With junior quarterback Wilton Speight going down early in the season, MI has struggled to find a suitable replacement at quarterback, and even an identity for its team. Junior running back Karan Higdon was clearly gimpy, so sophomore Chris Evans got the start.
Immediately following an interception that allowed MI to take a lead late in the third quarter, a UW offense that had managed less than 100 total yards to that point produced four plays of more than 20 yards over two consecutive touchdown drives, leading the fifth-ranked Badgers to a 24-10 victory over the Wolverines and their first 11-0 start in program history.
Wisconsin's prolific running game finally got going in the closing stages of the third, with Kendric Pryor tallying a 32-yard touchdown run to give the Badgers their biggest lead at 21-10 heading into the final quarter. Overall, the sophomore can build on some positives in his third career start at a tough road venue, especially considering the opponent. Harbaugh said Peters is expected to fly home with the team Saturday evening. Instead of laying up for a field goal, Hornibrook stepped into a throw and fired a 24-yard strike to Taylor between two defenders for a touchdown.
Pass protection was once again sketchy. The defense, coming off undisputedly best performance of the year, allowing only 66 yards of total offense to Iowa, hopes to continue its dominance - as it should against an offense as inconsistent as MI.
MI did end up tying the game on its next possession, and it added a field goal after an Alex Hornibrook interception in the middle of the third quarter. Jonathan Taylor is a classic Badger back, and while the Wolverines will slow him, they won't stop him.
The pass defense was outstanding for much of the game, but gave up huge plays on third down in the third quarter.
Down 14-10, the Wolverines weren't out of it.
Wisconsin's special teams lent a hand in the first quarter.
For Michigan to beat undefeated Wisconsin on Saturday, most agreed the Wolverines had to play their best game of the season against the Badgers.
That led to a 39-yard field goal, giving MI a 10-7 lead with 6 minutes, 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
That's where the good news ends. They'll need to find a way to limit the Badgers' rushing attack, which is averaging 245 yards a game and is led by Jonathan Taylor, who leads the conference with 1,525 yards on the ground with 12 touchdowns. He booted one through the end zone and got some fortunate bounces on a few others. Peoples-Jones managed only seven yards on four punt returns.