Fourth-ranked Wisconsin looks to keep its perfect record intact when it hosts Michigan on Saturday. The Badgers are 10-0 for the first time in program history and are coming off a 38-14 victory over Iowa which clinched the Big Ten West title, but have their eyes on a bigger prize as they strive to take another step towards their first appearance in the College Football Playoff by beating the Wolverines in Madison for the fourth straight time.
Wisconsin is fourth in the CFP rankings and controls its own destiny as it aims to avenge a 14-7 setback to Michigan last season. Michigan has won three consecutive games following a 35-10 triumph against Maryland. The Wolverines still have an outside shot of winning the Big Ten East crown, but need to win their final two games of the regular season and hope that No.11 Penn State and 24th-ranked Michigan State lose another game. Michigan hasn’t turned the ball over since Brandon Peters replaced a struggling John O’Korn in the first half of the 35-14 win against Rutgers and the Wolverines hope their freshman quarterback can lead them to their first road victory against Wisconsin since Nov. 17, 2001.
TV: Noon ET, FOX. LINE: Wisconsin -7.5
ABOUT MICHIGAN (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten): Chris Evans rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Maryland to give him four scores in his last two games. Peters threw for 145 yards and two touchdowns while Karan Higdon accounted for 98 total yards before sitting out the second half with an ankle injury, but is expected to play on Saturday. Star defensive end Rashan Gary (arm) and cornerbacks Lavert Hill (concussion) and David Long (leg) suffered injuries against the Terrapins but are likely to recover in time to face the Badgers while running back Ty Isaac (head) and offensive lineman Michael Onwenu (leg) are expected to return after missing the last two games.
ABOUT WISCONSIN (10-0, 6-0): Linebacker Leon Jacobs was named the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week after registering four tackles, a sack and a defensive touchdown in the win over Iowa while Jonathan Taylor won the freshman honor following his 157-yard rushing performance. Alex Hornibrook finished with 135 yards passing and two touchdowns but threw three interceptions to give him at least one pick in every conference game this season. Troy Fumagalli, who has caught 33 passes for 422 yards and three touchdowns this season, was named one of eight semifinalists for the John Mackey award, which is presented annually to the top tight end in college football.
1. Wisconsin has won at least 10 games for the fourth straight season, which is a program record.
2. Michigan has held seven of its 10 opponents to 14 points or fewer.
3. The Badgers lead the nation in total defense (247.6 yards per game).
PREDICTION: Wisconsin 21, Michigan 20