Run and Shoot: Badgers look to avenge lone loss of '06

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Badgers look to avenge lone loss of '06

MADISON, Wisc. -- Three months ago, many expected this contest would decide the Big Ten race, and possibly the national title. Michigan's sluggish start and Wisconsin's midseason woes have caused the game to lose some of its luster. Now it is Michigan's final test before a showdown against Ohio State next week, and it is Wisconsin last chance to prove its worth to potential bowl suitors.

Tickets were tough to come by as fans entered the gates to Camp Randall. This isn't the most documented rivalry for Wisconsin (Minnesota and Iowa have more history) but it is the one Badger fans care most about. Because of this there were more 'need tickets' signs than there were fans trying to move seats.

Obviously, Mike Hart's health is of major concern to Michigan fans. Hart played well in limited duty last week against Michigan State. He will likely be asked to play as much as needed in this game, which could be a great deal if Wisconsin's secondary has success in pressuring Chad Henne and limiting Mario Manningham and the Wolverine receivers.

Wisconsin is expected to be without running back P.J. Hill again. Last week his absence was more disturbing to the Badgers offensive flow as the team was also without Lance Smith. With Smith, the offense has an outside presence that will challenge the corners. Freshman Zach Brown will run between the tackles, but he lacks experience and is not the threat that Hill is.

Key stats:

In the past decade Wisconsin has beaten Michigan only once -- a 23-20 night win in 2005.

Brown carried 20 times in last week's loss to Ohio State. It was his first career start.

Michigan's Shawn Crable leads all Big Ten defenders in tackles for loss (22.5). The senior linebacker will try to add to that total today while in pursuit of scrambling quarterback Tyler Donovan. The Badgers have given up the third most sacks in the conference this season (29).

With 62 yards Manningham will pass former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard on the Wolverines' all-time receiving list. Manningham enters the game with 2,085 yards.

Last meeting:

Michigan handed the Badgers their only loss of 2006 with a 27-13 win in Ann Arbor. Wide receiver Mario Manningham dominated the Badger secondary. He will again be a factor as the Badgers will lock their best cornerback, Jack Ikegwuonu, on him all afternoon.

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