Wisconsin vs. Minnesota fearless prediction and game preview.
Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Broadcast
Date: Saturday, November 30
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (click to watch for free)
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Wisconsin (9-2) vs. Minnesota (10-1) Game Preview
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Why Wisconsin Will Win
The forecast for Saturday in Minneapolis? Around 36 degrees with a super-fun mixture of rain and snow.
If that’s really the case, and if this gets into a ground-and-pound game that negates the downfield passing game a wee bit, the Badgers have a massive advantage.
Minnesota has the rushing talent in the backfield, and its ground attack has gone off from time to time against the Big Ten’s weak and sad, but this Badger run defense has the ability to hold offenses to a dead stop.
Ohio State and Nebraska – those are the only two teams to have any success against Wisconsin. Ohio State is Ohio State – Minnesota doesn’t have JK Dobbins – and Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez ran for a slew of big yards in a loss.
On the other side, no one on the Gopher schedule so far has the ability to power away.
Northwestern sadly sort of tried – mainly because it has no passing game whatsoever – but Penn State was able to run for over six yards per carry, and its ground attack is pedestrian at best.
It’s Wisconsin. You know what’s coming.
The Badgers have rushed for 300 yards or more in each of their last three games, and that includes powering away against a fantastic Iowa defensive front.
The team has been a wee bit shaky lately compared to what it was over the first month of the season, but it’s still No. 1 in the nation in third down conversion defense, it’s still No. 1 in time of possession, and it’s still No. 3 in pass efficiency defense against a Gopher offense that’s been living off of their efficient passing game.
Why Minnesota Will Win
It’s the advice offenses need to take to heart when playing Wisconsin.
KEEP … THROWING.
The Badger pass rush is fantastic, and the numbers look great overall – teams aren’t hitting half of their passes this year against this secondary – but the stats are skewed.
No one was doing anything through the air against this D over the first half of the season, but over the last five games, everyone – including Illinois and Nebraska – has hit for 7.4 yards or more per throws with ten touchdowns and just two picks.
Iowa’s Nate Stanley was able to connect on a few big plays to get back in the game late a few weeks ago. Purdue’s third-string quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns last week.
Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan was questionable for the Northwestern game after going through the concussion protocol, and he threw for over nine yards per pass with four touchdowns in the breezy win. His receiving corps might not have the depth and all-around talent of Ohio State’s, but Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson are playing as well as any tandem in the country.
So what if it’s sloppy out? The advantage goes to the receivers.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s for the Big Ten West title and a chance to play Ohio State for the conference championship.
More than that, the winner of this will likely end up in the Rose Bowl, and if Minnesota wins, it’ll be one victory away from the College Football Playoff.
This isn’t quite the Wisconsin team from the first half of the season.
On the road, it lost to Ohio State (fine) and Illinois (very not fine), and it caught a break that Nebraska went Nebraska – the Huskers were doing fine until they started to play like they remembered they weren’t very good.
The biggest difference lately is the turnover margin. Over the first six games, Wisconsin was a +9. Over the last five, it’s a -8 without winning the takeaway battle in any of those games.
The Badgers will bash, they’ll outplay the Gophers, and there will be times when they appear to have everything in hand, and then …
They’ll give the ball away.
The Gopher passing game will connect on two big plays, the defense will bend but won’t break time after time in the fourth quarter, and it’ll be on to face the Buckeyes in what will amount to a College Football Playoff quarterfinal game – at least for Minnesota.
Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Prediction, Line
Must See Rating: 5
5: The fried chicken sandwich of your choice (and side)
1: All things Thanksgiving dinner