MICHIGAN RUSH OFFENSE vs. WISCONSIN RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan is #69 in rush offense (171 yards/game) and #94 in yards per carry (3.79), but it feels even worse. While all-conference left tackle Jon Runyan, Jr. should be back in action this weekend after missing the first two games, there are rumors that starting running back Zach Charbonnet will miss time after having his knee scoped. Wisconsin is #1 in rush defense (20.5 yards allowed/game) and #2 in yards allowed per carry (0.93). The Badgers have 10 tackles for loss already, led by outside linebacker Zack Baun (6’3″, 235 lbs.). Freshman nose tackle Keeanu Benton (6’4″, 315) will start, which might be a plus for Michigan when he’s matched up against junior Cesar Ruiz for much of the game.
Hit the jump for more.
MICHIGAN PASS OFFENSE vs. WISCONSIN PASS DEFENSE
The Wolverines are #78 in passing offense (226 yards/game) and #74 in passing efficiency. It has been an underwhelming start to the season for quarterback Shea Patterson (62.1% completions, 3 TD, 0 INT) due to a lack of efficiency in the passing game, as well as a series of maddening fumbles going back to the first offensive play of the season opener. Wide receiver Tarik Black looked like the savior of the receiving corps in game one, while Ronnie Bell stole that mantle in game two; both games have been played without starting wideout Donovan Peoples-Jones, who is likely going to miss this game, too. Wisconsin is #1 in passing defense (87 yards allowed/game) and passer rating defense, allowing just 3.1 yards per attempt and 0 touchdowns while making 3 interceptions. They’re #85 in sacks with Baun leading the way with 2 so far.
MICHIGAN RUSH DEFENSE vs. WISCONSIN RUSH OFFENSE
Michigan is #60 in rush defense (133.5 yards allowed/game) and #30 in yards allowed per carry (3.0). Those aren’t terrible numbers, considering their second game came against a solid triple option offense in Army. Linebackers Khaleke Hudson and Jordan Glasgow have 20 and 17 tackles, respectively, and safety Brad Hawkins also has 17 to round out the top three; middle linebacker Josh Ross (15 tackles) missed the second half of the last game with a stringer, but he should be back. Michigan is #125 nationally in tackles for loss with just 8, but part of that could be the Army thing. On the other side, Wisconsin is #35 in rushing offense (217 yards/game), #44 in yards per carry (5.03), and tied for #12 in rushing touchdowns (9). They have a Heisman candidate in the backfield in the form of Jonathan Taylor (5’11”, 219), who averages 6.77 yards per carry and has 5 touchdowns already; backup Nakia Watson (5’11”, 229) has 22 carries for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns. Right tackle could be the weakness of the offensive line, where redshirt sophomore Logan Bruss (6’5″, 270) is an injury fill-in. The Badgers have allowed 15 tackles for loss, which is tied for #55 in the country. Michigan hasn’t played a traditional powerhouse yet, but neither has Wisconsin. Despite a lack of size on Michigan’s interior, Don Brown usually finds a way.
MICHIGAN PASS DEFENSE vs. WISCONSIN PASS OFFENSE
Michigan is #10 in passing defense (138 yards allowed/game) and #41 in passer efficiency defense, both of which were definitely helped by playing Army. Michigan is #95 in sacks with 4 through two games, and the pass rush is less organic this year with no solid pass rushers on the interior. Outside linebacker Josh Uche played quite a bit as a defensive end against Army, and Glasgow made 2 sacks by blitzing from his WILL position against Middle Tennessee; but the Wolverines need to take some chances to get to the quarterback, either by blitzing or by playing someone like Uche in a role where he could be taken advantage of if the offense decides to pound the ball. Wisconsin is surprisingly #23 in passing offense (300 yards/game) with 5 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, and they’re #25 in yards per attempt (9.2). Junior Jack Coan is off to a good start (76% completions, 9.6 YPA), and junior Quintez Cephus (6’1″, 207) has turned into his big target with 9 catches for 169 yards and 2 scores. The Badgers have allowed 4 sacks so far, which is #40 in the nation.
- Wisconsin players who were recruited by Michigan include: OL Tyler Beach, OL Logan Brown, OL Logan Bruss, QB Jack Coan, WR Aron Cruickshank, DE Rodas Johnson, OL Kayden Lyles, QB Graham Mertz, S Scott Nelson, OL Cole Van Lanen
- Players from the state of Michigan include: WR A.J. Abbott (West Bloomfield), WR Stephen Bracey (East Kentwood), OL Logan Brown (East Kentwood), OLB Jaylan Franklin (Gibraltar Carlson), OL Michael Furtney (Milan), OL David Moorman (Northville), WR Taj Mustapha, S Reggie Pearson (River Rouge), S Scott Nelson (U of D Jesuit)
LAST TIME THEY PLAYED…
- On October 13, 2018, Michigan beat Wisconsin, 38-13
- Wisky QB Alex Hornibrook was 7/20 for 100 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions
- Jonathan Taylor averaged 5.9 yards per carry on 17 carries, but for some reason, Wisconsin abandoned the run in the second half of the game.
- Michigan scored 3 rushing touchdowns, including a 44-yarder by backup quarterback Dylan McCaffrey; Shea Patterson also had an 81-yard run.
- Michigan’s offensive woes continue overall
- Christian Turner scores his first touchdown of the year
- Jake Moody misses a field goal
- Wisconsin 20, Michigan 17
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