Four Things To Watch: Wisconsin-Michigan
Wisconsin Badgers come to Ann Arbor as double-digit underdog. Once again, no one believes in Wisconsin. This is the third week where people have no faith in the eighth-ranked team in the country. It might be fair this Saturday as they go into battle with Michigan. The Jim Harbaugh-led Wolverines are a favorite to make the College Football Playoff, and this will be a tough task for Wisconsin. It’s not impossible, but they are going to need catch the same type of breaks they did last week against Michigan State.
First quarter needs to be won by Wisconsin
One of the major reasons why the Badgers beat Michigan State had to do with winning the time of possession in the early going. Wisconsin had pulverizing drives using a combination of quick passes, runs and some balls from Paul Chryst going for it on multiple fourth downs. That type of thing needs to happen again early on for Wisconsin. If they let Michigan’s offense get rolling early on, it could be a long afternoon in Ann Arbor.
T.J. Watt, the stage is yours.
Much of Wisconsin’s early success has been due to their front seven being monsters. T.J. Watt is one of them. He’s looked great at outside linebacker and been a worthy complement to Vince Biegel. Now with Biegel out with an injury, Watt needs to be the man. I wrote earlier how I don’t think Wisconsin will miss Biegel that much, and I still believe that. They have three All-Big Ten linebackers without Biegel, and that’s not common.
Keep the ball out of Jabril Peppers’ hands
While many people will focus on Fat Rafa being out for the season, the attention should be on Anthony Lotti. The young punter has to deal with Jabril Peppers, one of the best all-around players in college football. Lotti will need to find ways to keep Peppers from making the big return. This game could change on a dime with a big return from the surefire first round draft pick. It’s way too obvious, but Peppers is very similar to Charles Woodson.
Can Corey Clement find his rhythm?
One of the dirty secret about Wisconsin so far this season is Corey Clement really hasn’t returned to form. He had a nice game versus Akron, but that’s about it. Dare Ogunbowale looked better last week, and hopefully, Wisconsin gets Taiwan Deal back this week.
I’ve picked against Wisconsin in all their big games. It’s not because I don’t believe Wisconsin, It’s more about being logical. Michigan wins this football game. Wilton Speight will stretch the field with Amara Darboh and Jehu Cheeson that will prove to be the difference. But Wisconsin fights all the way to the end. Michigan 24 Wisconsin 20