Michigan vs. Wisconsin Prediction, Game Preview

    Michigan vs. Wisconsin prediction and game preview. Find out who is projected to win Saturday's Big Ten showdown between the Wolverines and Badgers.

    October 1, 2016

    Michigan vs. Wisconsin prediction and game preview. Find out who is projected to win Saturday’s Big Ten showdown between the Wolverines and Badgers.


    Michigan vs. Wisconsin Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Oct. 1 – 3:30 p.m. ET
    Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
    TV Broadcast: ABC

    Stepping into Big Ten play certainly didn’t bother Michigan, which continued its trend of winning by double digits with Saturday’s 49-10 rout of Penn State. The Wolverines have won their four games by an average of 38.3 points, but they’ll likely find it tougher scoring against the Wisconsin defense in their first meeting since 2010.

    The Badgers haven’t given up more than 17 points during their 4-0 start and didn’t allow a touchdown in Saturday’s 30-6 victory over then-No. 8 Michigan State in East Lansing. Wisconsin forced four turnovers and has nine takeaways on the season while shooting up from unranked to No. 8 in the latest AP Top 25.

    What to Know About Michigan

    Wilton Speight threw another touchdown pass against Penn State, but the Wolverines mainly got the job done on the ground. Michigan rushed for a season-high 326 yards – 107 from De’Veon Smith – and six touchdowns. The Wolverines also converted 11 of 16 third downs.

    Michigan’s defense had another solid effort, too. It held Penn State to 191 total yards as the Nittany Lions became the third Michigan opponent that failed to reach 100 on the ground. The two turnovers forced gave the Wolverines six takeaways on the year.

    What to Know About Wisconsin

    The Badgers have won two straight and four of the last six meetings with Michigan, but this is the first matchup in six years and the Wolverines are a vastly different program than back then. At least Wisconsin’s young quarterback picked up some experience playing in big games last week.

    Redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook made his first start and played well in the win over Michigan State, helping convert numerous third-and-long situations to keep drives alive. The biggest play came from the defense, though, as Leo Musso returned a fumble 66 yards for a touchdown that put Wisconsin up by 14 points early in the third quarter. It also marked the third straight game the Badgers held their opponent to fewer than 100 yards rushing.

    Advantages

    Offense: Michigan – Speight gets the edge over Hornibrook leading these units.

    Defense: Even – Jabrill Peppers on one side, T.J. Watt on the other.

    Special Teams: Michigan – Peppers returning is freighting.

    Coaching: Michigan – Jim Harbaugh has made Michigan a national title contender quickly.

    Intangibles: Wisconsin – Coach Paul Chryst has experience winning at The Big House when he was a Badgers assistant.

    Matchup To Watch

    Hornibrook vs. Peppers

    When Peppers isn’t trying to get into the backfield to stop Clement, he’ll be reading Hornibrook’s eyes in pass coverage. Hornibrook lofted passes through Michigan State’s defense last week, but if he gets too much air under the ball Saturday, Peppers could be off to the races.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Michigan -10.5
    Over/Under: No line

    Michigan vs. Wisconsin Prediction

    Michigan survives its first true test of the season and gets a defensive touchdown on a Hornibrook pick-6, helping the Wolverines send the Badgers to their first loss of the season.

    Michigan vs. Wisconsin final score prediction: Michigan 31, Wisconsin 21.

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 5

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