FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2015, file photo, Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) looks to pass against Minnesota during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Evanston, Ill. No. 13 Northwestern at No. 18 Michigan matches the nation's top
Matt Marton, File
October 09, 2015

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Northwestern and Michigan have made steady climbs up The Associated Press poll due to their defenses.

The 13th-ranked Wildcats have shut out two teams and are giving up a nation-low seven points a game. That has helped Northwestern equal its total number of victories in each of the previous two years. If the Wildcats win Saturday at the Big House, they will be 6-0 for the first time since 1962 when Ara Parseghian was their coach.

No. 18 Michigan, meanwhile, is a win away from matching the number of victories it had last year in Brady Hoke's final season before being fired.

The Wolverines have blanked consecutive opponents, rank first in third-down defense and second in points allowed under Jim Harbaugh.

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