TBHR Roundtable: Michigan vs. Wisconsin

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No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
The Big House Report (TBHR) staff makes game predictions for Michigan vs. Wisconsin:
Derek Devine – @DerekWDevine
Michigan 42, Wisconsin 14

The overconfidence has hit me like a brick. Wisconsin is good, Michigan is better. The chances of the Wolverines winning by four touchdowns is slim, but I believe it’s possible if a near perfect game is played.

Keys to a margin this big: Better coaching, better execution and ZERO mistakes. For example, if Paul Chryst puts together a stronger game plan than Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines are stagnant on offense and then also turn the ball over three times, forget you ever read this.

I don’t see the Badger offense finding much success. Alex Hornibrook looked great last week, but he’s about to face a very different beast—in a much more intimidating place. Wisconsin doesn’t allow many points (11.8), but either does Michigan (13.8).

I think Wilton Speight finds some early success through the air, opening up the lead, and the rushing attack. This game will be close for the first half, but Michigan will find a way to break free after some necessary halftime adjustments. Don’t expect Jim Harbaugh to let up either. This is Michigan’s first chance to make a statement, and I believe the squad is going to make a big one.

Kate Elizabeth Queram – @KateElizabethNR
Michigan 35, Wisconsin 10
I grew up in Madison, Wis., where the Badger indoctrination begins during a fourth-grade social studies unit that includes learning the words to the university fight song. Both of my parents attended the University of Wisconsin for their undergraduate and graduate degrees; until last year, my mom still had season football tickets at Camp Randall. The first Michigan football game I attended during my freshman year in Ann Arbor was the Wisconsin game, which I thought was a huge deal because I had been raised to believe that Michigan and Wisconsin were serious rivals.
When I got to the Big House that Saturday everyone was confused by this. Finally someone turned to me and said, “Yeah, we don’t care about Wisconsin.”
This is fine with me because I find Wisconsin sort of annoying, which is probably more about my conflicted feelings of my mom and my hometown than it is about actual football. Still, this game is always a complicated one for me. If Michigan loses, I suffer humiliation at the hands of my relatives. I lose bragging rights for an entire year (0r more). My dad and I always place a bet on the game, so if Michigan loses, I also owe him something tangible. (This year, it’s wine.) If we win, well. Then I prance around happily, annoying everyone with my Michigan-alum superiority complex.
It’s extra complicated this year because I have no idea how good either of these teams are. Wisconsin beat LSU, which no longer seems impressive; they struggled mightily against Georgia State, then demolished MSU a week later. MSU, in turn, struggled against Furman and then beat Notre Dame, a victory that also doesn’t say much at this point – meaning, basically, that Wisconsin might have one really impressive win, or three that prove nothing. Michigan, by contrast, has looked good against everybody, but everybody = nobody, really, so for all intents and purposes, I guess we’re even.
Except I don’t think we are. The spread is 10.5 points but the score that keeps blazing unbidden into my brain is 35-10. So that’s what I’m going with, half because you should trust your badger-hating instincts and half because it seems as good a prediction as any. Hail to the victors, and please let the victors be us.
Von Lozon – @Von_Lozon
Michigan 24,Wisconsin 20

This is Michigan’s first true test of the season. They have been studying long and hard for the first test, and I think they can pass, but just barely. Wisconsin limited Michigan State to just six points last week in East Lansing. It blows my mind they were able to go into East Lansing and absolutely dominate MSU in every aspect of the game. I don’t think the same result will happen at Michigan Stadium this weekend, but they will earn a lot of respect after a close loss to the Wolverines.

If Michigan wants a chance for another Big 10 blowout, the special teams will have to be ready yet again. Jabrill Peppers nearly returned another punt for a touchdown last Saturday, so he is more than capable of returning another one. I don’t believe he will this Saturday, but he will have chances to put Michigan in good field position and get them in a good position to score points.

Michigan will also need to establish a good run game early on if they want to win. Wisconsin counters with Corey Clement, a more than capable runner. It doesn’t really matter if one UM runner gets it going or if the whole squad helps out like last week, they will need a solid running game to get a big win at home.

If all these things happen, Michigan should be able to easily get the victory and ride into Rutgers next week with all the confidence in the world.

David Mormino – @BookOfMormino
Michigan 31, Wisconsin 20
This game is absolutely huge for both teams, which is why it’s so enticing as a viewer. This battle of Top 10 teams is certainly one that will entertain fans of college football all over the country. While it certainly is going to be a slugfest, I expect it to be a low(er) scoring game than people are used to seeing. Wisconsin presents a matchup Michigan hasn’t seen much of, as the Badgers head into Ann Arbor ranked highly, but have the resume to back it up. They’ve taken out the LSU Tigers in Week 1, and are coming off of a huge win against Michigan State last week. A 30-6 thumping of then-ranked-eighth Spartans, they have made the biggest leap in terms of catching up, or even passing some of the elite in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin also presents a pro-style offense, something this Michigan team has not seen much of, if any recently. It’s going to test the front-seven of the Wolverines, but that defensive line is in consideration for the top line in football. Michigan’s defense is littered with NFL hopefuls, defensive line included, so it may end up being a test of strength between the Wolverine defensive line, versus an impressive Badger offensive unit. Wisconsin has proved they can move the football against a good defensive, but how will they stack up against THAT line? That will win the game for either team, in my opinion.
This is another tough road game for the Badgers, having just traveled to East Lansing, but they will be up to the task. They forced turnovers against Tyler O’Connor, and forced fumbles at key opportunities to set up drives. Control of the football will be another major factor, and it will show us what kind of football team Michigan really is. If they hang on to the football, which should be a major point of emphasis for them this week, they win this game by double-digits; if they’re sloppy with the football, it could be the first one of those days in Ann Arbor this season.
Kullen Logsdon – @kullen_logsdon
Michigan 28, Wisconsin 14

The college football world will be watching Saturday as the Wolverines face their first, true threat against Wisconsin in the Big House.

To this point, Michigan hasn’t beaten an elite team under Harbaugh, according to opposing fan bases. This game represents a chance to send a message that the Wolverines are indeed legit and will compete for a championship sooner rather than later.

I think Michigan has a huge advantage in this game. The Badgers defeated LSU and MSU — two top ten teams — but were both one dimensional. Both teams could only run the ball, which played perfectly into Wisconsin’s defensive scheme.

The Wolverines on the other hand are far from one dimensional. With the emergence of Wilton Speight in the passing game and players like Chris Evans and Karon Hidgon in the running game, the Badgers will not be able to handle such a diverse attack. On the other side, Wisconsin is all about running the football. However, Michigan’s defensive line will shut that down — look at Saquan Barkley — and make Wisconsin beat them in the passing game.

With all of those factors, I think Michigan win by two scores. Think I’m crazy?  Keep this in mind: Notorious Michigan hater Colin Cowherd picked Michigan dominating as his “lock of the season.”

Craig Compton – @CraigCompton_
Michigan 34, Wisconsin 17

And now the real test begins…..

Michigan welcomes No. 8 Wisconsin to The Big House Saturday, and boy should it be a good one! I’m excited for a highly competitive matchup, and to see what the Wolverines are really made of. Both defenses are playing great football thus far in the season, but something is going to have to give. Michigan comes in averaging over 40 points a game, and I look for that to be the difference.

Wisconsin is very good against the run. The have shut down both Leonard Fournette, and LJ Scott this season, but I look for Saturday to be a little different. Michigan has struggled to run the ball between the tackles this year (with the exception of last Saturday). They use a lot of misdirection, and end arounds. This will work perfectly for them, as they square up with a defense who is good against the run…between the tackles. I also think Wilton Speight has a nice…not great….but nice day through the air. He does what is needed to win the game. He doesn’t force big plays, and most importantly doesn’t turn it over. Michigans offense will be the difference in the second half, and I look for them to pull away a bit in the fourth quarter. Let’s call it a 34-17 Wolverine victory. Go Blue!

Chad Finley – @FinFive1
Michigan 31, Wisconsin 20

I am a little nervous about this top 10 matchup at the Big House Saturday.  No. 8 Wisconsin knocked off LSU in week one and destroyed Michigan State last week so they are coming into town feeling very confident.  There are three things that are helping me calm down about this game.

First, Michigan has the best all-around college football player in the country in Jabrill Peppers!  When this guy is on your side, you will always have a chance to win the game.  He will drive the Badgers offensive coordinator crazy by lining up in various positions on defense.  Peppers’ ability to gain huge yards in the return game will help Michigan have good field position for the offense to drive the ball.  I look for him to also get a few more offensive plays than previous weeks as well.

Second, Wilton Speight’s ability to take care of the football and make smart decisions.  To date, he only has one interception and one fumble.  If he continues to throw the ball well, make smart check downs and does not force any throws, then the Wolverines have a good chance of turning drives into touchdowns.  Most likely the offense will have to throw more than run due to a great Wisconsin front seven that stops the run.  Look for Jake Butt to have a touchdown reception or two.

Third, the fact that Georgia State put up the most points vs. Wisconsin (17) and they had over 300 yards of offense.  I did not see that game but I think if the GAST QB can throw for 269 yards on the Badger defense, Speight should be able to hit the 300 yard mark in the air.  They were able to move the ball by throwing short passes over the middle, so this game plan will set Butt up for a lot of receptions.
Although I do not see Michigan getting into the 40 point range, I do see a big time win for the Wolverines!

Patrick Connors – @TheRealPConnors
Michigan 21, Wisconsin 13

Well, this is the first week since the Ohio State game last year where I have doubted Michigan this much in a game. I had to stop myself early on in the week because my first prediction had Wisconsin winning. I needed to really think this through…

You have to respect the hell out of this Wisconsin team. They have two really good wins and they’re both away from Camp Randall. This team is tested and the reason why I’m thinking Wisconsin can come in and win is because their defensive front seven might dominate . I don’t expect Michigan to win that battle, but if they can draw, I know the Wolverines will win. This team is for real and they will be a really tough test.

However, someone told me to pick what you love. Trust them, and go with it. I believe in Michigan and I believe in Harbaugh. Wisconsin may be good and they may be tested, but this Michigan team is really good and up for the challenge. Someone (Colin Cowherd) also said to never go against Vegas. Vegas has Michigan as a 10.5 point favorite. This line doesn’t make sense to me, but you never go against Vegas. Michigan in a one score game.

 


Michigan vs.Wisconsin. Are the Wolverines good enough to take care of the Badgers at home?

Stay tuned.

Sincerely,

TBHR 

Derek Devine
Institutional voice of Alma College during the day, Michigan fanatic at night. Taking TBHR to the next level one post at a time.