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Breakdown: Michigan should find success at home, despite starting quarterback

By Luke Pasch, Daily Sports Editor
Published November 8, 2012

The Wolverines have given up the fewest passing yards per game (145) and the fewest touchdowns (six) in the Big Ten.

Edge: Michigan

Special teams

Michigan placekicker Brendan Gibbons was named a semifinalist for the 2012 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award, given annually to the best kicker in the country, on Nov. 5. He is 15 for 17 on the year, and he knocked through a career-long 52-yarder at Nebraska two weeks ago.

But Northwestern placekicker Jeff Budzien has been equally impressive, good on 11 of his 12 attempts this season.

Overall, the Wolverines’ special-teams play has been messy recently, as punter Will Hagerup has been shanking punts and the coverage unit has been porous. Michigan will have its hands full with Mark, who has a pair of punt returns for touchdowns this season.

Edge: Northwestern

Intangibles

There’s nothing quite like home. Michigan returns to the Big House for the first time in 21 days, and fans will be excited to see the Wolverines back in action. Ryan Field, in Evanston, holds about 50,000 fans. This weekend, over twice as many people will sit in Michigan Stadium, screaming at the Wildcats.

Pat Fitzgerald is a great coach, and he will do everything in his power to get his players ready. But they might not be ready for an atmosphere like this.

Edge: Michigan

FINAL SCORE (with Robinson): Michigan, 35-10

FINAL SCORE (without Robinson): Michigan, 24-13


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