This was a chance for the Wolverines to show the world in prime time that their two straight losses and 1-2 start were merely a fluke, and that the talent Jim Harbaugh so often preaches about is there and with better execution, with early success, they could right the ship. On Saturday night that vessel never had a chance to leave the harbor. Joe Milton threw two first-quarter interceptions, the first of which was a deflection and the second that hit Badgers linebacker Leo Chanel right in the numbers, and while the picks looked very different the result was very much the same as Wisconsin came away with a touchdown.
Wisconsin's talent and speed were on display from the start on both sides of the ball as the Badgers quickly separated themselves from the Wolverines by outgaining them 129-1, and that was just the first quarter. Before the half, Michigan faced a 28-0 hole, and digging out would be a seemingly insurmountable task. Milton's talent is still unrefined, and his youth and inexperience remain raw, exposing his shortcomings; missing a touch pass to a wide-open receiver, or breaking outside on the goal line on 4th down and taking a sack before the half.
This almost felt like a MAC payoff game as Wisconsin steamrolled Michigan in first-half yardage, 227-94 as Milton and company earned just four first downs. And, when things did go Michigan's way, it was short-lived as Harbaugh's team had a touchdown and a fumble recovery overturned.
Michigan has now lost 13 straight games against Top 15 teams since 2008, and ironically the last win came against Wisconsin. On this Saturday night in Ann Arbor, the Badgers and Wolverines didn't even look like they were in the same league as they drop to 1-3 on the season, marking their worst start in nearly 55 years.