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3 takeaways from the loss to Wisconsin

19 November, 2017, 03:02 | Author: John Swanson
  • Best College GameDay Signs From Week 12: Wisconsin vs. Michigan

Wisconsin was outgained 169-99 in the first half, with its only score coming on Nick Nelson's 50-yard punt return.

For a team that has earned its reputation as reliable and boring this year, No. 5 Wisconsin sure can flip a game in a hurry.

Bob Wojnowski: Two staunch defenses and two grinding run games, so this might come down to which quarterback makes the fewest mistakes.

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No. 5 Wisconsin was challenged but ultimately had little trouble staying undefeated, beating No. 24 MI 24-10 at Camp Randall Stadium to confirm its status as a legitimate playoff contender. Pass protection may be the final piece of the puzzle for Paul Chryst, as the Badgers can win a national championship if they protect Hornibrook better. Against the Wolverines, the sophomore was both. A Wisconsin starting five that ran roughshod over Iowa's physical defense last week could be without center Tyler Biadasz (left leg) against MI.

The young quarterback is in his second full year as the team's starter, but he seems to be playing nothing more than a conservative style of football.

They key play was the 3rd-and-17. Three plays later, this time on third-and-16, Hornibrook stepped up to avoid pressure and fired a pass through a tight window to Taylor for a 24-yard touchdown.

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Hornibrook said his performance has been boosted by Taylor and freshman wide receiver Danny Davis, who combined for 117 receiving yards against MI. Helped by a 52-yard scamper following UW's final touchdown, Jonathan Taylor gained 132 yards on 19 attempts. Alex Hornibrook wasn't great, but on that drive, he was special and that drive won the game for Wisconsin. Ranked No. 5 in the latest poll, they're still on the outside looking in. Now, however, with a disappointing year from the Wolverines, this game merely appears to be a resume-building game for the Badgers, as they continue to march towards the school's first College Football Playoff berth. He was hit hard by Wisconsin linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel after releasing a third-down pass and needed to be carted off the field.

The teams played to a 7-all tie at the half, though MI went into the locker room with momentum after fullback Ben Mason scored on a 1-yard run with 2:24 left. The line must create holes for the running game to keep the offense out of third-and-long situations.

The highlight of the passing game was a 48-yard pass and catch from Peters to freshman wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones in the second quarter.

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MI should be loaded elsewhere on the roster, particularly on defense, and Peters will have a star young receiver in Peoples-Jones to throw too.

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