Michigan had the luxury of spending its first five weeks of the college football season at home. The Wolverines opened the season with Western Michigan at Michigan Stadium, and they went on to play Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State and Minnesota at the Big House as well.
Although Michigan has looked very good this season and beat all five of those opponents, its toughest tests are just beginning. Specifically, Michigan will face its first road test of the season on Saturday night at Northwestern. It won't be the most difficult road environment considering there very well could be more Michigan fans in attendance than Northwestern fans, but the Wildcats are a talented team, and winning on the road in the Big Ten is easier said than done.
Northwestern comes into Saturday's game with a 2-2 record. After beating Boston College on the road to start the season and beating Eastern Illinois in Week 2, the Wildcats went on the road again and lost to Army. Northwestern had a bye in Week 4 and came out looking very good in the first three quarters of its Week 5 game at Illinois. Then quarterback Dan Persa exited after tweaking his foot and Northwestern proceeded to blow a 28-10 lead. The Wildcats ultimately lost by a score of 38-35.
The good news for Northwestern and the bad news for Michigan is that Persa is expected to play on Saturday. The reason he didn't finish the Illinois game is because he wanted to make sure another setback in his recovery from an Achilles injury didn't happen. It didn't, and he was fine after the game and expects to be good to go for the Michigan game.
Michigan (5-0) at Northwestern (2-2)
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: BTN
- Radio: Michigan Sports Network
- Location: Evanston, IL
- Stadium: Ryan Field