Michigan completed its Big Ten road slate with a 3-1 record, recording three straight road wins after dropping the conference opener at Wisconsin (23-20 on Sept. 24, 2005).
With the victory, Michigan became bowl eligible for the 31st consecutive season.
The Wolverines won their 50th all-time against Northwestern (50-14-2) and improved to 17-7 at Ryan Field.
Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr improved to 6-3 against Northwestern, including a 3-2 mark at Ryan Field.
U-M won its 18th game at night in 27 contests (18-9) with the victory at Northwestern. The Wolverines have claimed victories in eight of their last nine evening games.
Junior kicker Garrett Rivas converted a career-best four field goals at Northwestern. Rivas hit from 26, 19, 38 and 28 yards, tying for third place on Michigan's field goal list for a single game. The school record is five shared by Mike Gillette (Minnesota, Nov. 5, 1988) and J.D. Carlson (Illinois, Nov. 10, 1990). Rivas matched his career high for field goals scored in a game, matching his four conversions at Notre Dame on Sept. 11, 2004.
Michigan had a pair of first-time starters in the backfield at Northwestern: freshman tailback Kevin Grady and junior fullback Will Paul.
Junior tailback Jerome Jackson cracked the 100-yard barrier for the first time in his career, rushing a career-best 24 times for 105 yards at Northwestern. He carried 10 times for 38 yards in the first half.
Freshman tailback Kevin Grady carried the ball a career-high 20 times for 64 yards and scored the lone rushing touchdown of the game on a one-yard run.
Sophomore quarterback Chad Henne completed 17-of-30 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown. He threw a career-high three interceptions in the game.
Fifth-year senior cornerback Grant Mason collected his second interception of the season during the second quarter at Northwestern. Mason made two tackles and is four stops shy of 75 this season.
Senior wide receiver Jason Avant led the receiving effort with five receptions for 67 yards against the Wildcats.
Avant moved into fourth place on Michigan's career reception list with his fifth catch in the first half. Avant has 152 career receptions for 2,074 yards.
Sophomore tight end Mike Massey caught his first career touchdown pass at 2:57 of the second quarter, a 10-yard scoring pass from Chad Henne.
With 53 yards on five punt returns, senior Steve Breaston moved from sixth to third place on the Big Ten's career punt return yardage list. Breaston has 88 career punt returns for 1,117 yards and three touchdowns.
Breaston added 53 yards offensively, catching three passes for 24 yards and three laterals for 29 yards rushing.
Junior inside linebacker Prescott Burgess picked up his 100th career tackle at Northwestern, joining four teammates in the century club: Leon Hall, Scott McClintock, LaMarr Woodley and Pierre Woods.
Junior cornerback Leon Hall scored Michigan's first defensive touchdown of the 2005 season. Hall stripped running back Tyrell Sutton off the ball, scooped it up and ran a school record 83 yards for the touchdown. It was the second touchdown of his career (76-yard punt return at Indiana last year).
Hall was second on the team with six tackles and one tackle for loss.
Freshman safety Brandon Harrison picked up an interception for the second straight game but turned the ball over to the Wildcats as he was stripped at the end of a 27-yard return. Harrison finished with three tackles.
Junior outside linebacker Shawn Crable picked up his first career sack on Northwestern's opening series of the third quarter. Crable sacked Basanez for a 15-yard loss on a third-and-20 play. Crable made three tackles and the lone sack for the Wolverines.
Henne claimed his 15th victory as Michigan's starting quarterback (15-6).
Equipment manager Jon Falk missed his first football game at Michigan and first football game in a working capacity since 1967. Falk had worked 445 consecutive games, 384 at Michigan and 61 at Miami (Ohio), prior to tonight's game at Northwestern. He worked at Miami (Ohio) from 1968-73 and joined the Wolverine football staff in 1974.
Junior right tackle Jake Long made his first start of the season and 11th of his career.
Will Paul served as special teams captains at Northwestern.