RUSH OFFENSE vs. WISCONSIN RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan is #30 in rushing offense (208 yards/game), and that ranking comes after 865 yards and 11 touchdowns over the past three games. The Wolverines are tied for #41 in rushing average (4.91 yards/carry) and tied for #34 in rushing touchdowns. A couple of those stats are made more impressive by the fact that Michigan has generally struggled to pass the ball all season. Michigan’s offensive line is #10 in Adjusted Line Yards and #35 in Standard Down Line Yards, so they’re doing okay. Starting running back Karan Higdon (854 yards, 6.62 yards/carry, 10 TDs) left last week’s Maryland game with an ankle injury, but he is expected to return; he has two 200-yard games this season. Meanwhile, right guard Michael Onwenu is also expected back from injury. Wisconsin is #1 nationally in rush defense (81.5 yards allowed/game), and they have allowed fewer than 100 yards to six out of ten opponents so far. The most productive running team against them was Nebraska, who had 110 yards and averaged 4.23 yards/carry. Linebacker Ryan Connelly (6’3″, 228 lbs.) leads the team with 55 tackles, and seven of the top nine tacklers are linebackers in their base 3-4 defense. Six players have between 5.5 and 9.5 tackles for loss, led by senior outside linebacker Garret Dooley (6’3″, 246). The team is tied at #31 with 69 tackles for loss this season. Michigan has run the ball better than some people give them credit for this season, but it’s an offense still finding its way against the #1 run-stuffing defense in the nation.
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