One of the memorable games of 2014 was the "M00N" - not in a good way. Michigan won by an astonishing score of 10-9.
Fast forward to 2015 and the cats are coming to town. They are on a 5 game winning streak and has beaten up a good Stanford team in their dreams, and shut out Jerry Kill's team last week.
It is thus interesting to look back of the M00N, and check out the Northwestern-Minnesota game yesterday.
Their pass D:
2014 M00N: Gardener had a QBR of 6!
2015 Minnesota: Gophers QBs have an average QBR of 7.1!
Their run D:
2014 M00N: Deveon and company ran over 150 yards (Devin's negative run excluded)
2015 Minnesota: Gophers ran a total of 74 yards
Their pass O:
2014 M00N: Siemian had over 270 yards with 2 interceptions to go with that
2015 Minnesota: Thorson had 128 yards but much more efficient and no interception
Their run O:
2014 M00N: 37 yards (negative runs excluded)
2015 Minnesota: 184 yards!
So Northwestern has indeed improved (if the M00N Michigan team and 2015 Minnesota can be used as reference) but they are not world beaters. 2015 Michigan D will probably limit their run to under 100 yards, and also limit their pass to somewhere around 100 yards as well. On the other hand, we cannot do worse than the M00N Michigan team in pass O, and will probably on par or better in the run O.
Limit the interceptions (Yes, Mr. Rudock!) and fumbles, and I see Michigan beats Jumping Pat 31 - 17.