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WEEK 11: Michigan (#19) @ Wisconsin (#5) 12:00 PM EST on FOX GAMEDAY THREAD

Wisky opens as an 8.5pt favorite.

Michigan hasn't played at Camp Randall since 2009 and not a single player on this roster has ever been there. Last year was tough at the horseshoe but that was a senior leader team so this is going to be a tough environment for this team, like Happy Valley and we all know how that turned out.

Michigan has not beaten a ranked team on the road since 2006. Harbaugh's only had 2 of those opportunities, but he's lost them both and this season, has zero wins over teams with a winning record. 

Wisky does 2 things really well: Stop the run and run the ball. They lead the Nation (and Big Ten) in rush defense (81.5 yards allowed per game) and lead the Big 10 in rushing at 245 yards per game.

Iowa had 487 yards against OSU. Wisky held Iowa to 66 yards Saturday, total.

If the offense can't make enough plays through the air to loosen things up, Wisky is going to control the game and win.

Wisconsin leads the nation in 3rd down conversions at over 51% and Michigan leads the nation in 3rd down defense allowing under 24% converted.

Both teams are very similar in their philosophies with running the ball to set up the pass and playing strong defense. Michigan typically struggles against a team that's going to spread you out but that is not something Wisconsin tries to do and therefore Michigan has had quite a bit of success against the Badgers in the past.

What do you think about the game and what do you hope to see (besides a W)?

Go Blue!!
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Comments

  • Can the Offense execute in the pass game. That is the key. IF UM does that I think they can upset them. Wisky doesn't have an explosive type O where they are going to strike fast and you have to keep up and score. UM has the def to compete with Wisky O the question is in reverse. Is the O healthy enough to run and can Peters complete 15 passes? If he does I think UM can upset them if not it will look like the PSU game.

  • This will be a test for Don Brown and the UM defense.  His scheme is designed to stop the run, but there always seems to be an open man in the middle of the field and Wisky--like a more-talented version of Iowa--loves to use the TE in that area.  The Michigan secondary does pretty well in man coverage for a group of underclassmen, but they don't tackle well and take terrible angles in run support, so if ball carriers can get into the defensive backfield with regularity this will be a long day.

    Peters and the receivers will need to make plays to be competitive.  If they can hit a deep ball early that could change the complexion of the game.  The TEs run better routes and catch better than the WRs, so use them as much as possible.  Early misdirection can keep Wisky's defense honest.

    Everyone needs to play better the next two weeks than they have all year.
  • UW lost their leading receiver for the season so as always the key will be to stop the run and also stop giving up the big plays.  The run game will depend on if Higdon is injured or not IMO.  Hopefully they open up the playbook more with Peters.  If it is a close game will Nordin be counted on for a key FG????
  • Wisky may have the nation's #1 run defense, but they have yet to face a team that is really good at running the football.  They've faced only one team in the top 50 in rushing offense and that is FAU who plays in C-USA.

    Outside of FAU, Maryland is the best rushing offense the Badgers have faced at #58.  From there it goes Utah St (80), Purdue(83), N'western(97), Iowa(102), BYU(108), IU(111), Nebraska(113) and Illinois(121).  So of Wisky's 10 opponents, 6 of 10 have rushing offenses near or below the top 100 in the nation and only one cracks the top 50 in rushing offense.  So it's not like the Badgers have been doing anything special in run defense as most of the teams they have faced struggle to run the football.  

  • MGoBrew said:
    Wisky may have the nation's #1 run defense, but they have yet to face a team that is really good at running the football.  They've faced only one team in the top 50 in rushing offense and that is FAU who plays in C-USA.

    Outside of FAU, Maryland is the best rushing offense the Badgers have faced at #58.  From there it goes Utah St (80), Purdue(83), N'western(97), Iowa(102), BYU(108), IU(111), Nebraska(113) and Illinois(121).  So of Wisky's 10 opponents, 6 of 10 have rushing offenses near or below the top 100 in the nation and only one cracks the top 50 in rushing offense.  So it's not like the Badgers have been doing anything special in run defense as most of the teams they have faced struggle to run the football.  

    With a few exceptions, the unit is slower than the elite defenses in the country, so UM needs to block well, stretch them out and make them run in different directions.

    I would expect some gadget plays for guys like McDoom and DPJ.  Not having Higdon to bounce it outside will hurt, but Evans and Walker should be able to mostly fill that gap.  Even Isaac has done pretty well bouncing outside this season.

    Of course, many of us have said plays designed to utilize Michigan's speed advantage should be used all year and it hasn't really happened.

    Michigan apparently has a great defense and they just gave up 160 yards rushing to a team starting their fourth-string QB for the first time in his career, so execution is way more important than stats.

    Ball security needs to be job #1.  Michigan doesn't look to be good enough to make mistakes against this team and win on the road.
  • Harbaugh said today that he is hopeful Higdon and Gary will play against UW.
  • zjgm02 said:



    Michigan apparently has a great defense and they just gave up 160 yards rushing to a team starting their fourth-string QB for the first time in his career, so execution is way more important than stats.
    The same could be said about our defense, no doubt.  We have yet to face an elite offense either so the stats being put up by the Michigan defense are inflated a bit as well...
  • zjgm02 said:
     


    Ball security needs to be job #1.  Michigan doesn't look to be good enough to make mistakes against this team and win on the road.

    This is absolutely true.  Michigan needs to win the turnover battle in order to win this game.  Hell, Iowa had 2 pick 6's last week and those were the only points they scored?!?!  Not saying Michigan needs to score off turnovers, but they cannot afford to lose the turnover battle.
  • I’m looking forward to this game.  It’s all about old school football.  Line up and see who’s tougher.  
    This is a great test for the D-line and the linebackers.  Going to need a huge day from Hurst.

    On offense, I’m hoping to see play action chunks to the TE’s, and perhaps getting Peters outside for some big runs.
    I can see Peters mobility hurting the Wisky defense.
    Hopefully that will open up some shots to DPJ.

    Don’t expect a win, but looking to see a solid performance with a chance late.
  • This is a good question. Is anyone going into this game expecting the win and will be pissed if they don't? 

    Im in the boat of keep it close, no penalties or turnovers and if Wisconsin is the better team then so be it. Some may view that as waving the white flag and "this is Michigan damnit!" But I see it as being realistic. Young team, on the road, vs #5. 

    Just dont get blown out. 
  • This is a good question. Is anyone going into this game expecting the win and will be pissed if they don't? 

    Im in the boat of keep it close, no penalties or turnovers and if Wisconsin is the better team then so be it. Some may view that as waving the white flag and "this is Michigan damnit!" But I see it as being realistic. Young team, on the road, vs #5. 

    Just dont get blown out. 
    I'm a delusional Michigan fan and I think we can and should win every game. Haha

    Go Blue!!
  • Yeah, never liked the "keep it close" mentality, even though it may be a realistic approach.  Kill or be killed-not much else in between.
  • I miss the days of believing we could win every game we played!
  • Some of my Wisconsin friends are getting a little chirpy.... they like their chances against a freshman QB in Madison.

    Go Blue!!
  • Some of my Wisconsin friends are getting a little chirpy.... they like their chances against a freshman QB in Madison.

    Go Blue!!

    It's not like their QB has been setting the world on fire.  He leads the nation in INT's/attempt.  And has Wisconsin faced a defense that will throw as much pressure at the Wisconsin O as Don Brown's defense will throw at them?  Pretty sure that answer is no...
  • Michigan can win this game...I just think it's one of those hard lessons this group has to learn, so it will help them down the road. 
  • This team has the raw talent to win, but considering the inexperience and being at Camp Randall... I’m just not expecting it.

    For me, this would be the biggest win under Harbaugh, easily.
    Full disclosure, I have a ton of respect for Chryst and like the way his team plays.  There’s nothing fancy about the game plan.  It’s all about power football and whose tougher. 

    Saturday is is a great test for this young team. 
     
  • Nobody really runs on Wisconsin and we can't throw the ball downfield so once again, the defense will have to win this game.  Throw in windy and rainy conditions and this one should be an old-fashioned 1977 Big Ten game.  (Michigan will have more passes attempted behind the line of scrimmage than first downs.)  We'll need a pick 6 and a punt return for a TD to win.  Wisky wins 21-13.
  • But with them missing their leading receivers we might not miss him that much, at least I hope.
  • Hornibrook threw only 1 pick during the nonconference. But in 7 Big 10 games, he has thrown 11 picks. We gotta stop their run game and make him throw it.

    Wisconsin has the 7th-ranked red zone defense in the country. Opponents have gotten into the red zone 27 times against Wisconsin, but have scored just 3 rushing TDs and 5 passing TDs.

    Go Blue!!
  • Nordin better be good tomorrow then. 
  • Michigan has better talent.

    Michigan is healthier.

    Michigan is deeper.

    Just because Wisconsin is undefeated does not make them the better team. It's all about matchups and Michigan matches up very well.

    Go Blue!!
  • Michigan has better talent.

    Michigan is healthier.

    Michigan is deeper.

    Just because Wisconsin is undefeated does not make them the better team. It's all about matchups and Michigan matches up very well.

    Go Blue!!

    Its about QB execution on O. If he can just complete 15 passes that will make all the difference offensively. Defensively no big plays and solid tackling. Making them earn everything plays into UM hands. Can Nordin make a kick because I see a typical 17-10 21-17 Wisky type game.
  • Michigan has better talent.

    Michigan is healthier.

    Michigan is deeper.

    Just because Wisconsin is undefeated does not make them the better team. It's all about matchups and Michigan matches up very well.

    Go Blue!!
    Agree 100%, but all that was also true--even moreso actually--versus Sparty and that didn't turn out too well.  I think preparedness and confidence counts for a lot, which is why Michigan worries me every single week since that awful loss.
  • You know what I would like to see.... college football eliminate the wide hashmarks... then you can see true QB play.... you’re going to have less busts on the next level. Also sometimes in college football it’s so unfair to a defense having to defend a wide field with athletes 


  • I would like to see more of these passes. Quick slants.

    Go Blue!!
  • Who are people thinking will be the players of the game for Michigan if they are going to win today?

    I'm going with Peters on offense because he will need to make some tough throws.

    Khaleke Hudson on defense because he will be all over the field blitzing, covering the TE, and maybe some spying of what's going on in the backfield.
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