Mike Taylor Looks To Wisconsin

Former Michigan quarterback Mike Taylor: "Wisconsin's game is a strong running game, giving the ball to Calhoun, slowing down the game, keeping the clock running ... so a big key for Michigan will be to take an early lead in the game. If Wisconsin gets a lead, Alvarez will use his running game to his advantage ..."

Wisconsin's running back, Brian Calhoun, is very good (471 yards and 8 TD's in 3 games, 5.1 yards per carry), which makes this a typical Alverez team. They are solid defensively, with solid fundamentals.

Michigan will have to execute to win.

Wisconsin is not liable to put up a lot of points with the game they have. Wisconsin's game is a strong running game, giving the ball to Calhoun, slowing down the game, keeping the clock running. They might have five possessions in the half if things are going well for them (Michigan might typically have 7-8 possessions per half). So with primarily a running game, they're not going to score that many points. WIsconsin is satisfied with 28-10 for a good victory over a decent team.

So a big key for Michigan will be to take an early lead in the game. If Wisconsin gets a lead, Alvarez will use his running game to his advantage -- Calhoun will get as many as 40 carries at home.

So Michigan has to get ahead ... especially in their first road game. Getting ahead will also take the crowd out of the game, and the Wisconsin crowd is a factor if they get it going.

The Offense versus the Wisconsin Defense

Wisconsin will see if Henne can throw the ball good enough to beat them.

With Mike Hart out and the offensive line in flux, Wisconsin will assume they can stop the Michigan running game.

For Michigan offensively, the question is: will there be coheasiveness in the offensive line. The O-line is key for the Michigan offense in this game -- it'll be tough for them, they will play their assignments and tough against the run.

If they want to be successful. Adam Stenavich has been decent but not dominating at left tackle. Leo Henige is a 5th year player but he is new as far as playing time and he is learning out there at left guard. Adam Kraus has to play center I believe. Matt Lentz is a veteran at right guard who has to play in this game -- we'll see how healthy and effective he is. And they have to play Rueben Riley at right tackle although he'd be better inside -- notice he's the one guy who was out there last week virtually the whole game at the same position.

For the Michigan offense to be successful in this game, they have to be diverse. They have to get Steve Breaston untracked and involved in offense with short passes -- throw the quick hitch to him, and the quick out pass. Then if his corner starts creeping up, then hit him for the home run.

Wisconsin has a good front seven on defense, but there is no telling so far how good their cornerbacks are.

The Michigan Defense versus the Wisconsin Offense

The Michigan defense's job is to stop the Wisconsin running game. They are rushing for 272 yards a game, to 161 passing (166 and 138 last week against North Carolina).

Michigan has to force John Stocco to throw and see if he can beat you. Of course he did it last year against OSU -- so they have to pressure Stocco as well.

We'll see how Michigan's front seven does against that offense. The guy who has to keep getting better and better is Lamarr Woodley. He is the guy who can be a playmaker on the D-line, and every game he is a little more dominant out there. Other than that, the guys have to play their gaps well.

At linebacker, David Harris is showing marked improvement. Chris Graham a little small, but he is always around the ball.

If Michigan can just shut down Calhoun, Wisconsin has good receivers as well. So far Michigan hasn't gone up a decent set of receivers that will test our defensive backs, but Wisconsin's Brandon Williams (10 carries, 14.4 yards per catch) is a good one, and Owen Daniels (8 catches, 12.9 yards per catch) is a big guy at 6-3, 250. I think we'll continue to see more of Morgan Trent (BC) and Brandon Harrison (S) in the defensive backfield. Harrison is put together pretty good ... he can run, he has speed and is agressive.

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