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#19 Michigan vs #5 Wisconsin - 11/18/17

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    #19 Michigan Wolverines 8-2 (5-2) vs #5 Wisconsin Badgers 10-0 (7-0)

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November 18th, 2017 @ 12PM ET

Live from Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin

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This is a tough game to think about as a Michigan fan. The team hasn’t beaten anyone good yet, but they have looked a lot better recently than they did to start the year. So I guess there is a decent chance they could pull off the upset. 

If they do win, it is going to make the loss to MSU sting even more. 

If they manage to somehow win the next two games, while watching the two teams they beat play in the championship game, that will be an even bigger bummer. But in the interests of being optimistic, maybe that could be enough to earn a New Years six bowl game. I think it would be close. Osu or Wisconsin would go to the rose bowl. But after that, you’ve got a 10-2 Michigan team that would likely be the next highest ranked big ten team. Would that be enough to finish in the top 12 of the playoff rankings? Not really worth thinking about too much, at least not until after this weekend. 

It would just be nice to get at least one good win this year, and if they can manage to beat Wisconsin, it would at least give us a bit of hope that we could match up well against osu. 

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Obviously rooting for a win, but I seriously went into "Wait `til next year" mode after the MSU game.  I can see Wisconsin just loading the box to stop the run & making Peters beat them.  He's playing behind the same OL that Speight & O'Korn did. I don't think that ends well.  I feel like UM will have to get some turnovers to keep it close.

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The defense is good enough to keep them in the game. But I agree that Wisconsin will load the box. I assume Michigan is planning for that. Hopefully they have a few things up their sleeve to account for that. 

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4 hours ago, djhutch said:

I can see Wisconsin just loading the box to stop the run & making Peters beat them.  He's playing behind the same OL that Speight & O'Korn did. 

But he's not playing behind the same O-line, as the Ruiz and JBB have replaced Onwenu and Ulizio at RG and RT respectively.  Ruiz is likely the best interior OL on the team if Cole isn't.  Harbaugh hasn't announced if Ruiz will start vs Wisconsin, but he'd be a fool to take him out.  JBB is not a strong run blocker, nor is he a great overall RT, but Ulizio was a trainwreck.

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1 hour ago, mickeyb105 said:

But he's not playing behind the same O-line, as the Ruiz and JBB have replaced Onwenu and Ulizio at RG and RT respectively.  Ruiz is likely the best interior OL on the team if Cole isn't.  Harbaugh hasn't announced if Ruiz will start vs Wisconsin, but he'd be a fool to take him out.  JBB is not a strong run blocker, nor is he a great overall RT, but Ulizio was a trainwreck.

I thought JBB was considered a good run blocker but a poor pass blocker. 

Uluzio was a slightly better pass blocker (but still bad), but a much worse run blocker. 

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1 hour ago, Shelton said:

I thought JBB was considered a good run blocker but a poor pass blocker. 

Uluzio was a slightly better pass blocker (but still bad), but a much worse run blocker. 

JBB really isn't that good of a tackle, so it is probably splitting hairs.  But his long arms serve him well in pass pro, even if his feet fail him against quicker ends.  Nolan looked like he had too many problems picking up who he needed to block to me, although I can't imagine him having worse feet than JBB.  It is hard to believe Filiaga couldn't beat out either one, really.

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2 hours ago, mickeyb105 said:

But he's not playing behind the same O-line, as the Ruiz and JBB have replaced Onwenu and Ulizio at RG and RT respectively.  Ruiz is likely the best interior OL on the team if Cole isn't.  Harbaugh hasn't announced if Ruiz will start vs Wisconsin, but he'd be a fool to take him out.  JBB is not a strong run blocker, nor is he a great overall RT, but Ulizio was a trainwreck.

Onwenu has been hurt, he hasn't been replaced. Before his injury he was the highest graded Oline 4 weeks straight. Onwenu is back and will play this week against Wisconsin. Ruiz has been terrific though, which is really exciting for next year when he'll man the center position. JBB is a plus run blocker, but he's just so bad as a pass blocker. I wonder if they'll consider kicking Bredeson out to RT and putting Ruiz in at LG where he's been practicing all year, but at least in talking to reporters Drevno has said they don't plan on moving Bredeson.

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Just for kicks, I played around with the 538 playoff predictor. If Michigan can somehow win their next two games, and psu and MSU each somehow lose one more game such that Michigan wins the east, Michigan would have a 43% chance of making the playoff. I guess that makes sense. As an 11-2 conference champion with two wins over 11-2 Wisconsin and a win over 9-3 osu, Michigan would be the highest ranked big ten team. So it would be a matter of the other playoff contenders ending up with 2 losses. If Miami and Alabama and Oklahoma all win out, then 11-2 Michigan would be competing with 2 loss Georgia, 2 loss Clemson,  2 loss usc. 

Obviously this won’t be happening. It’s just funny to see the scenario. 

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1 hour ago, TigerNation said:

Onwenu has been hurt, he hasn't been replaced. Before his injury he was the highest graded Oline 4 weeks straight. Onwenu is back and will play this week against Wisconsin. Ruiz has been terrific though, which is really exciting for next year when he'll man the center position. JBB is a plus run blocker, but he's just so bad as a pass blocker. I wonder if they'll consider kicking Bredeson out to RT and putting Ruiz in at LG where he's been practicing all year, but at least in talking to reporters Drevno has said they don't plan on moving Bredeson.

It didn't appear JH had named a starter at RG, but it did appear both Big Mike and Ruiz would play.  Having that choice is way better than being forced to pit JBB out there.  Calling him a plus run blocker at RT may be generous, but compared to watching him try to move lateral it is fantastic. 

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16 hours ago, djhutch said:

Obviously rooting for a win, but I seriously went into "Wait `til next year" mode after the MSU game.  I can see Wisconsin just loading the box to stop the run & making Peters beat them.  He's playing behind the same OL that Speight & O'Korn did. I don't think that ends well.  I feel like UM will have to get some turnovers to keep it close.

Have you watched Hornibrook play QB?  If UM's defense stays disciplined (unlike the psu game) they can play with Wisconsin all day. 

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Wisconsin is a one dimensional offense and Hornibrook has a propensity to turn the ball over, a lot! I think Michigan can win this game by stacking the box and trapping in Jonathan Taylor (as much as possible anyways) and forcing Hornibrook to try and beat you through the air. Outside of Taylor, with their top receiver down, what other consistent effective weapons do the Badgers have on offense?

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I can see Michigan winning if it takes on the "no one respects us / no one expects us to win" mentality that works extraordinarily well for MSU.

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47 minutes ago, Euphdude said:

I can see Michigan winning if it takes on the "no one respects us / no one expects us to win" mentality that works extraordinarily well for MSU.

That worked really well for MSU last week. 

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Just now, Shelton said:

That worked really well for MSU last week. 

It works more often than not.

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Michigan can win this game if the defense steps up. They failed to do that against Penn State. But Penn State is a better offensive team than Wisconsin. 

I’m not going in expecting a loss or a win. It’s time for Michigan to win one of these games. When was the last time Michigan beat a top 10 team?

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1 hour ago, Shelton said:

Michigan can win this game if the defense steps up. They failed to do that against Penn State. But Penn State is a better offensive team than Wisconsin. 

I’m not going in expecting a loss or a win. It’s time for Michigan to win one of these games. When was the last time Michigan beat a top 10 team?

the last time they beat a top 10 team on the road was 2006.

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On 11/15/2017 at 2:04 PM, Shelton said:

This is a tough game to think about as a Michigan fan. The team hasn’t beaten anyone good yet, but they have looked a lot better recently than they did to start the year. So I guess there is a decent chance they could pull off the upset. 

If they do win, it is going to make the loss to MSU sting even more. 

If they manage to somehow win the next two games, while watching the two teams they beat play in the championship game, that will be an even bigger bummer. But in the interests of being optimistic, maybe that could be enough to earn a New Years six bowl game. I think it would be close. Osu or Wisconsin would go to the rose bowl. But after that, you’ve got a 10-2 Michigan team that would likely be the next highest ranked big ten team. Would that be enough to finish in the top 12 of the playoff rankings? Not really worth thinking about too much, at least not until after this weekend. 

It would just be nice to get at least one good win this year, and if they can manage to beat Wisconsin, it would at least give us a bit of hope that we could match up well against osu. 

if michigan beats ohio state, the buckeyes will not be going to the btchamp game.  msu or psu would go because neither of them is likely to lose again until they lose their bowl game.

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19 hours ago, mickeyb105 said:

It didn't appear JH had named a starter at RG, but it did appear both Big Mike and Ruiz would play.  Having that choice is way better than being forced to pit JBB out there.  Calling him a plus run blocker at RT may be generous, but compared to watching him try to move lateral it is fantastic. 

ruiz to guard and bredeson to tackle and jbb to the bench.

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2 minutes ago, Buddha said:

the last time they beat a top 10 team on the road was 2006.

Yeah I remember hearing that. I was mostly curious about beating a top 10 team at all (home/road/neutral).

the top 10 road team we beat in 2006 was Notre Dame right? Hard to get excited about that one, as ND didn’t end up having a great year from what I recall, and then losing to OSU and usc to finish off that season was pretty crappy. 

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4 minutes ago, Buddha said:

if michigan beats ohio state, the buckeyes will not be going to the btchamp game.  msu or psu would go because neither of them is likely to lose again until they lose their bowl game.

I don’t think that’s correct, but I’d have to confirm. Osu would be 7-2 along with MSU and psu. Osu beat both MSU and psu so they would go. If Michigan beat Wisconsin (as I mentioned in my scenario), Michigan would also be 7-2. In the four way tie, the record against the other tied teams is used. Osu would be 2-1, MSU would be 2-1, psu would be 1-2, Michigan would be 1-2. So Michigan and PSU are eliminated from the comparison and osu goes instead of MSU based on their head to head win. 

I believe for MSU or PSU to be in the championship game, osu needs to lose to Illinois (not happening), and osu also needs to lose to Michigan (and one of MSU/PSU needs to win both of its final two games).

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3 minutes ago, Shelton said:

I don’t think that’s correct, but I’d have to confirm. Osu would be 7-2 along with MSU and psu. Osu beat both MSU and psu so they would go. If Michigan beat Wisconsin (as I mentioned in my scenario), Michigan would also be 7-2. In the four way tie, the record against the other tied teams is used. Osu would be 2-1, MSU would be 2-1, psu would be 1-2, Michigan would be 1-2. So Michigan and PSU are eliminated from the comparison and osu goes instead of MSU based on their head to head win. 

I believe for MSU or PSU to be in the championship game, osu needs to lose to Illinois (not happening), and osu also needs to lose to Michigan (and one of MSU/PSU needs to win both of its final two games).

so if ohio state beats illinois they are in the champ game?

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