Preview: Michigan vs. Wisconsin

Preview: Michigan vs. Wisconsin


October 12, 2018

RUSH OFFENSE vs. WISCONSIN RUSH DEFENSE

Michigan is #42 in rushing offense (200 yards/game), and the team’s 5.08 yards per carry is #35 nationally. The team is led by Karan Higdon (582 yards, 5.8 yards/carry, 5 TD), who is averaging just over 20 carries per game, which would be the highest number of carries for any running back in over a decade. Backup Chris Evans (172/5.7/2) has missed the last couple games with a hamstring injury, but he should be back this week. Wisconsin is #43 in rushing defense (130 yards allowed/game) and gives up 4.43 yards per carry (tied for #81). The leading tacklers are senior linebackers Ryan Connelly (6’3″, 237 lbs.) and T.J. Edwards (6’1″, 242) with 29 and 26 tackles, respectively. The next two guys on the list are the starting safeties, who have 25 stops each. Edwards (5.5) and Connelly (4.5) also lead the team in tackles for loss. The Badgers have a massive nose tackle in Olive Sagapolu (6’2″, 342), but they have had a terrible rash of injuries at defensive end and will be without starter Isaiahh Loudermilk.
Advantage: Michigan

Hit the jump for the rest of the preview.

PASS OFFENSE vs. WISCONSIN PASS DEFENSE

The Wolverines are #81 in passing offense (221 yards/game) and the passer rating is good enough for 21st nationally. Quarterback Shea Patterson (68.8%, 1187 yards, 10 TD, 3 INT) has been very accurate and scrambles enough to create extra time for his receivers to get open. His favorite target is 6’8″, 262 lb. tight end Zach Gentry (20 catches, 306 yards, 1 TD), and his top wideout right now is Donovan Peoples-Jones (18/217/5). The offensive line is tied for 34th with just 8 sacks allowed so far this year. Wisconsin has sacked the QB just 5 times, which is tied for 121st; Edwards has 2 of them, and three other guys have 1 each. Despite those sack numbers, Wisconsin still manages to be #54 in passing defense (220 yards allowed/game), and they’re #72 in passer rating defense. The team has intercepted 4 passes, and Nelson leads the squad with 5 pass breakups.
Advantage: Michigan

RUSH DEFENSE vs. WISCONSIN RUSH OFFENSE

Michigan is #6 in rushing defense (96.5 yards allowed/game), and the 2.64 yards allowed per carry against them is #5. The team is led in tackles by middle linebacker Devin Bush, Jr. (40), defensive end Chase Winovich (35), and safety Tyree Kinnel (34). The Wolverines are #6 in tackles for loss (52), led by Winovich with 10.5. On the flip side, Wisconsin is #4 in rushing (287 yards/game) and they’re #7 in rushing yards per carry (6.16). Sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor (5’11”, 221) has 849 yards and 8 touchdowns on 6.7 yards/carry, and both the backups are averaging over 6 yards/carry, too. As always, the Badgers have a massive offensive line that averages approximately 6’6″, 316 lbs. across the line, and the youngest guy is the redshirt sophomore center. While the overall rankings are neck-and-neck in this matchup, Michigan has been struggling with injuries on the defensive line. I have to give a slight edge to . . .
Advantage: Wisconsin

PASS DEFENSE vs. WISCONSIN PASS OFFENSE

Michigan is #1 in passing defense (134 yards allowed/game) and they’re #6 in passer rating defense. They have allowed just 4 passing touchdowns this year while making 5 interceptions. The Wolverines are tied for #15 in sacks (15), led by Winovich with 3 so far. Those sacks aren’t coming from any concentration of players – 12 different players have at least a partial sack on 15 total takedowns. Safety Josh Metellus and cornerback Brandon Watson share the team lead with 2 interceptions each, while cornerback Lavert Hill’s 5 pass breakups leading the team in that area. Wisconsin is #102 in passing yardage (193 yards/game) and #37 in passing efficiency. Junior quarterback Alex Hornibrook (6’4″, 219) has completed 64% of his throws for 963 yards (8.4 yards/attempt) for 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Junior receiver A.J. Taylor (5’11”, 203) is Hornibrook’s favorite receiver and averages almost 20 yards/catch with 2 touchdowns on 18 receptions. Freshman tight end Jake Ferguson (6’4″, 239) has 16 grabs for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Advantage: Michigan

ROSTER NOTES

  • Wisconsin players recruited by Michigan include: OT Tyler Beach, OT Logan Bruss, QB Jack Coan, WR Aron Cruickshank, OT Alex Fenton, NT Kayden Lyles, S Scott Nelson, OT Cole Van Lanen
  • Wisconsin players from the state of Michigan include: WR A.J. Abbott, LB Jaylan Franklin, OG Michael Furtney, OG David Moorman, WR Taj Mustapha, S Scott Nelson, S Reggie Pearson

LAST TIME THEY PLAYED…

  • On November 18, 2017, Wisconsin beat Michigan, 24-10
  • RB Chris Evans led Michigan with 11 carries for 25 yards
  • QB Brandon Peters was 9/18 for 157 yards when he was concussed
  • QB John O’Korn entered the game to go 2/8 for 19 yards
  • LB Khaleke Hudson had a monster game with 9 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1 pass breakup
  • LB Devin Bush made 1 interception

PREDICTION

  • Michigan 24, Wisconsin 14

8 comments

  1. Comments: 994
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Oct 12, 2018 at 8:11 AM

    The longer we let the Badgers hang around, the better chance they have to bleed the clock, keeping our offense on the sideline in the cool autumn night. They’ll do that with their run game, which will grind right into our soft underbelly at DT. Our best chance to win is to jump ahead and stay there. With our slow starts, I’m not optimistic about our chances. 16-20, Badgers

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 3928
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Oct 12, 2018 at 2:11 PM

    What a stupid game last year was. Stupid punt return. Stupid goalline fumble. Stupid injury to QB. Argh.

    Michigan 31 Wisconsin 13

    • Comments: 2
      Joined: 9/27/2018
      Rvg21159
      Oct 12, 2018 at 3:46 PM

      Agreed! If Michigan can start off strong, protect the ball, and make Hornibrook try to lead a comeback I think it gets out of hand.
      Michigan 40 Wisconsin 17

      • Comments: 994
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Oct 13, 2018 at 9:34 AM

        Yeah, *if* Michigan can start off strong I could see a decisive win
        But will we? Have we? That’s the question. Keep it conservative & close and we’ll be in trouble

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3928
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 14, 2018 at 11:23 AM

          decisive win. slow start. More lies JE? 😉

          • Comments: 994
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Oct 14, 2018 at 11:57 AM

            I have no idea what Chryst was thinking, but I’ll take it!

    • Comments: 994
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Oct 13, 2018 at 11:13 PM

      The pass set up the run 😊

      Great win! GO BLUE!!!

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3928
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Oct 14, 2018 at 11:22 AM

      oooh I was pretty close

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