The No. 14 Michigan Wolverines rolled into Camp Randall ready to take Wisconsin’s name. The Badgers entered as the favorite, and Michigan fans had to settle their nerves as the realization hit that their Maize and Blue were 0-14 when entering a contest as the underdog under head coach Jim Harbaugh.
The first half was pretty reflective of a Big Ten slugfest, but Michigan managed to wrestle the lead away. The Badgers attempted to keep the game close with a late surge in the second quarter. Michigan held the lead going into half, but if they were going to escape and pull away, something had to give in the second half.
Queue Michigan’s defense erupting in the remaining minutes of this game. The defense forced two fumbles and an interception in this game. Daxton Hill had some massive hits that led Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz to leave early due to injury.
All that said, there is something to be said for the offense this time around. By no means was Michigan’s offense going to run scared of the Badgers, as they had some dazzle of their own. Freshman quarterback J.J. McCarthy entered the game late during Michigan’s first drive of the second half. He recorded his first touchdown for the Wolverines and from there Michigan never looked back.
The energy in Madison was so clearly in favor of Michigan that Dax Hill put it almost perfectly, the “Wolverines were taking the juice from them this time.”
“Jump Around,” a storied tradition at Camp Randall, saw the Michigan sideline going berserk. Wisconsin fumbled soon after this happened, forced by David Ojabo and recovered by Chris Hinton.
While it would be easy to attribute this part of the game being the moment that sealed Wisconsin’s fate, the turning point for me came when Cornelius Johnson recorded his second touchdown of the game. They even went for two, targeting Johnson again to ensure the final nail was driven into the coffin.
Michigan came out ready to shed last week’s bumpy win against Rutgers. They saw to it they were no longer the team that couldn’t win a true road game or as an underdog. They snapped their decades-long losing streak in Camp Randall. This game was all Michigan. The Maize and Blue faithful who journeyed to Madison took over the emptying student section and chants of “Go Blue” could be heard through every television screen.
The Wolverines are 5-0 for the first time since 2016. There is still a lot of season left, but Michigan looked stellar. Record aside, Wisconsin is a formidable opponent. This is a huge win for not only the team, but for the fans as well. This game will definitely be one of the memorable ones from this season, and it’s only Week 5.
As fan-favorite Aidan Hutchinson tweeted after the win, “Jobs not finished. Onto the next one.”