Stephen Nover's Bowl Total of the Year
Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin,
01/02/2017 13:00 EDT,
Score: 16 - 24
Total: -110/+52 Over
Look for offense to trump defense here even though these teams have excellent defensive numbers. Both teams have sharp offensive coaches in P.J. Fleck for Western Michigan and Paul Chryst for Wisconsin.
Western Michigan's explosive offense averages 43.5 points per game and nearly 500 yards. The Broncos' terrific offense kept their defense off the field for long stretches. Western's Michigan's defense isn't as good as it's numbers because of this.
I see the Broncos getting their points against Wisconsin. The Badgers have a defensive weakness that Western Michigan quarterback Zack Terrell can exploit and that's the deep pass. Terrell averages nearly 10 yards a throw and had 32 touchdown passes. Terrell has a top receiver in pro prospect Corey Davis, who caught 91 passes for 1,427 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Wisconsin's secondary was lit up in its last game by Penn State. Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley completed 71 percent of his passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns in Penn State's 38-31 victory.
Non-league opponents aren't used to Western Michigan's powerful offense , a factor why the over is 10-4-1 in the Broncos' last 15 non-league contests.
The Badgers put up 31 points against Penn State without their starting quarterback, Alex Hornibrook, who had a head injury. Hornibrook is healthy and will play against Western Michigan. Hornibrook isn't a star, but is enough of a passer to take advantage if Western Michigan sells out to stop the run. The Badgers' strength is running talented Corey Clement behind another outstanding Wisconsin offensive line.
Clement has gotten healthy and lived up to his vast potential rushing for at least 100 yards in seven of his last eight games. Look for the Badgers to wear down the Broncos with their big line and physical ground attack.