RUSH OFFENSE vs. NIU RUSH DEFENSE
After last week’s outstanding performance on the ground, Michigan is #4 nationally in rushing with 339 yards per game, as well as #5 in yards per carry (6.85). The Wolverines have a home run hitter in sophomore Blake Corum (35 carries, 282 yards, 4 TD), who has a 67-yard run and a 79-yard kickoff return on his resume so far this year. They also have a steady pounder in Hassan Haskins (40 carries, 225 yards, 2 TD), who breaks tackles with regularity. Michigan’s offensive line is huge and mauled Washington last week. The only real question seems to be whether fifth year senior Chuck Filiaga or sophomore Zak Zinter starts at right guard, since the latter has been dealing with a cast on his hand. Northern Illinois is #121 (232 rushing yards allowed per game) and #101 (4.78 yards allowed per carry) in run defense. They are extremely young on defense, with nine starters in either their first or second year. Unsurprisingly, the leading tackler is fifth year senior middle linebacker Lance Deveaux, Jr. (5’11”, 218), followed by sophomore linebacker Nick Rattin (6’2″, 223) and freshman corner Eric Rogers (6’2″, 180). The Huskies run, in effect, a 4-2-5 defense and their biggest starting defensive lineman is nose tackle James Ester, a redshirt freshman who checks in at 286 lbs., though a couple rotational backups are over 290. After what Michigan did to Washington, it would be crazy to expect this to be anything less than a large mismatch.
Hit the jump for more.read more