College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Wisconsin vs. Michigan 11/14/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Wisconsin visits Michigan on 11/14/2020 at 7:30PM.

Wisconsin and Michigan face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Wisconsin has a record of 1-0 this season. Michigan is 1-2 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Wisconsin Team Defense Preview

Wisconsin has had 9 total defensive drives this season and they yield 4.44 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Wisconsin is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Wisconsin opponents pass the football 52.50% of the time.Wisconsin tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

Wisconsin is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Wisconsin can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 3.11 yards per carry. This defense lets offensive lines have too much control over them on the ground, too much push from the opposing offensive line. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. Long breakout runs against this Defense are far too common. This is a very porous rushing defense that is incapable of preventing a situation where their safeties chase down a running back or quarterback.

Wisconsin has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Wisconsin should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Wisconsin has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Wisconsin Team Offense Preview

Wisconsin has had 10 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.7 plays per drive. Wisconsin runs a lot of plays per drive and this could wear an opposing defense down. Any defense is in for a challenge with Wisconsin, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Passing plays make up 36.84% of their play calls.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Wisconsin struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.29 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Wisconsin has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Wisconsin has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Michigan Team Defense Preview

Michigan has had 35 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.94 plays per drive. Michigan lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. Michigan has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Michigan opponents pass the football 49.04% of the time.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

Defenses want to stop offenses from getting into a 3rd Down where the options are plentiful. Unfortunately, this defense is too porous to limit those choices. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Michigan can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.67 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. Michigan is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Michigan Team Offense Preview

Michigan has had 33 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.39 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Michigan has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Passing plays make up 60.11% of their play calls.This is an Air Raid Offense team, they are going to pass the ball a lot and running plays are only used to keep opponents honest.

Michigan struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.7 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Michigan this season. Michigan is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. Michigan is a better passing team than running team this season.

The Wisconsin Roster

The Players to Watch for Wisconsin

Graham Mertz QB 6-3 215

This season, Graham Mertz has put up 248 yards and 5 touchdowns. He has thrown 0 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 273.0thus far this season. Graham Mertz has thrown 0 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Graham Mertz has 2.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 32.74 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 5.0 times this season, which puts him in the 30.43 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Garrett Groshek RB 5-11 220

This season, Garrett Groshek has 70 rushing yards on 13 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 0 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Garrett Groshek picked up 29 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 4 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Danny Davis WR 6-0 194

This season, Danny Davis picked up 72 yards. He caught the ball 2 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Keeanu Benton NT 6-4 315

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Wisconsin, Keeanu Benton has 4 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 0 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 27.14 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 35.43 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Garrett Rand DE 6-2 279

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Wisconsin, Garrett Rand has 3 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 1 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 54.21 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 32.91 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Colin Wilder S 5-10 194

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Wisconsin, Colin Wilder had 4 tackles which puts him in the 30.24 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 34.52 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Colin Wilder as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 40.1 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Rachad Wildgoose CB 5-11 197

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Wisconsin, Rachad Wildgoose had 3 tackles which puts him in the 26.44 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 81.69 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Rachad Wildgoose as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 38.98 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Michigan Roster

The Players to Watch for Michigan

Joe Milton QB 6-5 243

This season, Joe Milton has put up 869 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 137.6thus far this season. Joe Milton has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Joe Milton has 102.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 81.85 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 25.0 times this season, which puts him in the 71.71 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Hassan Haskins RB 6-1 220

This season, Hassan Haskins has 157 rushing yards on 20 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 3 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Hassan Haskins picked up 0 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 0 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Ronnie Bell WR 6-0 190

This season, Ronnie Bell picked up 269 yards. He caught the ball 14 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Aidan Hutchinson DL 6-6 269

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Michigan, Aidan Hutchinson has 13 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 0 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 23.73 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 32.91 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Brad Hawkins DB 6-1 218

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Michigan, Brad Hawkins had 27 tackles which puts him in the 87.16 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 77.36 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Brad Hawkins as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 40.1 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Wisconsin vs. Michigan Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Wisconsin 25 Michigan 18

Spread Pick: Wisconsin -4 -115 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Wisconsin -189 matchbook
Total Pick: Under 53.5 -118 matchbook