The Wolverines (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) closed strong after a sluggish start. They led by just three points at halftime, looking as if they were peeking ahead to next week’s game against ninth-ranked Michigan State on the road.
Michigan pulled away from the Wildcats (3-4, 1-3) by outscoring them 23-0 in the first 16:40 of the second half.
Corum finished with 119 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Haskins ran for 110 yards and two scores. Cade McNamara was 20 of 27 for 129 yards for the Wolverines.
Northwestern quarterback Ryan Hilinski, a South Carolina transfer, completed 14 of 29 passes for 114 yards with an interception. He was replaced early in the fourth quarter by Carl Richardson.
Evan Hull had a 75-yard touchdown late in the second quarter, making it 10-7 and nearly doubling the yards the Wildcats had in the game at that point.
Northwestern: The defense, which has improved steadily this season, held a potent offense in check during the first half before wearing down because the Wildcats struggled to sustain drives offensively.
Michigan: Coming off a bye and before playing the Spartans, a lackluster start was understandable even if coach Jim Harbaugh and his players refuse to make excuses for it.
Michigan has won its first seven games for the first time since 2016, Harbaugh’s second season, when it started 9-0 and finished 10-3 with a loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
DOING IT ALL
Wide receiver Cornelius Johnson blocked a punt in the third quarter, setting up Haskins’ 13-yard run that gave Michigan a 24-7 lead. He also caught three passes for 30 yards, drew at least one flag for a first down, and had a 6-yard run.
Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, the Big Ten’s top defensive player at midseason, recovered a fumble early in the fourth after sharing a sack, deflecting a pass and getting credit for two quarterback hurries.
The Wolverines won the newly created George Jewett Trophy, honoring the first Black football player at both schools. Jewett played for Michigan during the 1890 and 1892 seasons, then left Michigan for Northwestern in 1893 to finish his medical degree. He played two seasons for the Wildcats.
Michigan doesn’t have much room to move up, but will close the regular season with plenty of chances against Michigan State, No. 7 Penn State and No. 5 Ohio State.
Northwestern: Hosts Minnesota.
Michigan: Plays at Spartan Stadium in a highly anticipated matchup of undefeated rivals.