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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 14, 2024

Wolverines look to pull off upset

At the start of this college football season, many expected the Wisconsin vs. Michigan meeting to be a top-10 contest. Now, however, with a disappointing year from the Wolverines, this game merely appears to be a resume-building game for the Badgers, as they continue to march towards the school’s first College Football Playoff berth.

Michigan, once with its own playoff aspirations for the year, finds itself playing to stay relevant in the Big Ten East among the likes of Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State. With junior quarterback Wilton Speight going down early in the season, Michigan has struggled to find a suitable replacement at quarterback, and even an identity for its team. Sophomore running back Chris Evans has shown promise, but even he has proven to be inconsistent at times. With this struggle taking place on offense, the Michigan defense has slowly developed into a strong group. Replacing over half of its starting defense from last year, the young group has experienced a trial-by-fire sort of year, which has shown much benefit in recent weeks.

Should Michigan want to earn a win coming into Camp Randall, the defense will have to continue its strong play and likely get a couple takeaways in order to aid its slow rolling offense.

Wisconsin, unlike Michigan, has been the poster child for consistency all year long. Despite numerous injuries at seemingly every position, the Badgers haven’t faltered, staying true to its identity of smash mouth style football. The defense, coming off undisputedly best performance of the year, allowing only 66 yards of total offense to Iowa, hopes to continue its dominance — as it should against an offense as inconsistent as Michigan. The offense’s rushing attack continues to plug along, led by potential Heisman hopeful Jonathan Taylor, who has now collected over 1500 yards rushing as a freshman. Despite injuries to the likes of sophomore Quintez Cephus and senior Jazz Peavy, the Wisconsin receivers, namely freshman Kendric Pryor, have stepped up, making big plays when needed.

Wisconsin’s key to success this coming weekend will be its ability to control the line of scrimmage as it has all year long. Domination in the trenches has been huge to disrupting the rhythm of the opposition week in and week out, and expect that to continue against the Wolverines.

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