Michigan moved to 5-0 on the 2016 season with a 14-7 win over Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor.
The Wolverines outgained the Badgers 349-159 on the ground and on the stat sheet, the game should not have been as close as it was, but that’s why they play the games.
Here are a few quick takeaways:
A win is a win is a win...
That statement is true, but Michigan gave up a lot of opportunities to extend their lead and really put a stamp on this one. Kenny Allen missed a pair of field goals and Ryan Tice missed one of his own.
Wilton Speight threw his first interception since the first snap of the season and had a few errant throws throughout the day. Penalties also became an issue.
At the end of the day, people are going to be worried about what they saw, but this all occurred against one of the best teams in college football and the Wolverines got it done.
A road trip to Rutgers awaits and then there is a bye week before they come home to play Illinois. There is a lot of time to fix the fixable things and get better and what they already do.
Kicking game concerns
We touched on the kicking game above, and that is probably the biggest concern as we head into the meat of the Big Ten schedule. You simply cannot leave points on the field in games and expect to win. It worked out today, but that will not always be the case.
Jim Harbaugh said after the game that there will be a competition this week in practice to determine who will kick field goals moving forward. It will presumably be between Allen and Tice, as freshman kicker Quinn Nordin is “working through something.
Speight has the clutch gene
Speight may not be perfect. He may not be flashy. However, when the chips are down, he makes big throws.
We saw it last season in Minnesota and today against Wisconsin. He does not get rattled and that is a huge asset when the team needs a score late in a game. He will continue to frustrate some fans, but results do not lie.
He is 5-0 as a starting quarterback and has led his team to two wins this season when things were looking bleak. That means something.
Tip of the hat to the Badgers
Many fans and media — and many of us on staff here — saw this as a game where Wisconsin would be exposed, especially without their star linebacker Vince Biegel. They did an excellent job of keeping the Wolverines in check.
Some people will say both teams that took the field today are overrated, but we will see what the Badgers do when they take on the Buckeyes next.