A Hail Mary was all that separated the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan State Spartans in their first meeting at Spartan Stadium. Both teams have had their ups and downs since then, though it's mostly been good times for both teams. They meet again at a neutral site on Saturday with a trip to a BCS bowl on the line, and neutral football fans can only hope that the rematch is nearly as good as the first game.
Wisconsin Badgers blog Bucky's 5th Quarter points out that Michigan State needed a lot to go their way to win the first matchup.
[T]he Badgers suffered a blocked punt, a blocked field goal, two of quarterback Russell Wilson's three interceptions on the season, a safety and the aforementioned Hail Mary, and were still tied with the Spartans as the game clock reached the single digits. A cleaner performance away from the raucous nighttime crowd at Spartan Stadium should lead to a Wisconsin victory.
However, Michigan State blog The Only Colors doesn't think that MSU's performance was anything close to an aberration. Wisconsin has a highly-rated pass defense, but they haven't played anyone.
Wisconsin's pass defense has been ranked tops in the Big Ten by virtue of giving up only 144.5 yards through the air per game. This is my rebuttal. Quick: What do Edward Wright-Baker, Tre Robinson, Taylor Martinez, Braxton Miller, Caleb TerBush, Robert Marve, MarQueis Gray, Nathan Scheelhaase, and the Matt McGloin/Rob Bolden have in common? Those are the quarterbacks other than Kirk Cousins that Wisconsin's faced in conference this season. The Badger defense also faced Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish, who must be better than at least half the QBs I just listed. So even though Wisconsin might have the top pass defense in the Big Ten, the degree of difficulty in quarterbacks faced hasn't been too steep.
Game date, time: 8:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, Dec. 3
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
TV channel: FOX
Spread: Wisconsin favored by 10 points
Series history: Michigan State leads, 30-20