Both of these teams have gotten off to sensational starts, and for Michigan it has been smooth sailing since struggling in their first game of the season. Jim Harbaugh came into the season on the hot seat but has definitely done enough to prove he could very well be the long-term answer for the Blue.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, has continued to be very good. Their defense has anchored their impressive start to this season. It also helps that they have one of the best running backs in the nation. Michigan is -10 in this game over Wisconsin.
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At 4-1 so far, they have Jonathan Taylor to thank for being an absolute beast this year. He’s got 849 rushing yards and EIGHT touchdowns after just five games, and he’s been truly unstoppable on the ground. His QB Alex Hornibrook has 963 passing yards (7 TD’s, 2 INT’s this year). His QB only has 114 more yards passing than Taylor has rushing. TJ Edwards and Ryan Connelly have served as the top defensive players, combining for ten tackles for loss. The team has only five sacks, and is going to have to put some pressure on Shea Patterson.
Allowing just 16.4 points per game this year, Wisconsin ranks 13th in the nation in that category. Taylor’s dominance on the ground, plus their terrific D has them looking good. The only game they lost this year was a shocker against BYU back on September 15th, when they lost a tight one 24-21.
After the team struggled mightily in their season opener, the Wolverines have looked like one of college football’s best teams since then. Shea Patterson is completing 68.8% of his passes and the junior transfer has 1,187 yards, 10 TD’s, and 3 INT’s. The QB play from him is much better than they had from anybody they put in a season ago. Karan Higdon has 582 yards and five TD’s, and has remained a serious threat out there. The defense has recorded eighteen sacks this year, and that has been a major key to their success.
They come into this game with the sixth-best rushing defense in all of college football, allowing just 2.64 yards per rushing attempt. They allow 96.5 yards per game in all, as teams frequently do test them and try and run on them over the course of games. This factor will be the most important of any we examine when determining the matchup. If Taylor is slowed down, the Badgers offense will struggle.
Michigan Wins a Close Game, Knocks Off Badgers
Michigan is favored by ten points in this game, a spread you should take the Badgers to cover. It is going to be a hard-fought win for the Wolverines, with Jim Harbaugh out-coaching Paul Chryst to the W.
Karan Higdon is going to go for 150 yards and a pair of scores and out-perform Jonathan Taylor. That’s the ticket. Take the Badgers to cover and Wolverines to win!
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