After a two-week hiatus, the No. 13 University of Wisconsin football team is back in action Saturday as they travel to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan.
Wisconsin impressed the last time they took the field, dominating unranked Illinois in their Oct. 23 season opener. The Badgers controlled the game from the get-go and ended up winning 45–7.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Graham Mertz stole the show in the Badgers’ landslide win. Mertz was extremely efficient in the win, throwing for 248 passing yards and five touchdown passes. Mertz’s favorite target was tight end Jake Ferguson, as the duo connected for three scores.
The problem for the Badgers hasn’t been staying on the field, but avoiding the COVID-19 pandemic. Oct. 28 started an outbreak for the Badgers football team after Mertz and five other Badgers players and coaches tested positive for the virus.
Because of the severity of the virus, the Badgers were forced to cancel their last two games against Nebraska and Purdue. It will be interesting to see if the Badgers show any rust after missing their last two games.
It hasn’t been an ideal start to the 2020 campaign for the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan impressed in their season opener with a statement win over Minnesota, who was at the time considered a dark horse to contend in the Big Ten West.
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Since then, the Wolverines’ season has taken a turn for the worst as Jim Harbaugh’s squad has dropped conference games in consecutive weeks, including an embarrassing home loss to in-state rival Michigan State. The Wolverines hope to get their season back on track starting Saturday.
One key for a Badger victory is containing Michigan quarterback Joe Milton. Milton, a junior from Pahokee, FL is a threat with both his arm and his legs. Milton rushed for over 50 yards in two of Michigan’s three games.
Containing the quarterback was a struggle for the Badgers in their lone game this season. The Badgers allowed 75 yards to Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters, including two huge chunk plays on read-option plays. Hopefully, Defensive Coordinator Jim Leonhard and the Badgers defense can correct those mistakes from opening week.
This is the 77th meeting between Wisconsin and Michigan with the Wolverines leading the series 51–16. Saturday, the Badgers will try to win in Ann Arbor for the first time since 2010.