Run and Shoot: Big Ten battle of undefeated Badgers & Spartans

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Big Ten battle of undefeated Badgers & Spartans

MADISON, Wisc. -- The Big Ten conference picture will clear up some today after Wisconsin and Michigan State go to war at Camp Randall. As usual, WIsconsin's mad mob of red-wearing, beer-soaked fans have lined all of the side streets in anticipation of yet another test for their top 10-ranked club. It's a crazy scene, bu this game could also have a crazy outcome.

The Badgers are coming off of a close win over Iowa last Saturday night. The defense turned in, perhaps, its best performance to date, but the offense failed to do much in the passing game, and that is where Wisconsin can hurt Michigan State today. Part of the problem has been the absence of proven weapon Paul Hubbard. Without him, the team has relied too much on Luke Swan and younger players such as Kyle Jefferson have not made enough big plays. That must change if Wisconsin is to compete for the Big Ten crown.

Michigan State, meanwhile, has earned its 4-0 mark by running the football. Jehuu Caulcrick and Javon Ringer are both productive backs, and the athletic Wisconsin front seven will have its hands full. Defensively, Michigan State has gotten to the quarterback more than any other conference team. Should they find Tyler Donovan on this day, and should the running game help the Spartans eat clock, an upset could be on the menu.

Key Stats:
Wisconsin's passing offense ranks eighth in the Big Ten, while the Spartans own the third-best pass defense.

The Badgers are leading the conference in time of possession. Michigan State ranks fourth.

Badger back P.J. Hill has the second most attempts in the Big Ten (107). Hill averages 4.9 yards per carry.

Quarterbacks Donovan and Brian Hoyer of Michigan State have near identical numbers: both have attempted 98 passes and completed seven touchdowns. Hoyer leads Donovan in yardage, 769 to 761.

Wisconsin owns the nation's longest winning streak (13).


Last meeting:
Before a two-year break the teams met in East Lansing on Nov. 13, 2004. The Spartans ended the Badgers' perfect 9-0 start that season with a 49-14 blowout win.

Michigan State owns a 26-19 advantage in the series.

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