No. 4 Michigan was able to put September on cruise control, but on the first Saturday of October the Wolverines had to show they could win a defensive tussle. Mission accomplished.
Michigan (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) continued to impress with a hard-fought 14-7 victory over No. 8 Wisconsin (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) in Michigan Stadium. The game was as close to the polar opposite of each of Michigan’s September wins as can be, although continued to suggest this Michigan defense is legit. Michigan held Wisconsin to fewer than 200 yards of offense, making it near impossible for the Badgers to get out of Ann Arbor with a win. Michigan forced three turnovers, all three coming by way of an interception by Channing Stribling off Alex Hornibrook and one more from Jourdan Lewis that was essentially the clinching moment.
Michigan broke a 7-7 tie midway through the fourth quarter when Wilton Speight completed a 46-yard pass to Alex Darboh for a score. Big plays came at a premium in this one. The 46-yard touchdown play finished off a quick four-play, 64-yard drive.
Michigan once again proved they are worthy of being discussed as a legitimate Big Ten contender. There is no other way to sum it up after taking down Wisconsin in the fashion they did. And don’t overlook Wisconsin. The Badgers are still going to be a beast to deal with in the Big Ten West Division, and Wisconsin may still work their way into the Big Ten championship picture, even with some challenges coming up in regular season play.
Michigan will head to New Jersey next week to take on Rutgers. Rutgers just got thumped by Ohio State today, 58-0. Wisconsin gets a week off to prepare for a big home game against No. 2 Ohio State. The Buckeyes will be coming off a home game against Indiana.