#11 Michigan at #13 Wisconsin
When: Saturday, September 21 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI
Kicking things off with a bang this week. The fourth full weekend of college football pits two Big Ten hopefuls against each other in Madison. Both teams are chasing Ohio State’s tail early in the season with a chance to play in the College Football Playoff. With NFL talent all over the place in this one, it should be a treat. Add in the high stakes and things get even better.
The Wolverines were a pre-season candidate to represent the Big Ten in the CFP. Running the table is certainly one way to do that. However, an early-season struggle with Army is concerning. Army took Jim Harbaugh’s squad to overtime a couple of weeks ago and Michigan hasn’t played since.
The offense is loaded with talent. Shea Patterson is a question mark at quarterback, and Michigan should seriously consider a switch to junior Dylan McCaffrey. Other than that, the offense can really do no wrong. Jon Runyan and Ben Bredeson are two offensive linemen to watch, both handling the left side.
The passing attack features several draftable weapons. Wide receivers Nico Collins, Tarik Black, and Donovan Peoples-Jones are all NFL receivers in my opinion. Peoples-Jones adds return ability to the special teams but hasn’t played yet in 2019. His status for Saturday is up in the air. Michigan also has tight end Sean McKeon who should play on Sundays.
The Michigan defense was hyped in 2018 before Ohio State brutally ended their dreams. Still, the Wolverines have a few guys to really like on that defense. Khaleke Hudson plays the ‘viper’ role for the defense, which puts him all over the front-seven. He came to Michigan as a safety but has since moved closer and closer to the line of scrimmage. His 20 tackles lead the team through two games. Cornerback Lavert Hill would have been drafted in 2019 had he declared, but he returned for his senior season. He was an AP All-American in 2018 for the Wolverines.
Wisconsin’s offense runs the ball well. I know that’s not a surprise, but it is indeed a fact. Jonathan Taylor is a Heisman candidate and has a chance to be one of the NCAA’s all-time leading rushers. He has 4,408 yards in just 29 career games. Taylor has 237 rushing yards and 8 total touchdowns in 2019 so far.
Center Tyler Biadasz is one of the premier interior offensive linemen in the country and will be a name to remember for the NFL Draft. Oh, and Wisconsin appears to finally have a passing attack. Junior quarterback Jack Coan is on fire to start the season. He has 562 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions in two games.
The Badger defense doesn’t have a ton of big names, but there are some studs in-house. Defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk is a giant on the edge, standing 6-foot-7 and 293 pounds. Linebacker Zack Baun has become a bit of a force in the backfield. He already has 3.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks in two games this season.
This early contest in the Big Ten is a must-watch Saturday.