All numbers are points per game vs an average team. They are adjusted
for strength of opponent. No 1AA games or stats are included.
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Michigan actually held a pretty nice advantage in field position for the day. Based on starting field position, Michigan had an expected advantage of 22 points vs 17 for Wisconsin. Both sides gave up points vs expectation as the offense scored 17 themselves, five less than an average team would given their field position. The defense was a little bit further from average, allowing 45 (and scoring 7) a full four TDs worse than average.
The first matchup, where the rubber meets the road. This is clearly a
huge battle of strength vs strength. If Michigan is going to win on
Saturday, they have to find success in the running game.
Michigan did not find success in the running game and they did not win on Saturday, but you already knew that. Michigan's performance on the ground was really bad and in a matchup of strengths, it was clear that the Wisconsin defense was the stronger of the two forces. Michigan's -7 was the second worst rushing performance of the weekend, trailing only Virginia's performance at Boston College.
Michigan's offense will need to find points and opportunity wherever it
can and a third straight [passing] game in the +'s could come in very handy.
After the disappointing showing by the running game, the passing game continues to show marked improvement. This was Michigan's best showing through the air in the Big 10 this year and their third straight week of improvement in the passing game.
Roy Roundtree continued his progression as the most consistent threat in Michigan's evolving passing game. Roundtree went +6 after going +10 and +6 in the last two games.
Best case scenario here is probably a Penn State like performance where
Wisconsin gets 150-200 yards but it takes 40+ carries to get there.
All in all, for this run defense this could have gone much worse. At the same time, it did not by any stretch go well. Especially when you factor in what the Badgers did through the air, the ground game in a strange way became secondary and 250 yards against as a secondary is something any offense would love.
I don't consider anything a sure thing the way Michigan's pass defense
has looked lately, but this is a Wisconsin team that doesn't show any
major indications of being able to greatly exploit it either.
I was wrong.
Ended the week 3-1-1 in my Big 10 picks with only Michigan letting me down.