Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Cornelius Johnson. Johnson caught 2 passes for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s averaging 24.5 yards per catch, and that’s mostly against the starters. (Daylen Baldwin is averaging 25.8, but that has largely come late in blowout wins.) But through five games, he has just 10 receptions overall, or 2 per game, in other words. A receiver of his caliber should be getting more touches.
LB Jordan Anthony (Troy): Anthony made 3 tackles in a 23-14 loss to South Carolina.
RB Zach Charbonnet (UCLA): Charbonnet had 21 carries for 89 yards and 2 catches for 5 yards in a 42-23 loss to Arizona State. This is the first game this season in which Charbonnet has not scored at least one touchdown.
WR Kekoa Crawford (Cal): Crawford made 3 catches for 67 yards in a 21-6 loss to Washington State.
Michigan’s defense won the day. The scoreboard says 38 points for Michigan, which is a good amount of points, but the Wolverines won the game with their defense. They held the Badgers to 43 total rushing yards, which is their lowest total since they had -26 yards against Northwestern in November 2015. Wisconsin’s leading rusher was freshman Braelon Allen, who ran 5 times for 19 yards. Those overall numbers were aided by -13 yards from backup quarterback Chase Wolf and -21 yards from starting quarterback Graham Mertz, who were sacked a total of 5 times. Wisconsin’s only real sustained success was a drive near the end of the first half when Mertz was 5/5 and threw a touchdown to wide receiver Chimere Dike.
RUSH OFFENSE vs. WISCONSIN RUSH DEFENSE Michigan is #5 in rushing offense (291 yards/game) and #6 in yards per attempt (6.3) despite having a tough go against Rutgers last week (112 rushing yards, 3.0 yards/carry). Blake Corum is down to 6.9 yards per attempt and Hassan Haskins is down to 5.3. Both of those rushing averages are still very good, but Michigan needs a better game this week. The game was really slowed down in the trenches and by the play calling; starting left guard Trevor Keegan and left tackle Ryan Hayes both struggled in the run game, and Josh Gattis called a very uninspired game filled with repeated inside runs that repeatedly didn’t work. Wisconsin, meanwhile, is the #1 rushing defense (23.0 yards allowed/game) and teams are averaging just 1.01 yards per attempt. Last week Notre Dame managed just 3 total rushing yards on 32 attempts, an absolutely abysmal effort. Senior inside linebacker Jack Sanborn (6’2″, 236 lbs.) leads the squad with 5 tackles for loss, followed by senior defensive end Matt Henningsen (6’3″, 291) with 4 and sophomore outside linebacker Nick Herbig (6’2″, 227) with 3.5. Senior safety Scott Nelson (6’2″, 205) leads the team with 13 tackles. Unless Michigan can open up the running game by throwing the ball effectively (see below), it’s going to be tough sledding. Advantage: Wisconsin
Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . A.J. Henning. Henning has been a decent receiver (3 catches, 36 yards) and an outstanding runner (2 rushes, 100 yards, 1 TD) early in the season, but when push came to shove against Rutgers, the coaching staff almost completely ignored him. His only overall touch was on a punt return, and the only attempt to get him the ball on offense was an early fade route on the outside. Michigan needs to make more of a concerted effort to get guys like Henning the ball on the edge.