Michigan vs. Wisconsin fearless prediction and game preview.
Michigan vs. Wisconsin Broadcast
Date: Saturday, September 21
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
Michigan (2-0) vs. Wisconsin (2-0) Game Preview
Why Michigan Will Win
The Wisconsin secondary hasn’t been tested yet. Wisconsin has a whole hasn’t been tested yet, but the defensive backs are about to be pushed more than they were against USF and Central Michigan.
The game got away from USF in the opener, but the throws were there early on. Blake Barnett was getting it to his targets, but there were a few key drops and things were off just a wee bit. It was a 49-0 Badger wipeout, and the Bulls weren’t going to win no matter what, but there were opportunities.
Michigan’s passing game has had its whiffs, but it’s been okay. The receivers are good enough to give the Badger D a whole slew of problems, especially if the Wolverine offensive line does its job and can keep Shea Patterson upright. The Wisconsin defense might be great so far, but the pass rush is just okay.
On the other side, with two weeks to prepare, the Michigan run defense should be a rock. Lost in the close call against Army was that the D actually worked – the fantastic Knight attack was held to just 200 yards and averaged 3.3 yards per carry. The line is good, the linebackers have the athleticism to keep Jonathan Taylor runs to a minimum, and it’s going to make the Badger passing game press.
Why Wisconsin Will Win
Michigan hasn’t been sharp enough.
Wisconsin leads the nation in third down conversions, leads the nation in third down defense, leads the nation with the fewest penalties, leads the nation in time of possession, leads the nation in total defense, leads the nation in the fewest first downs allowed, and has only lost two turnovers in the two games.
Michigan? It’s getting flagged more than eight times per game, it’s lost five fumbles in two games, it’s not generating enough tackles for loss, and the offensive line is allowing way too much pressure on Patterson. 2-0 is 2-0 is 2-0, and there’s a reason why you play lesser opponents early on for tuning up, but to beat the Badgers, Michigan has to be a whole lot better in all areas than it showed in the first two games.
No, the Badgers aren’t going to rip through Michigan like they did against USF and Central Michigan, but they’re playing like a totally complete team. Jack Coan has been steady and even explosive in the starting quarterback spot, working well with the deep and talented receiving corps to take advantage of all the attention paid to Jonathan Taylor, and the rebuilt offensive line has been good so far, even with a few problems and hiccups against USF.
And then …
What’s Going To Happen
There’s Jonathan Taylor.
As a freshman, Taylor ran for 132 yards in the win over the Wolverines, and last year he ran for 101 yards in the wipeout loss – but he has yet to run for a touchdown in the series. He will on Saturday.
Michigan will come up with its share of big plays in the backfield with long defensive stretches of shutting down the Badger O, but on the other side, there won’t be enough of a Wolverine ground game to ever take control.
The Badgers will get just enough good runs out of Taylor to control the clock, and Coan will connect on two big deep throws to get the O going. It’ll be a grind on both sides, but Wisconsin’s defense will be the difference in the fourth quarter as it comes up with three big stops to hang on.
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Michigan vs. Wisconsin Prediction, Line
Wisconsin 24, Michigan 20
Line: Wisconsin -3, o/u: 48
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 5
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