Northern Michigan (0-3, 1-3) at #13 Hillsdale (3-0, 3-1)
Despite their opening loss against a tough opponent, there are few teams in this league that have been more solid or consistent through the first month than Hillsdale. The Chargers have sinced chewed up their three Southies, and have the good fortune of opening their North slate against that division’s only under-performer. Northern Michigan has had its struggles with a young coaching staff, a redshirt-freshman quarterback, and a team that is pretty inexperienced in general. Add to that their strange inability to play with any consistency on the road and this could be a long season for the Wildcats.
Northern HAS to find a way to get a couple of quick, early scores. If Anthony Mifsud and the Charger offense are allowed grind clock and put together 10+ play scoring drives in the first half (especially from in front), this one will be over fast. Northern simply hasn’t shown the firepower thus far to be able to come back from any real deficit, and certainly not the ones that they have seen in their three GLIAC tilts thus far. Making matters worse, the ‘Cats have only posted 21 first-half points through three games. Given that, I’m not liking their chances to get those “quick-and-earlies” I mentioned previously.
Look, barring some sort of bizarre haze/funk, I just don’t see Hillsdale allowing this to be close. Joe G has taken over the GLIAC rushing lead in conference play (and somehow it has been done rather quietly), so he’s right on pace with the type of production we would all expect. Look for him and his first string offense to have their typical day at the office…well, OK, maybe it’s a casual Friday where they go home early. Hillsdale 52, Northern 17.
The rest of Tony’s league preview.