- Dan Murphy, ESPN Staff Writer
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Michigan denied a two-point conversion attempt Saturday afternoon at Northwestern to win on back-to-back Saturdays for the first time since September 2013. The victory wasn't pretty, but the Wolverines have a winning streak and are one more good result away from a bowl game as they head into the final bye week of the season.
Michigan's defense held the Wildcats to 264 total yards of offense and created three turnovers, leading its team to a win. For the third time in four weeks, the defense kept its opponent to one touchdown in a winning effort. That side of the ball gets the majority of our helmet stickers for Week 11.
Senior DE Frank Clark: Michigan's top pass-rusher provided regular pressure on Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian. He finished the game with 1.5 sacks and another tackle for loss as well as two pass break-ups. His biggest play came at the game's biggest moment. Trailing by one, Northwestern opted to attempt a two-point conversion with three seconds left in the game. Clark read the quarterback roll-out perfectly and forced Siemian to trip and fall, sealing the win for Michigan.
Senior LB Jake Ryan: Ryan maintained his regular spot at the top of the stat sheet for tackles this week. The converted outside linebacker made 11 stops from his spot in the middle of Michigan's defense, bringing his season total to 90 with two games left on the schedule. He also intercepted a pass near midfield early in the first quarter.
Sophomore RB De'Veon Smith: After falling behind Drake Johnson on the depth chart last week, Smith responded with his most productive outing of the season. He ran for 121 yards on 18 carries and mercifully broke a 0-0 tie with the game's first touchdown midway through the third quarter.