Wolverines - Badgers: The Tale of the Tape

Wisconsin is 3-0 on the season, beating Bowling Green 35-14, Western Illinois 34-10 and San Diego State 14-0. Statistically so far this season, the Wolverines and Badgers look quite similar -- both fierce Northern predators base their attacks on strong running games and excellent defenses.

Against Michigan, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema will attempt to become just the second UW head coach to win his first four games since 1919. Dave McClain won his first four games in 1978.

Will Bielema succeed? Here is the Wolverine - Badger "Tale of the Tape."

Wisconsin running game versus the Michigan rushing defense

Redshirt freshman running back P.J. Hill leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh in the country in rushing, averaging 138.3 yards per game (5.9 yards per carry). Wisconsin is 5th in the Big Ten, averaging 197.7 yards per game, and rushed for 287 yards.

But in this game Wisconsin is coming up against the #1 defense in the country against the run. The Wolverines are allowing just 20.7 yards per game on the ground.

Wisconsin passing game versus the Michigan passing defense

Wisconsin is 10th in the Big Ten in passing offense, averaging 145.3 yards passing per game, and it's all John Stocco: 57% completion percentage, 12.1 yards per catch, and 3 touchdown passes.

Michigan is just 54th in the country in pass defense, giving up 186 yards per game, but the Wolverines are 22nd nationally in pass efficiency defense, and 2nd in the Big Ten.

Michigan running game versus the Wisconsin rushing defense

Michigan is 18th in the country and 4th in the Big Ten in rushing offense, averaging 206 yards per game. Mike Hart is 8th in the country in rushing, and 2nd in the Big Ten, with 128.67 yards per game.

Wisconsin is 7th in the Big Ten in run defense, giving up an average of 104 yards per game.

Michigan passing game versus the Wisconsin passing defense

Michigan is 9th in the Big Ten in pass offense with 163 yards per game. Chad Henne is 34-63 (54%) with 5 TD's and 13.6 average yards per catch. U-M is 5th in pass efficiency.

Wisconsin is 1st in the Big Ten in pass defense efficiency, and first in pass defense, allowing 116.7 yards per game.

Other Defensive Stats

Michigan leads the Big Ten in Total Defense, allowing 206.7 yards per game. Wisconsin is first in the league in scoring defense, allowing 8 points per game.

Michigan is 6th in the country in third down efficiency defense, and 2nd in the Big Ten, with 21.6%. Wisconsin is

Michigan is 5th in the nation in sacks, with 4.0 per game. Wisconsin is 8th in the Big Ten with 6 total.

Michigan is 2nd in the country in turnover margin, with a +2.67, is 1st in turnovers gained with 10, and is 1st in fumbles recovered with 6. Wisconsin is 6th in the Big Ten in turnover margin at 0.0.

Wisconsin is first in the Big Ten in Red Zone Defense, at 33.3%. Michigan is 6th at 80%.

Other Offensive Stats

Michigan is tied for first in the Big Ten in Red Zone offense, with a 100% scoring rate. Wisconsin is 11th at 69.2%.

Wisconsin is 3rd in the Big Ten in 3rd down conversions, with a 48.7% success rate. Michigan is 9th at 37.5%.

Time of Possession

Michigan leads the Big Ten in time of possession, and is 4th nationally, with 34:43 minutes per game, and Wisconsin is second in the league, and 2oth nationally, with an average of 32:20 min. per game.


Wisconsin is 3rd best in the Big Ten, being penalized 42.0 yards per game. Michigan is 10th in the league with 65.7 yards of penalties per game.

Kickoff Coverage

Wisconsin is also first in the league in kickoff coverage, with teams starting off at an average of the 19.2 yard line. Michigan is 10th, with teams starting at an average of the 26.3 yard line.


Statistically, Michigan has their main edge in that impressive turnover margin ... can the Wolverine defensive Front Seven keep it up?

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