1. Mike Hart vs. Badger Front Seven
Mike Hart was held out of the game and it is unclear as to what impact this had on the game. Obviously, there was a dropoff in the Michigan tailback performance, but Wisconsin generally controlled the line of scrimmage and left very few alleys to run through. Michigan had just 47 yards on the ground, well below my cutoff point of 140.
We shall call this one a push. Aaron Henry did not have blatant and consistent problems, though he did get beat on a 3rd down Adrian Arrington touchdown pass. Arrington also caught 7 passes for 100+ yards, so this edge had to go to Arrington.
Wisconsin did a great job of balancing their offense, notching 245 passing yards and 232 rushing yards. Lance Smith was the most effective back in the first half before departing with a shoulder injury, while Zach Brown really picked up the slack in the 4th quarter on his way to topping the 100 yard mark for the first time in his young career. As hinted, P.J. Hill did give it a go, but was obviously limited from the start and was simply not going to be effective.
4. Red Zone Defense
Wisconsin failed to make a defensive impact in the red zone, though surprisingly, Michigan put together very few drives to even get into the red zone. Two of their three touchdowns came on 20+ yard passes.
5. Gimmie that Damn Ball!
Well, I belive the running game told the story on this day, with the Badgers accumulating nearly 200 more yards on the ground than the Wolverines. On the other hand, I was wrong about Carr sticking to the ground, as he put the ball in the hands of freshman QB Ryan Mallett rather than try to wear down the Badger defense. Overall, I was quite happy to have my first wrong prediction of the year. I give my prediction a grade of D+.