Run and Shoot: At the Half: Badgers in control, Wolverines not yet dead

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At the Half: Badgers in control, Wolverines not yet dead

MADISON, Wisc. - Entering the contest, few would have believed the Badgers would control the first half as well as they have (20-7). But big plays on third downs have helped Wisconsin to sustain drives and put points on the board.

There is plenty of football left, but to keep its perfect conference mark intact, Michigan must make several key adjustments during halftime.

What Wisconsin has done well: throw the football
Travis Beckum has five catches for 97 yards and senior wide receiver Paul Hubbard isn’t too far behind him (three for 61 yards). Tyler Donovan has weaved in and out of the pocket, only to buy time and find open receivers downfield.

What it hasn’t: run outside the tackles
Lance Smith and Zach Brown have made a couple of nice runs but neither has been able to bounce anything to the outside. Michigan’s defense has contained the Badger running game so far.

What Michigan has done well: stay alive
With all that has gone wrong for the Wolverines, their late second quarter surge has kept them alive in this contest. About to receive the ball to start the second half, Michigan could quickly turn things around.

What it hasn’t: locate Mario Manningham
Other than his 12-yard touchdown, late in the half, Manningham has been a non-factor. In the last two meeting between these two schools Manningham has owned the Badgers. Michigan must do a better job of getting its top playmaker more involved in the second half.

Other notes:

Michigan’s pass rush has been able to collapse the pocket. Donovan has simply found a way to escape each time.

The Badgers have gotten a big boost in the return game and its special teams coverage. That has helped Wisconsin to work from a short field most of the afternoon.

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