Predictions - No.15 Wisconsin vs. No.12 Michigan

Predictions - No.15 Wisconsin vs. No.12 Michigan

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Predictions - No.15 Wisconsin vs. No.12 Michigan

Winners of its last 17 Big Ten regular-season conference games, No.15 Wisconsin (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) faces the conference opponent it last lost to in the regular season in the same venue it lost in. The Badgers Insider Staff gives our game and a score prediction for the matchup against No.12 Michigan (5-1, 3-0).

Brian Becker – Michigan 31, Wisconsin 21

In order for Wisconsin to have success against Michigan, the Badgers are going to need to receive a strong performance from its defense. Defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk being ruled out (leg) and having outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel and cornerbacks Caesar Williams and Deron Harrell all being listed as questionable doesn’t help, especially when Wisconsin’s defense is going against a Michigan offense that’s averaging 444 yards of total offense in Big Ten play. Shea Patterson is certainly going to go after Wisconsin’s young secondary and it won’t help that the Badgers will be without Scott Nelson for the first half due to last week’s targeting penalty (redshirt sophomore Eric Burrell will start in his place). If Wisconsin’s secondary can’t do a better job of limiting Michigan’s chunk plays through the air, it could be a long night for the defense.

This game comes down to whether Wisconsin’s offense can keep pace with Michigan. Although Wisconsin has averaged 34.5 points per game over Big Ten play, it will be a challenge to meet that considering Michigan leads the conference in allowing only 16 points per game. The combination of Alex Hornibrook and Jonathan Taylor are going to need to be able to consistently come up with big plays for Wisconsin’s offense.

In the end, the Badgers don’t have enough to overcome the defensive injuries.

Becker’s Record: 4-1

Billy Hirschfeld – Wisconsin 14, Michigan 13

This game will come down to the wire for both teams, but Wisconsin will hold out in the end because of the performance of its defense. Due to the inconsistent offense of Michigan, I believe that the Badgers defense will get themselves a turnover for touchdown and keep the Michigan offense from scoring.

Hirschfeld’s Record: 4-1

Logan Samp – Michigan 28, Wisconsin 21

Michigan has played well since its week one loss to Notre Dame, winning five straight and scoring over 40 points in each of its four home games. Quarterback transfer Shea Patterson has adjusted well to head coach Jim Harbaugh’s offense and has completed 68.8 percent of his throws. I think Wisconsin will be able to assert itself in this game running the ball, but won’t be able to keep up with Michigan on the scoreboard.

Samp’s Record: 4-1

Benjamin Worgull – Michigan 38, Wisconsin 17

I deemed this game a coin flip prior to the start of the season in large part because of the uncertainty of Shea Patterson fitting in with the Michigan offense and the ability of the Wisconsin secondary. Through the first third of the season, the results are evident that this looks to be the worst-case scenario for the Badgers: a veteran quarterback with confidence going against a banged-up secondary that hasn’t delivered consistently.

UW is a 9.5-point underdog, which in some way is a nod to the explosiveness of the Badgers’ offense and tailback Jonathan Taylor. In his last 10 road games —all wins — quarterback Alex Hornibrook has completed 68.0 percent of his passes (134 of 197) for 1,654 yards, 18 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, good for a pass efficiency rating of 165.7. The Badgers need that Hornibrook to show up tonight to have a chance.

When it comes down to it, however, I just don’t have enough faith in Wisconsin’s defense to slow down Michigan. The Badgers’ faint CFP hopes die tonight.

Worgull’s Record: 4-1

Worgull’s Record vs. spread: 3-2

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