The Big Ten has its first huge match-up of the year on Saturday, between two of the conference favorites. No. 13 Wisconsin, which has looked dominant in its 2-0 start, faces a No. 11 Michigan team still working out the kinks on offense.
The Badgers are yet to surrender a point this season. The team blanked USF on the road to start the year, 49-0, and followed it up with a 61-0 win over Central Michigan.
Obviously, the Wolverines present a much tougher test than the Bulls or the Chippewas. Even with an offense that hasn't gotten out of the gate in a huge way, Jim Harbaugh's team has a big talent edge over Wisconsin's early opponents and, in all likelihood, the Badgers themselves.
We all know Wisconsin wants to run the ball. That has been the team's modus operandi for decades now.
Jonathan Taylor has been a superstar through his first two seasons, and is off to another strong start, rushing for 237 yards and five touchdowns on 35 carries.
Taylor will probably get his on Saturday, but according to a former head coach that knows both of these teams very well, he won't be the key in this game. Michigan's defense will key in on him, making junior quarterback Jack Coan crucial.
During an appearance on Big Ten Network, Urban Meyer stressed Coan and the Wisconsin receivers' abilities to beat man coverage as they key to the game.
“This is going to be all about, can Wisconsin beat man coverage. Can the quarterback, Coan... do they have enough skill? Because when Wisconsin’s really, really good, there’s a semblance of balance. I’m not saying it’s completely balanced because that’s not Wisconsin football. But you can stop the run. And the Wolverines will stop the run.
"Do they have enough firepower…do they have the capability of beating man coverage? If they do, I think they’ll win. If they don’t, I don’t think they’ll win.”
Coan has looked sharp thus far. Through twow games, he is 45-for-59 for 564 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. Again, the competition hasn't been great.
Michigan is 10th in the country in passing defense, surrendering just 138.5 yards through the air per game, but that number is obviously driven way down by a match-up with Army, which runs the triple option. The Black Knights threw five passes for 43 yards.
In the season opener, Middle Tennessee managed 234 yards and two touchdowns on 41 attempts. Michigan won that game 40-21.