Big Ten Spotlight: Wisconsin Badgers At Michigan State

@BadgersFootball on Twitter

Big Ten Spotlight: Wisconsin Badgers At Michigan State

Football

Big Ten Spotlight: Wisconsin Badgers At Michigan State

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@BadgersFootball on Twitter

The Wisconsin Badgers are back on the road after taking care of much-needed business at Northwestern. Wisconsin heads to East Lansing for a game where both teams have something to prove: winning.

Michigan State takes a dismal 2-4 record and is winless in Big Ten play at 0-3. Things look a bit rosier for the Badgers, who are 3-3 and 1-2 in conference play. As both teams have reached the halfway point in 2022, Wisconsin is seeking to keep their momentum going, whereas the Spartans are looking for anything positive.

Inside The Numbers 

As bad as things looked in Madison, it’s worse in East Lansing. Wisconsin is averaging 31.8 points a game versus Michigan State with an average of 26.2. The Spartans are allowing opponents to a generous 27.0 points a game to the Badgers 19.5. However, the most troubling statistic is rushing yards allowed. The tough defense of Michigan State is absolutely porous. For the season, they are giving up 153.5 rushing yards for the season, while the Badgers have allowed 117.0.

 

Players To Watch 

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz had a monster game against the Wildcats. Mertz threw for a career high of 299 yards with five touchdown passes. He should also be in prime position to keep the numbers rolling, as a bad Michigan State defense is ranked 122nd of 131 teams. They have allowed 292 yards through the air, seven yards short of what Mertz posted at Northwestern. 

Spartans running back Jalen Berger, a transfer from Wisconsin, leads Sparty in rushing with 308 yards and four touchdowns. While in Madison, he had a team-high 301 rushing yards during the 2020 pandemic season. He was dismissed from the team in October 2021 after his playing time had dropped significantly.

 

Badgers – Spartans: A Tale Of Two Teams

Michigan State desperately needs a win for Spartan Nation. Things began to trend down for the Spartans beginning in 2018 when they finished with a season record of 7-6 overall and 5-4 in the Big Ten. 2019 saw the same overall, but only 4-5 in the conference. The Covid-19 year of 2020 had Sparty complete a shortened season with a record of 2-5. 2021 is now looking to be a ‘blip’ kind of year, with Mel Tucker finishing 11-2 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten.

The Wisconsin Badgers will rely on a running game that indicates a big Saturday against the Spartans. Braelon Allen has at least 100 yards per game over the last 11 of games. The number to watch is 100. Wisconsin is 10-1 when Allen goes off for 100 or more yards.

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