Factors that Bode Well for Michigan Against Wisconsin

Submitted by MrBrightside on November 17th, 2017 at 12:37 PM


I’m no expert on football, statistics, or blogging.

That said, here are a few factors that may give Michigan a better chance at knocking off Wisconsin than initially meets the eye:

      1. QB Questions

Alex Hornibrook appears to be having a solid season, quarterbacking the 5th ranked team in the country to a 10-0 start while putting up the following statistics:



















That looks like an adequate stat line when you’ve got an elite run game that’s backed up by an elite defense. But, analyzing an athlete’s statistics is like looking at pictures on Tinder; you want to see something recent and you want a view of the full picture so you have the proper perspective of what you’re getting into.

Hornibrook started hot through the first three games of the season, beating up on Mormon cupcakes. In fact, he battered them cupcakes. Here are his stats since that point:



















While those numbers aren’t impressive in a traditional sense, or any other sense, it does appear that Paul Chryst won’t lose sleep over whether or not Hornibrook will declare for 2018 NFL Draft, so it’s not all bad.

He’s averaged one interception for every 12.4 pass attempts in conference play, and they haven’t faced a pass defense as good as Michigan’s.

      2. Rock Drop

The biggest thorn in Michigan’s side, at least defensively, is freshmen phenom, Heisman hopeful, Jonathan Taylor. He was obviously an unheralded recruit, as no person in history has ever chosen to move to Wisconsin when other options were on the table, but he’s tearing it up this year.

Taylor’s 2017 rushing stats so far:











His stats may be better than Mike Hart’s freshmen season, but George Orwell never wrote a book about Taylor. While his numbers border on outrageous, there’s still some cause for hope.

First, he’s a true freshman. This may become a factor, it may not.

Next, he’s fumbled five times over the past five weeks—a trend that’s correlated with the volume of his carries. On the season, he’s broken the 20-carry mark in six games; fumbling six times in those games (once each against Purdue, Indiana, Florida Atlantic, and Maryland, twice against Iowa, and none against Nebraska, whose rush defense probably doesn’t crack the top–250 nationally, if high school programs are counted).

Finally, Northwestern is the only top–35 rush defense (in terms of total rush yards allowed) Taylor has faced so far, and he only managed 80 yards on 19 carries in that game. Michigan’s rush defense ranks 9th in that measurement. 

      3. Left Out Wideouts

Their top receiver, Quintez Cephus, has been ruled out. So far this year, Cephus had 501 receiving yards—more than twice as many as their next closest wideout—and six touchdowns. Their top receiver from last season was recently booted from the program. While they do have an excellent tight end in Troy Fumagalli, all of the wide receivers they’ll enter the game with have fewer receptions and receiving yards than Grant Perry has this season. That’s probably not ideal if you have the misfortune of being a Badgers fan.

      4. Homefield (Dis)Advantage

On the road this year, Wisconsin averages more points per game and fewer points against per game; Taylor averages more yards per game and per attempt; and Hornibrook averages more touchdown passes and fewer interceptions per game, and has a higher completion percentage and passer rating. 

      5. Chryst isn’t a Savior

Michigan should have a “decided schematic advantage.”

Chryst took over a Pittsburgh program that went a combined 24-15 over the three seasons preceding his tenure and guided them to a 19-19 mark during his three seasons there (while also showing no improvement in W-L record over that time). Chryst may wear khakis on the sidelines, but he certainly doesn’t fill them like Harbaugh. Plus, Jim Leonhard has less than two seasons’ worth of coaching experience; Don Brown has more experience in one fiber of his power-stache.


Living in a region dubbed the “Dairy State” means you’re surrounded by cows and the accompanying stench of manure. Regardless of what happens in the game tomorrow, Wisconsin will still literally smell like shit.




November 17th, 2017 at 1:16 PM ^

Northwestern is the only top–35 rush defense (in terms of total rush yards allowed) Taylor has faced so far, and he only managed 80 yards on 19 carries in that game.

I like that stat.


Leatherstocking Blue

November 17th, 2017 at 4:06 PM ^

In 1986, Harbaugh had Michigan driving in the red zone. The crowd was loud, Harbaugh told the refs he couldn't hear. He waitied... delay of game on the home team and loss of a time out. And it repeated several more times, with Michigan picking up 5 yard penalties when Wisconsin had no more timeouts. i don't recall, but I think Michigan picked up 10 yards in penalties before finally snapping the ball.

Everyone Murders

November 17th, 2017 at 5:19 PM ^

I was explaining to my son that crowd noise used to be a delay of game penalty after a warning.  He looked at me like I was suddenly speaking !Kung.

I'm pretty sure that rule only applies now as to either piped-in noise or bands playing during a play.  It was a bad rule otherwise - but I'm glad to see someone else remembers it!


November 17th, 2017 at 6:03 PM ^

Michigan is just not ready to beat a team as big/experienced / and just better than our young team , we lose 24 to 14 , but also does anyone know were I can purchase a pair of Jordan Michigan football gloves ?


November 17th, 2017 at 6:24 PM ^

They are older, more experienced, bigger and better. We will not out scheme them. History has shown that whenever we play good teams they invariably out scheme us. We are pathethic when playing ranked teams on their home field.

I hate writing this because I love Michigan but this game will not be close. We are a couple of years away from being an elite team.

Sextus Empiricus

November 17th, 2017 at 6:22 PM ^

these are good points (except... maybe the schematic advantage... I'm not too happy with the decided nature of its huge ass appellation.)

This could be a breakout game for any one of the characters on both teams.  Quite a few chips on shoulders, redemptions uncashed and legacies unearned.

This could be a regular diary.  I like the brevity and pointedness.


November 18th, 2017 at 9:01 AM ^

Definitely helps to scroll through the pictures/stats and figure out if someone/a team is real or not. I'm just guessing though, never having used Tinder. A friend maybe did and told me about it one time. I think.


November 18th, 2017 at 9:28 AM ^

The wolverine, being the largest terrestrial mustelid, is more muscular and can weigh up to 80 pounds with a length of up to 36 inches. It can resemble a bear. Its fur is thicker, oilier, and more highly hydrophobic, making it resistant to water and frost. The badger, however, is hardly half the wolverine’s mass at 15-30 pounds, with a length of up to 30 inches. A badger’s fur is less resilient to frost, but this animal has devised an underground habitat called a sett to increase its survival from the cold.

Moreover, both animals are territorial by nature and are well known for scent-marking their territories and food with musky anal secretions. Both species have an infamous reputation for ferociousness and strength; in some accounts, they are even considered the two toughest members of the Weasel family. However, the wolverine is indubitably more energetic, clever, elusive, and receptive as compared to the badger, which, in turn, excels in physical versatility in ways of digging, swimming, and climbing. In terms of hunting and diet, the wolverine, a carnivore, is more accustomed to taking medium-sized mammals like deer, sheep, and small bears for its prey.

Furthermore, the wolverine’s fierceness and strength disproportionate to its size allows it to take prey on those of many times its size, such as moose. In contrast, the badger’s diet is mostly based on earthworms, insects, rodents, grubs, and amphibians. Its speed equips it to acquire fast-moving mammals such as rabbits and small variations of reptiles and birds above ground, in water, or on trees. Being omnivorous, it also feeds on fruits and roots.