Wisconsin vs. Michigan State fearless prediction and game preview.
Wisconsin vs. Michigan State Broadcast
Date: Saturday, October 12
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
Network: Big Ten Network
Wisconsin (5-0) vs. Michigan State (4-2) Game Preview
Why Michigan State Will Win
Eventually Michigan State is going to Michigan State and pull one of those patented Mark Dantonio team defensive performances out of its Spartan.
The run defense really is good, there really is the talent up front to swarm all over Jonathan Taylor and bother a Badger offensive line that’s been great at plowing forward, but had problems with a Northwestern defense that kept everything in a box.
The Spartans have the defensive backs to clamp down on the Badger receivers, and it has the linebacking corps with the veteran talent to rebound in a hurry from the 323-yard disaster it had against the Ohio State ground game.
Blow off whatever that was in Columbus – the Buckeyes are just that good. This is a much, much sharper MSU team with the passing game to connect on the midrange passes needed to test the Badger secondary that can be beaten by tough, physical targets.
But this is really about the MSU defensive front. It has to hold its own against the Badger offensive front five, and it has to get into the backfield on a consistent basis.
Why Wisconsin Will Win
That’s effectively what Wisconsin was against Kent State in the 48-0 win last week. While that might not seem like anything to get all fired up about, it was the type of hyper-focused performance that showed why this team is different from last year’s sleepy version.
This team is bringing it on every snap. It had a rocky game against Northwestern that was more of a fight than it should’ve been, and it came back humming.
There is no running on this defense. Michigan State doesn’t have a ground game, the Badgers are second in the nation in run defense, and they lead the nation in pass efficiency defense.
Essentially, Wisconsin’s defense is what Michigan State’s is supposed to be.
But this game for Bucky will come down to QB Jack Coan. He’s getting time to work, he’s hitting his targets – connecting on close to 80% of his throws against everyone but Northwestern – and he’s careful with the ball. Unlike recent Badger teams, this one has the deep threats to open it up a bit, and it has the quarterback who can get them the ball.
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What’s Going To Happen
What does Michigan State have in the tank? This is its third road game in four weeks and it got beaten up by Ohio State. Wisconsin is the absolute last thing a team that could desperately use a week off – that’s coming after this – needs to deal with. Even so, it’s Michigan State. It’s going to bring the defense that can hold up against the Badger pounding.
For a half.
Wisconsin will score early, but it’ll stall way too often and settle for field goal attempts throughout the rest of the half. Jonathan Taylor will be stuffed, there will be too many third down attempts, and it’ll be a tight battle. But MSU won’t be able to do enough to take over despite taking a lead into the locker room.
The Badger offensive front will take over in the second half, and the grind of the Spartans’ last month – remember, MSU had that nasty game against ASU before this run of road dates – will finally show up.
Wisconsin vs. Michigan State Prediction, Line
Must See Rating: 4
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