Halftime Analysis of No. 12 Michigan vs No. 15 Wisconsin

Halftime Analysis of No. 12 Michigan vs No. 15 Wisconsin

Football

Halftime Analysis of No. 12 Michigan vs No. 15 Wisconsin

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Coming off a 21 point win over Maryland, Michigan looked towards their toughest half of the season, starting with the Wisconsin Badgers. Both teams came into tonight’s game ranked in the top 15 and are looking to keep their Big Ten championship and National championship hopes alive.

The first quarter didn’t have much going on. After Michigan allowed one first down, the Badgers would punt. Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson started out well, going 5/5 for 46 yards in the quarter. The Wolverines would drive down the field and on a 41-yard field goal attempt by Quinn Nordin, it was no good. Wisconsin would drive on their next possession, but stall out inside the Wolverines 40 and punt the ball.

The second quarter started off with a bang as running back Chris Evans would enter the game for the first time since SMU and with a read-option play call Patterson would hold onto it and run 81-yards for a huge gain for the Wolverines. In the next two plays, running back Karan Higdon would run it in the end zone for the touchdown to give the Wolverines the 7-0 lead.

Wisconsin wouldn’t go away though as they drove 71 yards in just four plays and on a 33-yard run by wide receiver Kendric Pryor and Wisconsin tied the game at seven.

After back to back punts by both teams, Michigan would move down the field and kick a field goal to take the 10-7 lead. The next drive for Wisconsin was horrible as quarterback Alex Hornibrook throws a pass that is tipped by cornerback David Long and into safety Josh Metellus hands. Michigan would only get three points off the turnover but still had the lead 13-7.

Michigan would stop Wisconsin and end up trying a 53-yard field goal that would be no good. Michigan keeps the lead at 13-7 at halftime.

POSITIVES:

  • Michigan’s offensive line has given Patterson time to throw the football. Wisconsin has a weak secondary due to injuries and when the offense is throwing the ball, the offensive line has let Patterson go through his progressions and make the smartest plays that he can.
  • Speaking of Patterson, he has had a good first half, finishing with 12/15 for 120 yards and seven carries for 71 yards, one big 81-yard run that would set up the Wolverines touchdown. He has had two mistakes, taking sacks that killed one drive, and the other (along with a fumble) forced kicker Nordin to kick a 53-yard field goal that would end up not good.

NegativES:

  • Michigan’s defensive line hasn’t done much to help stop Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor as he already has 79 yards on 11 carries. Defensive end Rashan Gary not playing has seen to be huge for the team, but with the return of Michael Dwumfour, Carlo Kemp, and Aubrey Solomon, the depth is there talent wise.
  • Michigan’s run game isn’t working so far. Sure Patterson had that big run to the outside, but when it comes to the running backs running the ball it just doesn’t seem to be with them today. Higdon and Evans have a combined eight carries for 13 yards. Michigan needs the backs to run well, but when the offensive line isn’t helping much they can’t do anything about it.
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