Heading into Week 5, there are a few interesting matchups to get excited about. One of those is the matchup between No. 4 Michigan and No. 8 Wisconsin. The Badgers travel to the Big House in Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines, who have, so far, posted a fairly high margin of victory in their past four games. However, Wisconsin stunned LSU in Week 1 and has been climbing the AP poll ever since with solid wins in its four games as well. So, before sitting down to watch the game, take a look at the Michigan-Wisconsin matchup by the numbers:
38.25 | Michigan’s average margin of victory. So far this season, Michigan has been blowing teams out of the water with its high-scoring offense. However, the Wolverines have yet to face a ranked opponent. Michigan looks to prove its No. 4 AP poll ranking in this game against a ranked team.
23.64 | Average number of yards in a punt return for Michigan, according to NCAA Stats. Coming in at No. 2 in the nation, Michigan’s special teams knows how to set the offense up with a solid field position. And, good field positions often lead to touchdowns, so unless Wisconsin’s defense can hold the Wolverines, Michigan may blow through the Badgers.
11.75 | The average number of points Wisconsin has allowed this year. According to NCAA Stats, the Badgers defense is ranked seventh nationally for this number. In Week 1, football fans across the nation were likely shocked at how well the Badgers were able to stop LSU’s talent-filled offense. However, the matchup wasn’t a fluke, and Wisconsin gradually climbed the poll with victories over Akron, Georgia State and Michigan State. Now, as the Badgers move into their second game against a top-five opponent, they look to stun the Wolverines.
6 | The number of years since these two teams last met. During this last meeting in 2010, Wisconsin defeated Michigan, 48-28. That year, Wisconsin finished ranked No. 7 with a 10-1 record, whereas Michigan finished with a 7-4 record. Now, the two come in as ranked dynamic teams looking to prove a lot.
49 | The number of wins Michigan has over Wisconsin, according to Winsipedia. These two teams have been facing each other on and off since 1892, and throughout all 64 of these games, Wisconsin has pulled victories in only 14 of them. This might seem concerning to some fans. However, in the last six matchups, the Badgers walked away victorious four times.
37:01 | Wisconsin’s average time of possession, according to NCAA Stats. Right now, the Badgers are ranked third in the nation for this number, and while the numbers on the scoreboard at the conclusion of a game may be the most important to fans, players and coaches, keeping control of the ball definitely helps a team remain happy with what the scoreboard displays. If Michigan’s offense doesn’t get the chance to run up the board, the Badgers may be going home with another “W.”
1 | Michigan’s rank in the nation for stopping an opposing team on third down, according to NCAA Stats. If the Wolverines offense worries Badger fans, the defense is likely to make them just as nervous. Out of 50 third-down attempts, Michigan’s defense has only allowed six to be converted. This may cause trouble for the Badgers offense, which out of 62 third-down attempts completed only 28, ranking 43rd in the nation in offensive third-down conversions.
Overall, this ranked, Big Ten matchup looks to prove interesting to football fans everywhere. It could shake up the rankings no matter who ends up as the winner. These two teams are fairly matched, and this game could become one of the most entertaining games to watch in Week 5.