The good, the bad and the ugly: No. 5 Wisconsin

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 9:00pm

Freshman wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones finally caught a deep ball, but that was one of few silver linings in Saturday’s loss.

Freshman wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones finally caught a deep ball, but that was one of few silver linings in Saturday’s loss. Buy this photo
Amelia Cacchione/Daily

The faux aura that the Michigan football team could pull off a miracle Big Ten title run are — once and for all — gone. 

The Wolverines managed to keep pace with No. 5 Wisconsin in Madison for three quarters Saturday, but with an injury to redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters, it appeared Michigan had the life sucked out of it — even if Jim Harbaugh didn’t believe that to be the case.

The Daily breaks down the good, bad and the ugly from the 24-10 loss to the Badgers.

The good

There were a few silver linings.

Quinn Nordin hit a field goal again.

Freshman wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones finally connected with his quarterback on the deep ball. He’s shown a penchant for getting open downfield all year, but the Wolverines have often failed to find him.

In the second quarter of Saturday’s contest, redshirt freshman Brandon Peters didn’t make that mistake. On 2nd-and-10 from Michigan’s 16-yard line, Peters connected with Peoples-Jones for a 48-yard gain — the longest completion and catch for each, respectively.

And the Wolverines’ defense, per usual, put together an impressive showing.

Devin Bush Jr. picked off Alex Hornibrook with just over eight minutes left in the third quarter. The unit managed to hold Wisconsin to only one touchdown until just over three minutes were left in the same frame. They stopped Jonathan Taylor, at least for a while.

Eventually, though, he showed why he’s the Big Ten’s leading rusher — finishing with 132 yards and 6.9 per carry. And Hornibrook looked like a new man after the pick.

On a separate note, I had Wisconsin cheese curds for the first time and discovered Spotted Cow beer. That part was nice.

The bad

Rutgers, Minnesota and Maryland had a way of making the Wolverines’ offensive line look real good.

Wisconsin brought things back to reality.

Michigan’s ground game struggled, managing just 1.6 yards per carry. The offensive line looked to be getting a push early, but eventually that changed. It certainly didn’t help that fifth-year senior running back Ty Isaac left the game with an injury, and that junior Karan Higdon — who got just seven carries — may have been hampered by one as well.

But the real issues, as is no surprise, came in pass protection. You can see the next section for that.

The ugly

I guess lightning strikes twice after all.

With just over two minutes left in the third quarter, Wisconsin ran a stunt, Andrew Van Ginkel pulled to the left and got to the middle of the pocket — where Brandon Peters stood waiting. The ensuing hit left Peters motionless on the ground.

A cart came onto the field. It took Peters to the tunnel, where he was transferred to a wheelchair and later taken to the hospital.

Following the game, it was reported that Peters was knocked out, eventually woke up and was alert despite a headache, and the CT was clear.

By the end of the game, though, the Badgers managed five quarterback hurries and two sacks.

Jim Harbaugh was unable to provide information on what Peters’ status would be moving forward, but as fifth-year senior tackle Maurice Hurst said, the Wolverines are now faced with “one-game season.”

You all know who that is against. But as of now, no one knows who will be Michigan’s quarterback for it.