NU started the game in no huddle offense fueled by a 19 yard strike from Siemian to Prater. However, an illegal formation penalty negated a Justin Jackson huge gain, and the Cats were forced to punt.
Matt Alviti entered the game for a few snaps rushing two times for five yards. NU could not get the rushing game going at all: Justin Jackson had nine carries for only 12 yards.
Siemian targeted Prater on four of his first five passes as he started the game 4-6 for 49 yards. His first five completions went for an average of 13 yards, atypical for an offense that rarely passes beyond the first down marker, but the progress was squandered by a telegraphed interception with just over a minute left in the first quarter.
Michigan had good field position after Jake Ryan picked off Siemian, but Chi Chi Ariguzo stood-up De’Veon Smith at the NU 16 on 4th down and one.
Siemian ended the half 13-20 for 119 yards and 2 INTs. A higher completion rate than his 56.2 percent coming into the game, but when third down came, he under threw his targets and NU couldn’t finish a drive.
Both Gardner and Siemian were picked off late in the second quarter, and neither team could capitalize. Michigan’s 41-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Nick VanHoose. The teams ended the half scoreless.
-Noah Fromson, NNN Sports