Michigan vs Wisconsin Preview With Gus Johnson of FOX Sports
Before the Michigan Vs Wisconsin game on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium, I, Sports Correspondent Casey Campbell, had the opportunity to sit down with Gus Johnson of FOX Sports who shared his insight regarding Michigan Football and this week’s upcoming game. Mr. Johnson will be calling the Michigan vs Wisconsin game along with Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft. Kickoff is at Noon on Saturday, November 18th on FOX.
Here are highlights of my interview with Gus Johnson of Fox Sports:
Q: Do you think that Michigan will be Wisconsin’s toughest opponent they will face all year?
Johnson: I would say so, I know Iowa gave Wisconsin a run for their money last week. But, when it comes to playing top echelon teams in the nation, I don’t think Wisconsin has faced anybody like Michigan especially how Michigan has been playing lately winning three in a row since the loss at Penn State and Since that happened the coaching staff has made some adjustments and the team is playing really well. I think Michigan is the kind of team that is tailored to play Wisconsin in Madison in the elements and I think it will be a great challenge for the Badgers.
Q: Do you think Michigan deserves to be in the College Football Playoff top 25?
Johnson: Of course they do, they have just won three straight games and they are a quality team and are getting ready to play some quality opponents and I think, although they may not have done that so far this season, they have won enough games to be qualified to be ranked in the College Football Playoff Top 25. I kind of see it as a specious argument, but I can see how people can make it. I think the Wolverines are in a prime position to really turn some heads as we round third base and close the season.
Q: What do you like about Michigan Running Back Karan Higdon
I think that Higdon is a solid player, he has had some big games this year and is coming into his own. I think the philosophy of the Michigan Offense has some stability now at quarterback with Brandon Peters who is getting better every game and has won the last three games for Michigan. So it’s a combination of a number of different things that have let the running backs at Michigan to flourish. The offensive line is playing extremely well and the tight ends are blocking and catching passes for touchdowns and making big plays so it just seems they have a good balance with their team now and I think Higdon is a tremendous player and is only going to get better over time.
Q: What do you like about Brandon Peters as a quarterback?
I think he is calm and also plays with a poise and he does not get rattled very often. I think he has got a great arm talent and seems to be in control of the offense and that’s what they needed. In particular, turnovers are going to be a factor in this game because the weather is going to be in the 30’s and snow may be in the forecast. So ball security is going to be very important. Peters I think, has a knack for making big plays and he made some big plays against Maryland last week. I thought he did a good job of orchestrating the offense and didn’t lose the game but I think as a redshirt freshman he is doing very well.
Q: How have you thought the Michigan Defense has played this year?
I like how Michigan’s defense plays together. There is a flow to their defense. They are all running to the football especially against the run. I think their Defensive backs are solid. I like Khaleke Hudson at the Viper Position. That kid can really play football and Josh Metellus has been doing a wonderful job the last couple games. But most importantly, I like the way they flow as a team to the ball. It seems like they all play with the same brain. I think that is going to be very helpful because you know, Wisconsin is going to run the football and they have big strong offensive linemen and there is a lot of Linemen from Wisconsin who ends up going to the NFL. Wisconsin can run the block very well and when you can run the block effectively like Wisconsin does it can set up your play action pass. But I think Michigan is ready for the challenge. I think they are well prepared. They are aggressive and I don’t think the weather will be a big factor for the Michigan Defense, because being from Michigan, they are used to being in the cold. But, this game I think will be a rock’em, sock ’em robot type of old-school Big Ten cold weather style of football game where Michigan and Wisconsin will get into the thick of things.
Q: If Wisconsin loses this game, do you think a Big Ten team gets in the College Football Playoff?
I don’t think so. Ohio State may have an outside shot as a two-loss team but a lot would have to happen. I think the percentages are against a Big Ten team getting into the final 4 if Wisconsin loses to Michigan or even if Wisconsin beats Michigan and loses in the Big Ten Championship game. So I think if Wisconsin wants to get in the playoff they would have to run the table and that’s all way through the Big Ten Championship game. But if they lose to Michigan, it could be catastrophic in terms of their chances of getting into the final 4.
Q: What do you like about Wisconsin’s Alex Hornibrook at quarterback?
Johnson: I see that he is poised. Last year he had to split time. This year he is the man. He threw 2 picks last week against Iowa. One was a pick 6. He brings a calmness to the team and can make plays when he needs to. Wisconsin, offensively, is about running the ball with freshman Jonathan Taylor who has done a good job and Honeybrook has been a nice compliment.
Q: How have you liked calling games in the Big Ten this year?
Johnson: I love the Big Ten. I have called some great games: Michigan State, Ohio State, Nebraska and I am going to Wisconsin this weekend. I will be calling the Michigan Ohio State game next week in Ann Arbor. It’s the first go around for me so it will take some time to get to know the league. It will take two or three years for me to really know it. Not just the players but the coaching staffs as well and the little things like where is the restroom in Iowa to where is the best place to get a sandwich in Evanston (Northwestern) during a break. Those little things because I have been spent the last 6 years covering games in the Pac 12 and Big 12 conferences. I think Big Ten Football is a very special conference in general. It’s the greatest conference in the history of our country. Its the conference of Jesse Owens, Jack Nicklaus, Gerald Ford and Neil Armstrong. Great men who went on to do great things. I love going to the Big Ten stadiums and seeing 100,000 fans at the Shoe rooting for the Buckeyes. This weekend going to Camp Randall and watching fans rooting for Wisconsin and then going to Ann Arbor and watching Michigan and Ohio State in front of 100,000 fans. It’s something most people couldn’t dream of doing but it’s a reality for me and I’m appreciative of this opportunity to call games in this conference. It’s an honor and a privilege and not a right. and I’m from Detroit so this is my home conference and I’m just tickled pink to have a chance to be a part of it.
I would like to thank Gus Johnson for allocating the time to share his thoughts and insights.