NCAA on Sling TV: Wisconsin vs. Michigan, Louisville vs. Clemson in a Pair of Top-10 Showdowns on ABC

Sep 29, 2016 by Sling Staff

#8 Wisconsin (4-0) vs. #4 Michigan (4-0)
3:30pm ET Saturday on ABC & ESPN3

The Michigan Wolverines have been rolling over opponents, winning by an average score of 52-14, while the Wisconsin Badgers have been winning by a more modest margin of 31-12 – impressive but not jaw-dropping. But the Wolverines have been crushing middling programs like Colorado, Central Florida, and Hawaii (no offense to any of you fine people), while the Badgers have already beaten two top-10 teams, the LSU Tigers – helping to get Les Miles fired – and the Michigan State Spartans in Lansing.

Michigan QB Wilton Speight has been great thus far, hitting on 72 of 114 passes for 875 yards, 9 TDs and just 1 interception in leading the Wolverines to the fourth-highest scoring average in the land. But where the Wolverines really hurt you is with their ground game, with De’Veon Smith gaining 259 yards on 39 carries with 2 TDs, Chris Evans at 29 carries for 213 yards and 3 TDs, Ty Isaac at 33/150/2, and Karan Higdon at 22/145/3 – and then there’s short-yardage specialist Khalid Hill, who has 9 carries for just 17 yards, but also 4 touchdowns. But the most dynamic player on the team has to be linebacker Jabril Pepper, who’s 3rd in the nation in punt return average, and 5th in tackles for a loss, and whose play in Week 3 against Colorado earned him Walter Camp FBS Player of the Week, Co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, and Special Teams Player of the Week. Michigan’s defense took a hit last weekend against Penn State, when redshirt senior DB Jeremy Clark tore an ACL, ending his season, though that same game they welcomed back 2015 All American cornerback Jourdan Lewis.

Redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook will again get the start Saturday, after leading the Badgers to a decisive 30-6 win last week over MIchigan State. Hornibrook has been solid since being subbed in late in the 3rd quarter against Georgia State two weeks ago, where he led the team to 17 points in the final 21 minutes to secure a 23-17 win. On the year, he’s completed 29 of 43 for 378 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions, a tick better than senior Bart Houston’s 44 for 71 for 5327 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions. Defensively, the Badgers biggest assets may be their offense, which is second in the nation in time of possession, at 37 minutes per game. If they can limit Michigan’s offense to just 23 minutes on the field, rather than their average 32, it will go a long way toward keeping them from rolling up another 50-point game. And Wisconsin has one of the better run defenses in the country, holding opponents to just 80.5 yards a game and an average of 3.2 yards per carry. They also have TJ Watt, younger brother of NFL Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt, who’s 7th in the country with 4.5 sacks.

#3 Louisville (4-0) vs. #5 Clemson (4-0)
8pm ET Saturday on ABC & ESPN3

Sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson of Louisville has climbed to the top of the Heisman Watch with an electric four-game run that has the Cardinals undefeated. This is what an average Saturday looks like for Jackson thus far: 18-for-32 for 332 yards and 3 TDs – and 15 rushes for 131 yards and 3 TDs. For those of you who struggle with math, that’s 463 yards and 6 touchdowns. His yardage alone would rank 42nd in the nation, and he’d be 48th in scoring – among teams. Louisville averages 63.5 points a game, rendering a defense all but superfluous, and yet they’ve allowed the 7th-fewest passing yards per game, 13th-fewest total yards, and the 4th-fewest yards per play. They do have a weakness, however, as they posses a -3 turnover margin, which has led to a couple of touchdowns.

After unimpressive one-possession victories over Auburn and Troy, and a route of the FCS’ South Carolina State, the Clemson Tigers finally got down to business last week against Georgia Tech, jumping out to a 23-0 lead in the first half, before coasting home to a 26-7 victory. Clemons totally dominated the first half, outgoing GT 347-22. QB Deshaun Watson so far has completed 90 of 150 for 996 yards and 9 TDs, but those 4 INTs have to give you pause, especially considering the level of competition they’ve faced. But Clemson has one of the stingiest defenses in the country, allowing just 11 points per game on an average of 3.4 yards per play, second-best in the country, and they’ve forced 9 turnovers.


UConn (2-2) vs. #6 Houston (4-0)
8pm ET on ESPN


#7 Stanford (3-0) vs. #10 Washington (4-0)
9pm ET on ESPN


#23 Florida (3-1) vs. Vanderbilt (2-2)
Noon ET on the SEC Network

#13 Baylor (4-0) vs. Iowa State (1-3)
Noon ET on FS1

Alcorn State (1-2) vs. #20 Arkansas (3-1)
Noon ET on the SEC Network

#22 Texas (2-1) vs. Oklahoma State (2-2)
Noon ET on ABC & ESPN3

#14 Miami (3-0) vs. Georgia Tech (3-1)
Noon ET on ESPN2

North Carolina (3-1) vs. #12 Florida State (3-1)
3:30pm ET on ESPN

#8 Wisconsin (4-0) vs. #4 Michigan (4-0)
3:30pm ET on ABC & ESPN3

Illinois (1-2) vs. #15 Nebraska (4-0)
3:30pm ET on ESPN2

#9 Texas A&M (4-0) vs. South Carolina (2-2)
4pm ET on the SEC Network

Oklahoma (1-2) vs. #21 TCU (3-1)
5pm ET on FOX

#18 Utah (4-0) vs. Cal (2-2)
6pm ET on the Pac-12 Network

Kentucky (2-2) vs. #1 Alabama (4-0)
7pm ET on ESPN

#19 San Diego State (3-0) vs. South Alabama (2-2)
8pm ET on ESPNews

#3 Louisville (4-0) vs. #5 Clemson (4-0)
8pm ET on ABC & ESPN3

Utah State (2-2) vs. #24 Boise State (3-0)
10:15pm ET on ESPN2

ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 are available to Sling Orange subscribers;
ESPNEWS, ESPNU, and SEC Network are available to Sling Orange subscribers with Sports Extra;
ABC is available to Sling Orange subscribers in select markets with Broadcast Extra;
FOX is available live to Sling Blue subscribers in select markets;
FS1 is available to Sling Blue subscribers;
Pac-12 Networks available to all Sling subscribers with Sports Extra.

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