Michigan Football: Breaking down injury report and weather for Wisconsin

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

It should be an old-school battle between Michigan football and Wisconsin this week and here’s a look at the weather, as well as the injury report. 

We are inching closer to Saturday and the showdown between Michigan football and Wisconsin. I realize it’s not a battle of ranked teams or anything, but it’s a huge game for both programs.

Michigan football is out to prove something. It also shouldn’t be forgotten that the Wolverines trailed in this game 35-0 (In Madison) two years ago, as well as losing 49-11 last season.

The Wolverines are going to be plenty motivated but it’s still worth asking if this team is ready to win at Wisconsin, something Michigan football hasn’t done since 2001.

Both teams are stout defensively. The Wolverines rank fourth in points allowed nationally (11.8) while the Badgers have the nation’s top rushing defense.

Of course, injuries are always a factor and could be for Michigan football, which was without Josh Ross, one of its best defensive players for the second half against Rutgers.

Earlier this week, Jim Harbaugh said that Ross was probable for the game Saturday. Generally, that means a better-than-average chance of the player participating.

Michigan isn’t very open with injuries, but U-M really needs Ross this week if it wants to stand up against Wisconsin’s running game. He’s also one of the better players in coverage at his position and just knows where to be.

Another defender who missed last week’s game was defensive tackle Jordan Whittley. Defensive line coach Shaun Nua that the Whittley had a “boo-boo” that caused him to sit out last week.

The Oregon State transfer hasn’t played a ton this season, but he’s a massive body and he could certainly be a valuable addition up front as the Wolverines try to clog the middle.

On the Wisconsin side of things, the Badgers actually release a depth chart and injury report, so it’s less of a guessing game.

Faion Hicks is listed as a starting corner for the Badgers and was questionable earlier this week, which generally means a 50/50 shot of playing. Things obviously change but if he misses the game, Wisconsin would be weaker in the secondary, which is an area U-M may need to attack if it is unable to establish the running game.

Weather for Michigan football vs Wisconsin

Injuries are an important factor or staying healthy is, but another is the weather and things are setting up to be the ideal weather for a low-scoring, defensive battle.

According to the National Weather Service, there is a 50 percent chance of showers and there could be some thunderstorms: “A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1 pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. South wind 5 to 10 mph.”

A rainy day usually isn’t ideal for throwing the football, especially for two programs that have struggled to throw the ball this season.

One huge positive for Michigan’s Cade McNamara is that he hasn’t turned the ball over and ball security will be paramount Saturday. Mertz has struggled to protect the ball and has 12 interceptions in his last eight starts.

Next. Biggest storylines to follow against the Badgers. dark

A slippery ball could mean a key turnover for one side or the other and could be the difference in what should be a close and competitive game.