Fifth Quarter Consensus: Badgers leave Ann Arbor with rare win

The Predictions

Adam Tupitza (9-1, +191): Wisconsin 37, Michigan 30

Jake Harris (8-2, +168): Wisconsin 49, Michigan 35

John Veldhuis (8-2, +187): Wisconsin 35, Michigan 21

Adam Hoge (7-3, +195): Wisconsin 35, Michigan 24

Phil Mitten (4-3, +139): Wisconsin 38, Michigan 33

The Reasoning

Two of the best offenses in the Big Ten square off in Ann Arbor Saturday, where the Badgers will try and inch closer to the Rose Bowl. Michigan is bowl-eligible for the first time in three years under head coach Rich Rodriguez and will try and make a statement by beating a top-ten team on Senior Day at Michigan Stadium.

The 2010 Wolverines' offense looks more like what Rodriguez envisioned when he took his spread-option attack to the Big Ten. Quarterback Denard Robinson is no longer the Heisman front-runner he was when conference play began, but he is still a dynamic playmaker who gives Big Blue the potential to score quickly. He has put up big numbers against good defenses but is too often prone to turnovers.

The Badger defense has been in "bend but don't break" mode ever since Chris Borland, the team's best blitzing linebacker, went down with a shoulder injury. For the most part, the unit has been much better at keeping plays in front of them and not allowing long touchdowns. Michigan will move the ball at times, but expect Dave Doeren's defense to make Robinson and Co. work for their gains in smaller chunks. If they can stall the Wolverines in the red zone, the Badgers will gladly take their chances with a Michigan field-goal unit that has converted just four of 12 attempts.

Wisconsin's offense put up 31 points in back-to-back weeks against the two best defenses in the Big Ten. The Badgers went on to score 83 points a week ago against Indiana. They should have no trouble scoring on the worst defense in the conference. Expect running backs Montee Ball and James White to carry the load as John Clay continues to recover from injury, and look for quarterback Scott Tolzien to exploit the Wolverines' woeful secondary with a few play-action passes.

This game is in the Big House, where the Badgers have not won since 1994. Still, two of Michigan's three losses this season have come in Ann Arbor, and this Wisconsin team has been much better on the road than previous installments.

It will be a high-scoring game, but the better team will win.

Who has the edge?

Offense: Michigan

Defense: Wisconsin

Special Teams: Wisconsin

Coaching: Wisconsin

Intangibles: Michigan

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