It's a big top-10 match up this weekend with Michigan and Wisconsin squaring off at Michigan Stadium this weekend. Clearly the biggest test the Wolverines have faced this season, this game will be a major measuring stick to see how exactly U-M fares against the better teams the country, and conference, has to offer.
Here are five things to watch when the Badgers come to town this weekend.
Can Michigan end its losing ways to top-10 teams?
Funnily enough, the last time Michigan beat a top-10 team was 2008, a 27-25 victory over Wisconsin. Since then, the Wolverines haven't been able to put it together and defeat the better teams in the country. Obviously, it comes down to two things. If the Wolverines win, the streak of 11 straight games with a loss against top-10 teams will end. With a loss, the streak continues.
Perception wise, a victory against the Badgers this weekend will go a long way to the public. Seeing the Wolverines stand their ground might legitimize their standing in the top-10 and remove some of the "who have they played?" narratives.
All eyes on Wilton Speight
Either team might have problems running the ball on Saturday. Both defensive fronts for the Wolverines and Badgers are quite good and could make it difficult to find success on the ground. With that, the emphasis on Wilton Speight getting back on track and being more of the quarterback people saw earlier in the season might be needed. All eyes will be on Speight, as he is still trying to bounce back from a sloppy performance against Colorado. With weapons to throw to, he certainly will have options out on the field.
Can Dr. Blitz rattle Alex Hornibrook?
Redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook looked like a capable quarterback against Michigan State. With this being his second career start, can the Michigan defense be able to rattle him early and make some mistakes? With only a little bit of game tape to look back on, Hornibrook is still a bit of a relative unknown for the U-M defense. As always, defensive coordinator Don Brown will dial up pressure to get the young quarterback to make some mistakes. Whether the Wolverines capitalize on them is another question to be answered.
Will Kenny Allen kick some field goals?
With field position and yardage likely coming at a premium on Saturday, will kicker Kenny Allen get some chances at field goals? U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh has elected to go for it on fourth down, leading some to question whether there is something wrong with Allen's leg. While his kick off duties seem to be fine, it would not come as a surprise to see Allen be called upon to make some crucial field goals this weekend.
Can Jabrill Peppers star again?
It's a safe bet to say that Jabrill Peppers has been the MVP of the team this season. The do-it-all stud can make an impact in all three phases of the game, can he step up and make an impact in the big game? That's the question and there's no reason to believe that he can't. The best players step up in the big games, that's what we want to see out of Peppers on Saturday.