): Simply put - the Maize 'N Blue have no shot of winning this game if Robinson is a no-go or gets knocked out of the game. Devin Gardner is a nice place holder and they got away with playing him last week, but this Northwestern defense is not the Minnesota defense. They need shoelace badly to win this football game. 2) Fitzgerald Toussiant (RB Mich): 2nd to the health of Robinson is getting Fitz going on the ground. There's very little hope of winning if they can't throw the football at QB or get their running back going. Toussiant averages 3.6 yards a carry and less than 50 yards rushing a game. Those numbers need to be more like 5ypc and 100 yards against Northwestern if the Wolverines want to win. 3) Kain Colter (QB NU): Colter has been nothing short of spectacular over the past few weeks where his role has been much more defined and frankly he's got to be just as good against a defense that doesn't really play well against multiple sets on offense - just see Nebraska game film for proof. Colter needs to be smart with the football and also efficient as a passer. Final Analysis: Michigan is coming off of a nice 35-13 win over Minnesota for the Little Brown Jug last week and they did it without the help of Denard Robinson. That could be a confidence builder, however Northwestern is nothing like the terrible defense the Gophers put out on the field every Saturday. Things won't be so easy.  It's likely to be a battle of who gives first as Northwestern is the 4th best scoring offense in the conference vs. the 2nd best scoring defense in Michigan. So, who's likely to give on this one? Well, as much as names like Robinson, Roundtree, and Toussiant are household names they haven't been better than Colter, Mark, and Fields from Northwestern and that's going to be the key to this game in my opinion.  This game should be very close as both teams hopes of making a trip to Indianapolis at the start of December is on the line. The loser is completely out of the division race unless Nebraska finds a way to lose it's final three games. So, the winner keeps pressure on the division race and I think things set up nicely for the Wildcats to pull off a close victory at the Big House. My Pick: Northwestern 31, Michigan 24 Will's Pick: Michigan 24, Northwestern 21
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THE B1G TIME

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