Things are going to get exciting this weekend as the University of Wisconsin welcomes the Michigan Wolverines to Madison in for a Big Ten battle.
The Badgers (10-0) are the Big Ten West champions for the 2017 season, punching their tickets to Indianapolis after their victory last week against Iowa. Michigan (8-2), on the other hand, is still hoping to claim a Big Test East title, and a win against Wisconsin would certainly do the trick.
There is a lot on the line for the Wolverines this weekend, because the Big Ten East race is incredibly close right now. While Ohio State might be in the lead, Michigan could still find themselves facing Wisconsin in Indy if they play perfectly against the Badgers.
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Not only would Michigan have to get a win this weekend, but they would also have to secure a victory next weekend as they take on Ohio State. As if that wasn’t enough, Michigan will also have to rely on Penn State and Michigan State both getting losses sometime in the next two weeks.
Michigan will be fighting for their lives Saturday, and with College Gameday in town, the Wolverines are sure to put on quite the show. It will be up to Wisconsin to prove that they can handle one of the best teams in the East, and that they truly are the best team in the Big Ten.
The Wisconsin defense is ready for this challenge there’s no doubt about that. Wisconsin managed to hold Iowa to just 66 yards last week, resulting in zero touchdowns for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa proved to be quite a challenge for the Wisconsin offense, as quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw for three interceptions against the Hawkeyes, resulting in two touchdowns for Iowa. Hornibrook has been rather interception-prone this season, throwing a grand total of 12 since week one.
Against Iowa, these missteps were inconvenient at worst, but the Badgers managed to bounce back. Against Michigan, those mistakes could be the difference between a victory and the first UW loss of the season.
While Wisconsin’s defense is currently No.1 in the nation, the Wolverines are not that far behind, currently sitting at No.3. While the Michigan defense is worse at rushing defense than Wisconsin (No. 9 to No.1 respectively), they are better than the Badgers at passing defense, sitting at the No.2 spot compared to Wisconsin’s No. 7.
The Badgers and the Wolverines are just about equal for time of possession, and neither one is considered to have a better offense than other teams in the Big Ten, like Ohio. This game might purely come down to which defense can make bigger plays, and which offense can minimize those opportunities.
This game will be a great challenge for Wisconsin, and will surely help the only undefeated team in the Big Ten gain some confidence as they get ready to close out their regular season. If Wisconsin can do what it does best, and play the caliber of football that they are capable of playing, this weekend should end in another Badger victory.
Kickoff happens at 11 a.m., with the matchup also being televised on FOX. As fans might know, College Gameday will be setting up on Bascom hill, with fun pregame celebrations occurring throughout the morning.