By: Joe Cardoso
Saturday the boys of Michigan went under the lights and faced the Wisconsin Badgers. I’m not sure if the Wolverines could have asked for a better performance and just the type of win before they face rival Michigan State. Shea Patterson continues to bring the offense to life more and more and the defense slams the door. It has been TWELVE YEARS since Michigan beat ranked team on the road. Is this the weekend the streak ends? The Spartans have already ruined the hopes and dreams of Penn State fans are we next? We ALL remember the 2015 ending that spawned a ton of memes, drinking, and sadness. This game will be INTENSE no more saying it’s just another game because it isn’t, this is another step in the journey this season. But first, let’s recap Saturday’s big win and who and what stood out to me.
It starts and ends with Shea Patterson and so far he has been what we wanted him to be for this team. Football 101 the run sets up the passing game and a 320 yard rushing night was more than enough. But Michigan State is number one in the country against the run so this is a real challenge, Shea dropping back 40 times hasn’t been the game plan thus far. The offensive line continues to improve weekly and it showed in the stats for Saturday. Of course this weekend they face a group of Spartans that will see how far they have come. The run game was on point with hopes it travels. And only ONE flag was thrown all game. Rumors of a Tarik Black comeback are everywhere and that would be a huge boost, but time will tell. from top to bottom so far the best offensive performance for the Maize and Gold.
Minus Rashan Gary the gang brought it to the Badgers early and often. The Wolverines limited Wisconsin’s star running back Jonathan Taylor, who had 101 yards, his worst performance of the year. Alex Hornibrook completed just seven of 20 passes and threw two interceptions, for Badgers fans it was the Hornibrook of years past. Wisconsin had just 11 first downs which tells me Michigan shut them down and also that Wisconsin offense was not on it’s A game at all. So far this season you can always count on the defense to show up and keep them in each and every game.
Overall Saturday was a good way to end the halfway point and gear up for the stretch that will determine the season. It starts with Michigan State win this game end the road losing streak and put the rest of the Big Ten on notice this is the year. The keys to this weekends game will be the following.
1. Fast start
2. No Turnovers
3. Force MSU to throw the ball to win and stuff the run.
It has been an exciting season so far and I am PUMPED for Saturday. For more Wolverines talk follow me @JoeCardoso301 or our blog @NutsAndBoltsSP don’t forget GO BLUE!