Five Keys to Victory - Michigan

When a team is looking for its first win at a road stadium since 1994, many things will need to go right. When No.6 Wisconsin heads into Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood Saturday, one of the keys will be stopping the dynamic sophomore. Badger Nation analyzes that match-up and others in its keys to the games.

1. Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood

Who Michigan's best player be? It's easy to see that Michigan's offense is built around quarterback Denard Robinson boys and girls. The sophomore quarterback has put up scary big numbers this season, with 1990 by air and 1417 on the ground. If the Badgers are going to win, keying in on Robinson will be...key. The success of the linebacker corps will have a lot to do with the success of the defense as a whole, especially the player assigned as the quarterback spy.

2. Big House blues

The last time Wisconsin visited Ann Arbor, a 19-0 halftime lead vanished into thin air in a game that sent what was supposed to be a promising season into a tailspin. The Badgers need to erase any and all memories of that depressing collapse and treat this game like any other if they hope to win in Ann Arbor for the first time since 1994.

3. Balancing act

The Badgers' biggest strength is their running game. Michigan's biggest weakness is pass defense. Why not exploit both. A balanced offensive attack might be the key to keeping the Michigan defense on their heels.

4. Secondary success

The Wisconsin secondary has been a weak spot in years past and early this season, but the unit seems to have turned it around. Last week the Badgers held a potent pass attack that averages 287 yards per game to 149 yards, including a 62-yard broken play. Top receivers Demarlo Belcher and Tanden Doss were held to 30 and 2 yards, respectively. Michigan has a fairly diverse receiving corps, but have a star in Roy Roundtree that could test the improvement of the Badger defensive backs.

5. Turnover battle

It will be very difficult to stop the Michigan offense from gaining yards. The Wolverines average 527 yards of offense a game. The good news for the Badgers is that yards don't equal points. A big reason Michigan is only third in scoring offense is turnovers. Michigan is minus-7 in turnover margin, losing the ball 22 times this season. The Badgers are plus-7 in turnover margin and will be looking for strips and picks all day to stop the Michigan offense.

Fearless prediction

It's not often that Wisconsin is a favorite in Ann Arbor, but there is good reason behind it. I think the Badgers defense can keep the Michigan offense relatively in check, but the Wisconsin offense should roll on the Wolverines.

Wisconsin 41 Michigan 27


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