Bob Wojnowski and John Niyo talk to CMU and former UM quarterback Shane Morris, former Spartan Nick Hill, and former Wolverine Chris Howard about this weekend's key games. Also: Matt Charboneau on his Top 25. The Detroit News
Angelique S. Chengelis, Matt Charboneau, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski predict the outcome of the Michigan-Wisconsin game.
Angelique S. Chengelis: Heading into this season, this looked like the one big road game Michigan could win, mainly because the Wolverines’ defense matches up well against the Badgers’ run-heavy offense. The defenses are similar statistically; the Badgers now have the edge as the nation’s No. 1 defense (247.6 yards), while Michigan is No. 3 (254.8). Michigan has gained confidence during a three-game stretch against Rutgers, Minnesota and Maryland, and redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters said he has become more comfortable leading the offense during that time. But playing at Camp Randall is a far cry from playing at Maryland, so it will be interesting to see how Peters responds. More importantly, how will Michigan’s offensive line respond to Wisconsin’s defensive line and vice versa? That’s where the game will be determined. Wisconsin, 17-13
Matt Charboneau: The Wolverines have a shot to remain alive in the Big Ten East while searching for that elusive high-profile victory. They’ll need to find a way to limit the Badgers’ rushing attack, which is averaging 245 yards a game and is led by Jonathan Taylor, who leads the conference with 1,525 yards on the ground with 12 touchdowns. Michigan has run the ball well lately, but the Badgers are giving up only 81.5 yards a game on the ground. It all adds up to a close game but one the Badgers should pull out as they keep their playoff hopes alive. Wisconsin, 28-24
John Niyo: Now we find out of Michigan's ground gains are real or not. Because the Badgers really will force Brandon Peters to make some plays in the passing game. If the protection holds up – a big if – this seems like a game the Wolverines can steal. Michigan, 20-17
Bob Wojnowski: Two staunch defenses and two grinding run games, so this might come down to which quarterback makes the fewest mistakes. Wisconsin’s Alex Hornibrook has thrown 12 interceptions, while Michigan’s Brandon Peters hasn’t been asked to do much and hasn’t turned it over. Jonathan Taylor is a classic Badger back, and while the Wolverines will slow him, they won’t stop him. It’ll be tight, but the Badgers are too tough at home. Wisconsin, 20-16