Former Asst. Rec. Coord. Ouimet Previews Badgers

Former Assistant Recruiting Coordinator Mark Ouimet has been sage with his game forcasts so far; can he keep it up this week with Wisconsin?<br><br> "This is a field position game - we know that going in. Both teams will try to pound the ball, and possess it."

Michigan on Offense

"First of all, Wisconsin's defense held Iowa to their season low 20 pts. Wisconsin plays hard on defense, even though they are young. This will be a physical game."

"Wisconsin plays a 'bend don't break' defense -- Barry Ball. They let the other team make mistakes. They play it safe, and they'll try to prevent any big plays to Braylon Edwards or Ronald Bellamy. They do a good job disguising coverages. They are fifth in turnovers nationally."

"Their safeties are numbers one and two in tackles for them -- that's rare, to have safeties at both the top spots. That means they blitz a lot; it also means running backs are getting through on runs up the middle. Safety Jim Leonhard has eight interceptions -- he does a good job covering the flat."

"On the ground, BJ Askew will be a strength for Michigan in the game; he has to catch the ball some in the flat to spread the defense, then run up middle. David Underwood will have to play in this game. He plays a physical game, and so this is a game he can do well in."

"Look for Bellamy to have 6-7 catches for 70-80 yards. Wide Receivers Coach Eric Campbell has done wonderful job with these young guys. At the beginning of the year I didn't think our receiver corps was that deep. And Bennie Joppru will have to have some catches to spread the defense, and to get some third down conversions."

"Third down will be important. Michigan is excellent there, 45%, best in the Big Ten -- it is very important to keep that up against them."

"Time of possession: Michigan averages 30 1/2 minutes -- they will have to reach that."

"I think (injured offensive tackle) Adam Stenavich will play, along with Courtney Morgan."

"Bottom line: if BJ Askew is successful up the middle and in the flat, then Leonard will have to cover BJ in the flat, opening up Joppru and Bellamy."

"One other thing: John Navarre has thrown very few interceptions -- if he has no interceptions tomorrow Michigan will win."

Michigan on Defense

"Wisconsin has the best offensive line we've faced besides Iowa's ... the Johnson brothers, Ben and Al ... and Jowers the right tackle. Wisconsin will run the ball: Anthony Davis is back from injury, and quarterback Brooks Bollinger will run some option. Michigan linebackers Carl Diggs and Joey Sarantos will have to play well. Linebacker depth has become a source of concern for Michigan."

"At running back for Wisconsin, Dewayne Smith ran over 100 yards last week, and Anthony Davis is coming back ... they will try to pound it with a good OL."

"They will try the same thing that Michigan will -- to pound the ball, possess it. But they don't have the big play possibility we do. Although Bollinger is good, and he will hit some of his receivers. As far as the Michigan DB's, Jon Shaw at safety has played great. He has a good work ethic, and he has to keep it up."

"On third down: they are not good at 34%, and we've held teams to 38%. Larry Stevens and Shantee Orr will have to pressure Bollinger. And hit him if he runs the option."

"Bottom line: Wisconsin rushes 169 yards a game, we hold teams to 108 ... so if we do that, that will give us the advantage we need to win. And they possess the ball 31 minutes and we average of 30 1/2, so whoever wins time of possession will likely win."

Special Teams

"Once again Jeremy LeSueur will be key on kick-off returns. In the past few years Michigan's punt rush was their best special teams unit, this year it's kick-off return. But we've had success rushing Wisconsin's punter in past ... their punter is struggling with a 37.8 yards average. So Michigan will pressure him."

"Adam Finley is second in the Big Ten in punting, so that will help with field position."

Miscellaneous

"Michigan has beat Wisconsin the last 14 of 15 in in The Big House ... we haven't lost at home to Wisconsin since '94."

"Neither team is highly penalized. And Michigan is second in the Big Ten in turnovers."

"This is the final home game for the seniors of course."

Prediction:

"As I said Wisconsin held Iowa to 20, so that's a good defense ... but their defense is also young and Michigan will have some success. And they are getting Anthony Davis back, but the Michigan defense will force the Wisconsin offense into some mistakes. So I think Michigan should win."

B>The final score: "I think it will be close, but Michigan will win 27 - 21."

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