Wisconsin vs. Michigan fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 13
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Wisconsin (4-1) vs. Michigan (5-1) Game Preview
One Reason Why Wisconsin Will Win
Alex Hornibrook, your table is ready.
Michigan’s run defense is special, and not in a Michigan State everyone-is-throwing-and-sort-of-blowing-off-the-running-game sort of way. The Wolverines will give up rushing touchdowns, and it’ll allow about 150 yards on the ground to the Badgers, but this is where having a three-year starting quarterback has to matter.
The passing numbers aren’t off the charts – Jonathan Taylor and the ground attack are too strong – but Jake Ferguson is growing into a nice tight end, and AJ Taylor is a reliable No. 1 target.
Hornibrook struggled in last year’s win over the Wolverines, completing 9-of-19 passes for 143 yards. So far this year, he has seven touchdown passes and two picks, doing a wonderful job of taking over on the road against Iowa when needed.
He went into a nasty environment, hit 17-of-22 passes for 205 yards and three scores, and was the coolest guy in the room when needed.
The Badgers will still try to pound away with one of the best O lines in college football, but it has the guy who has been through the wars to pull this off.
One Reason Why Michigan Will Win
Shea Patterson, this is why you’re here.
Jonathan Taylor might be the star running back in this game, but Karan Higdon has been magnificent so far, running for 582 yards and five scores to take the pressure off of Patterson and the passing attack. This week, it’s up to No. 2 to take over early on and make the offense go.
Patterson has been magnificent. He had problems with picks at Ole Miss, but he has thrown just three so far. He’s been accurate, he’s been good at playing within the system, and he’s been able to connect on the big play, hitting close to nine yards per pass with close to 1,200 yards and ten scores so far.
And now he has to bomb away against a mediocre Badger pass defense.
Along with a slew of injuries, fourth-leading tackler Scott Nelson is out for the first half after getting hit with a targeting call against Nebraska.
The secondary will be under attack from the start after giving up 407 yards to Nebraska last week, getting hit with too many big plays by Nate Stanley in the win over Iowa, missing on a few key moments against BYU.
The Badgers get pressure, but they’re last in the Big Ten in sacks, and the Michigan offensive front has been great in pass protection.
What’s Going To Happen
Is Michigan ready to win a really, really, really big game under Jim Harbaugh? This is the test, and this is the moment when the program desperately needs to show that it’s ready to be a player.
Is Wisconsin ready to show it’s ready to be a factor in the College Football Playoff race? It’s still there, but it has to win out to get in.
But the Badger O is going against the No. 1 defense in college football, and the D doesn’t have the secondary to come up with the big stops on the key pass plays.
Pick against this Badger team with this much experience at your own peril, but Patterson will be too good when he has to be.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Michigan 27, Wisconsin 23
Line: Michigan -7.5, o/u: 47.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 4.5
5: Bad Times at the El Royale