Friday, September 26, 2008

Week 4: Wisconsin at Michigan

Here's another nice picture of Michigan celebrating against the team they play this week. Hopefully, this picture of Tom Brady and Anthony Thomas bumpin' chests in the 1998 season when they beat Wisconsin 27-10 will get the Wolverines to pull an upset but, in all reality, it isn't likely to happen. Wisconsin is ranked 9th in the AP Poll and 8th in the Coaches Poll and Michigan isn't even in consideration for a single vote in either. But, the Maize and Blue will have the home crowd on their side and after a bye week, they should come out firing. Here are some expectations for Saturday's game at 3:30 p.m.
  • Michigan's offense will continue to improve. Yes, their last game against Notre Dame featured some of the most horrific ball-protection I have seen in my many years watching UM but, they were still able to move the ball effectively when they could hold onto it and Sam McGuffie was insane. He should be a bright spot on the team and with Carlos Brown coming back to full health for the first time in a long time, I think Michigan could put some points on the board.
  • Michigan's defense will continue to be an enigma. Sometimes they resemble an NFL-caliber defense that can stop anybody and other times they look so inept that they might as well go back to Pop Warner football. I have every hope that the D will step up and let the offense relax and try to manage the game but I think the inconsistency will remain and the Wolverines might be behind early.
I think that even though Wisconsin is ranked much higher than Michigan and has more talent and experience overall this season, Michigan could surprise experts and take this game. Think about it: it's the Big Ten opener, RichRod will have used the bye week to his advantage, the fans will be hungry to pull off an upset, and as I saw last night with Oregon State beating USC, anything can happen. With that said, Wisconsin is also coming off of a bye week and will want to come into the Big House and keep their hopes of an undefeated season intact should be a tight game. Prediction: Michigan 17, Wisconsin 14.

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