The Badgers have been rolling all season. They are 5-0 and coming off their third shutout victory of the season. Wisconsin has emerged as one of the favorites in the Big 10 who can take down the Buckeyes.
Michigan State vs. Wisconsin Preview
Wisconsin is averaging 43.4 points per game while allowing just 29 points in five games on defense. Not to mention they have a Heisman candidate in the backfield. Jonathan Taylor has compiled 745 yards and 12 touchdowns in five games while averaging 7.2 yards per carry.
The offensive line for Wisconsin has been dominating their opponents which has allowed the best running back in the nation to get in the end zone 12 times. Against Michigan State, the front five will have their work cut out for them.
“You know you were in for a heck of a ball game, and obviously a ton of respect for coach Dantonio, not just what he’s done program-wise but how they play football,” Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said during his press conference on Monday. “You knew it was going to be a physical game. You knew you had to be tough, you knew that in every phase.”
The Spartans have to stop the run. That is the game plan coming in for whoever plays Wisconsin. Michigan State has been strong up front but their secondary has struggled. They were physically worn down against Ohio State and that could be a concern heading into this game as well.
On offense, Brian Lewerke has taken care of the ball but he is not a game changer. The Spartans run the ball well with Elijah Collins but they will have to reach into heir bag of tricks if they want to fool the Badger defense.
“I think that’s where it’s got to start. You’ve got to be able to stop the run against these guys,” he said of facing Taylor. “So you’ve got to be able to tackle in space and not let (No.) 23 get out the back door, because, you know, he’s a very good running back. He’s a 10.5, 100-meter guy. So you know he can run.”
Michigan State vs. Wisconsin Pick & Prediction
Michigan State is averaging 27.8 points per game this season. They have two games where they were held to 10 points or fewer. This is an inconsistent team that is playing their third game out of four on the road.
Wisconsin has only allowed a point in two games this season. FanDuel Sportsbook has them as 10.5-point favorites at home. In typical Big 10 fashion, the o/u is set at 40.5. This is no surprise in a conference that plays hard nose football with little offense.
There will not be a lot of scoring in this game. The Spartans will come up with a game plan to slow down Wisconsin, but it is hard to imagine them scoring enough to stay close. This is a game where Wisconsin could cover late in the game with a touchdown.
PICK: Wisconsin -10.5
SCORE PREDICTION: Wisconsin 24, Michigan State 13