‘as good as any’ UM has faced

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phys­i­cal and ma­ture as he is. He has tremen­dous bal­ance and vi­sion. Been a very im­pres­sive back.”

Wis­con­sin coach Paul Chryst said this game is not just about Tay­lor. Wis­con­sin ranks No. 1 na­tion­ally in to­tal de­fense, al­low­ing 247.6 yards a game, while Michi­gan is No. 3 (254.8). The Badgers also are No. 1 against the run (81.5) and Michi­gan is No. 9 (110.3).

The Wolver­ines sta­tis­ti­cally have a bet­ter pass de­fense by a small mar­gin and both are among the na­tion’s top five in sacks.

“Cer­tainly, it’s a very, very im­pres­sive, very tal­ented, well-co­or­di­nated de­fense,” Chryst said Tues­day, re­fer­ring to Michi­gan’s de­fense. “And it’s go­ing to take every­one and that’s why it’s not Jonathan ver­sus that; it’s team of­fense ver­sus team de­fense. That’s both sides of the ball. For any play to be suc­cess­ful against good op­po­nents, you’ve got to ex­e­cute, and ev­erybo- dy has to do their part.”

The Wolver­ines rank ninth na­tion­ally in scor­ing de­fense, al­low­ing an av­er­age 16.4 points, and gave up a sea­son-high on the road at then-No. 2 Penn State in a 42-13 loss.

“A big task for our de­fense,” Har­baugh said of Wis­con­sin. “They have a very good, high-pre­ci­sion run­ning game and a very good pass­ing at­tack. Very good quar­ter­back (Alex Horni­brook). Tremen­dous of­fen­sive line and core of re­ceivers and tight ends that are very good. Very good per­son­nel.

“They have re­ally good schemes. They ex­e­cute them very well. What kind of chal­lenge will that be for our de­fense? It will be a stiff, chal­leng­ing game.”

Fresh­man re­ceiver Tarik Black, the team’s lead­ing re­ceiver when he suf­fered a bro­ken bone in his left foot in the Air Force game Sept. 16, is not ex­pected to be ready to re­turn for the fi­nal two reg­u­lar-sea­son games, Har­baugh said.

Black po­ten­tially could be ready for the bowl game, but there's an­other op­tion.

“If he does not re­turn this year we would pur­sue a med­i­cal red­shirt,” Har­baugh said Tues­day on the Big Ten coaches’ call.

Black is Michi­gan’s fifth-lead­ing re­ceiver with 11 catches for 149 yards and a touch­down. Tight end Sean McKeon leads the re­ceivers with 25 catches for 256 yards and two touch­downs.

Har­baugh on what he ap­pre­ci­ates most about the team’s three-game win­ning streak since los­ing at Penn State: “I feel like our ex­e­cu­tion has been im­prov­ing. I feel like our ef­fort has been im­prov­ing and the way we fin­ish has also been im­prov­ing.”

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