This afternoon Michigan opens the season against Northern Illinois, a good MAC team with a solid running game (3:30 PM, ABC). Northern Illinois' talent will keep this game closer than the traditional season-opening Michigan feast, but Michigan will prevail in the end.
Look for Michigan to lead by about 10 points at the half (say 17-7) but to quickly pull away in the third quarter as nerves calm down and Michael Hart asserts himself. Matt Gutierrez will make an appearance late and Jerome Jackson should get plenty of carries. As a final score, make it Michigan 38, NIU 17.
Chad Henne 15-21, 255 yards, 2 TDs
Michael Hart 20 carries, 152 yards, 1 TD
Steve Breaston 4 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD
Jason Avant 6 catches, 105 yards, 1 TD
Kevin Grady 8 carries, 55 yards
Leon Hall 1 INT, 3 PBUs
LaMarr Woodley 12 tackles, 2 sacks, FF
Bradent Englemon 4 tackles and no mistakes