The ‘two-headed monster’ breaks loose as Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins seal Northwestern’s fate against Michigan’s No.6


Joshua Hoffman / Senior Daily Staff

Michigan running back Blake Corum carries the ball against Northwestern. Corum gained 119 yards on 19 carries as the Wolverines ran away from the Wildcats 33-7 in Ann Arbor.


ANN ARBOR, Michigan – A running back was tough enough for Northwestern to stop this year. First it was Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker, who set the Wildcats in their opener for 264 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Then it was Jaquez Yant of Nebraska, scorching NU for 127 yards on just 13 carries in the Cornhuskers’ 56-7 win.

Now bring two traffic jams into the equation. And consider something else – the two rank among the most skillful full-backs in the country, averaging 101.7 and 82 yards per game, respectively.

The Michigan No.6 (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) crushed the Cats (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten) on Saturday, winning 33-7 thanks to a virtuoso joint performance by running backs Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins. The pair had a rush of 229 yards and four touchdowns, accounting for just over half of the Wolverines’ 457 total attacking yards.

“They’re the best running offense in the country for a reason,” said coach Pat Fitzgerald. “They have a great offensive line, very good tight ends, and they have a two-headed running back monster who is as good or better than anyone in the country.”

The tone of the afternoon was set on Michigan’s first two indescribable scrum pieces. Quarterback Cade McNamara handed the ball to Haskins on the first, who picked up two yards. The next transfer went to Corum, who won two more.

Corum and Haskins’ piecemeal approach has worn down NU’s defense and set the stage for a steady stream of chunks. Haskins posted a 14-yard gain in the Wolverines’ second series before second-year defensive back Coco Azema and second-year linebacker Bryce Gallagher knocked him down.

In Michigan’s third series, which ended with his first touchdown, Haskins took over and was virtually met by the entire Cats defense. However, he advanced 19 yards to move his team into NU territory. Nine games later, Corum was in the end zone and the Wolverines had a lead they weren’t going to give up.

“[Corum and Haskins are] great running backs, ”said graduate student Chris Bergin. “We knew they were going to break tackles. Team defense is like measuring the value of your defense based on how far you are from the ball when that whistle blows.

Michigan’s two practices conducted entirely in the second quarter relied almost entirely on the running game. The first was a running clinic in which the Wolverines went from the Cats’ 36-yard line to the four-yard line on seven consecutive positive runs of single-digit distance – five by Haskins, one by Corum and one by running. back Donovan Edwards. It ended with kicker Jake Moody’s 20 yard field goal which gave the Wolverines a 10-0 lead.

The runner-up didn’t give up any points, but emptied two minutes just before halftime and saw Corum rack up 40 yards on five carries. In the first half, Michigan owned the ball for 22 minutes and 54 seconds and played 53 games. The Cats have only played 19 games in seven minutes and six seconds.

Ultimately, the Wolverines’ 86-55 advantage in executed plays resulted in garish defensive stats for NU (Bergin, Gallagher, Azema and second safety Brandon Joseph all recorded double-digit tackles), but directly contributed to the disappearance of the Cats. By the end of the game, even Michigan substitute quarterback JJ McCarthy had stepped into the running game, running 23 yards to start a practice that ended with Moody’s second basket at the end of the game. third quarter.

“[The Wolverines] Very well executed today, but we also helped them a lot in the second half with our tackling technique and not filling the gaps properly, ”said Fitzgerald. “We’re just going to continue to train the devil on these guys. I like them a lot and we’re going to do everything we can to get our seniors into the playoffs. “

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Twitter: @ pandres2001

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