After a much-needed bye week for the Michigan Wolverines, it’s go time. Gone are the early season “warm-up” games and in comes Big Ten season play. On Saturday, No. 11 U-M heads to Camp Randall Stadium to take on the 13th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers.
For only the seventh time under Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines will head into the game as the underdog. Twice in Harbaugh’s inaugural 2015 season (Utah, Ohio State), once in 2016 (Ohio State), and thrice in 2017 (Penn State, Wisconsin, Ohio State). There has been one common theme between all six of those games and it’s not a good one; the Wolverines lost them all.
Drew Hallett of The Wolverine Mag noted that Michigan has dropped its last four games in Madison (05, 07, 09, 17).
And because I'm all rainbows and butterflies tonight:
Michigan has lost its last four games in Madison (2005, 2007, 2009, 2017). Michigan hasn't beaten Wisconsin on the road since 2001.
— Drew Hallett (@DrewCHallett) September 16, 2019
Badger Standout Players
Leading the Badgers offensively is junior running back Jonathan Taylor. Taylor has rushed for over 100 yards in both games this year, not to mention he leads the Big Ten with 2,194 yards last season. Taylor is a true workhorse for the Badgers who will try to bully the Wolverines on the ground behind a veteran offensive line.
Alex Hornibrook is no longer taking the snaps for Wisconsin, as junior quarterback Jack Coan has stepped in. Coan played last year but wasn’t asked to do much. This year he’s done everything asked of him — plus some — to start the year, throwing for for 564 yards with five touchdowns and no picks through two games. It’s safe to say Coan hasn’t lined up opposite a defense like the Wolverines will bring Saturday, having played Central Michigan (97th ranked defense) and South Florida(38th ranked defense). For comparison, Michigan’s unit comes in ranked 13th nationally.
Coan has a strong group of veteran pass-catchers lead by Kendric Pryor, AJ Taylor and Quintez Cephus. All three have experience making big catches in big games, giving Lavert Hill and Ambry Thomas a tough matchup.
Oh yeah, the Badger defense isn’t too shabby either. Coming into their matchup with the Wolverines, Wisconsin is the No. 1 ranked defense in college football. The Badgers have yet to give up a point this year while allowing a dismal 107.5 yards per game.
Did Michigan utilize their bye week well enough to prepare for Wisconsin?
Michigan-Wisconsin Football TV Channel, Time and Live Stream
Kickoff Time: 12:00 PM ET
Date: September 21
Location: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin
TV Channel: FOX
Live Stream: FoxSportsGo
Spread: +3.5 (Michigan)
Pick: Michigan +3.5
Moneyline: Wisconsin (-170) | Michigan (+145)