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.
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.
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 . . .
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.
- 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
- Michigan 24, Wisconsin 14
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