TEAMS: Wisconsin Badgers (4-1 overall, 2-0 Big Ten) at Michigan Wolverines (5-1, 3-0).
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor.
TV: ABC with Chris Fowler (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (analyst) and Maria Taylor (sideline).
RADIO: 920-AM in Milwaukee and a state network with Matt Lepay (play-by-play) and Mike Lucas (analysis).
TICKETS: Sold out.
LINE: Michigan by 8 1/2
SERIES: Michigan leads, 50-15-1, including 28-7 in Ann Arbor.
COACHES: UW’s Paul Chryst (38-8, fourth season; 57-27 overall) vs. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh (33-12, fourth season; 91-39 overall)
LIVE COVERAGE: Follow our live coverage from the press box
SCOUTING REPORT: Michigan at a glance
LIVE SCOREBOARD: NCAA football schedule, box scores
FOUR THINGS TO WATCH
ROAD TO SUCCESS: UW quarterback Alex Hornibrook has been outstanding in road games. He has won 10 straight starts away from home and is 134 of 197 (68%) for 1,654 yards with 18 touchdowns and three interceptions in those games. He is 11-1 in as a starter in road games. “I just think it’s fun playing in a different atmosphere,” Hornibrook said. “Being somewhere you haven’t been, being in a challenging situation where the fans are going at you and that kind of stuff. I just like it.”
GETTING HIS KICKS: UW senior kicker Rafael Gaglianone is 5 for 6 on field goals this season and has made 65 overall to match Todd Gregoire, who kicked from 1984-’87, for the program record. “What’s great about the game of football is that it doesn’t just happen,” UW coach Paul Chryst said. “Defenses, offenses, special teams putting him in those positions. There’s a durability to it, there’s a consistency to it and there’s an execution component to it. There’s a lot of things that go into what makes Raf good.”
FERGUSON RISES: Tight end Jake Ferguson has become an integral part of UW’s offense and his role will only increase with Zander Neuville likely out for the season with a knee injury. Ferguson is the Badgers’ second-leading receiver with 16 catches for 213 yards. The tight end’s catches have been in crucial spots, with 14 of his 16 catches going for either a first down or a touchdown. He has 10 catches on 13 targets by Hornibrook on third down.
BATTLE IN THE TRENCHES: Michigan’s defense is allowing only 3.69 yards per play, the top mark in the nation. That dominance starts with the Wolverines’ front seven, so it will be a good matchup for the Badgers’ mammoth offensive line. The Badgers will try to open holes against a defense that is giving up 2.6 rushing yards per carry.
This is only the third prime-time meeting between Michigan and Wisconsin.
The teams met in the first night game at Camp Randall Stadium on Oct. 4, 1986. Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh completed 15 of 24 passes for 310 yards, throwing for one touchdown and running for another as the No. 4 Wolverines won, 34-17, in front of 75,898 fans.
The teams also played a night game in Madison on Sept. 24, 2005, when John Stocco ran a 4-yard quarterback sneak with 24 seconds left to lift UW to a 23-20 win. Badgers running back Brian Calhoun accounted for 214 yards.
DID YOU KNOW?
UW sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor has 849 rushing yards in five games. He has exceeded 100 yards in every game this season and in 15 of his 19 collegiate contests.
He needs 151 yards to become the ninth player in program history to have 1,000-yard rushing seasons in back-to-back years. Melvin Gordon (2013 and ’14) was the last player to accomplish that feat.
Taylor has seven collegiate games of 150 rushing yards or more.
BEN STEELE’S PREDICTION
It feels like winning this game will be too tall of a task for UW. Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson is primed to have a field day against a battered Badgers defense that will have missing or hobbled players in key positions. UW might be able to find a way to run the ball, but won’t be able to keep pace on the scoreboard. The Wolverines should pull away for a 35-14 victory.