Two of the Big Ten's best teams are set to do battle Saturday night at 8 p.m.
Wisconsin and Michigan State are both 2-0 in the conference, boasting two of the country's best defensive units. Outside of that, most would agree that Wisconsin has the edge.
Offensively, there isn't even a comparison between the two teams.
The Badgers are ranked eighth in total offense, while the Spartans are 66th.
What many forget is that Wisconsin's last conference loss came to this very team, on the road.
The Badger's last trip to East Lansing ended in a 34-24 loss on Oct. 2, 2010, and the team is unbeaten in nine conference games since. In fact, Wisconsin is on a three-game slide at Spartan Stadium since a win there in October 2002.
Michigan State knows how to win, and Wisconsin hasn't been tested until now.
There are several things you should watch for on Saturday night. Here are my top 10.
Third in the country, this Badgers defense allows just 9.7 points a game.
What we will see Saturday will surprise you.
The Badgers haven't played anybody they should struggle with, so this stat is misleading. Watch the secondary specifically, as I expect them to struggle some.
This defense is a very good one; that isn't a question. The question is, how will they react against top tier athletes who have the ability to put some pressure on this defense?
I think they will do well, but not to the tune of 9.7 points.
I see them giving up over 20 points for the first time this season.
Michigan State comes into this game ranked fourth defensively, allowing only 10.8 points a game.
While this isn't as good as Wisconsin's defense on paper, I feel they are better defensively. They were awful against Notre Dame earlier in the year, but have been great ever since.
Allowing only 14 points to a potent Michigan offense last weekend, I don't see Wisconsin running away with this one.
In fact, I expect a close game throughout in large part because of this defense.
Senior quarterback Kirk Cousins needs to play within himself this weekend for the Spartans to win this game.
I've never been a fan of his, but he is great when he plays within the offense.
This season, he has a 65.9 completion percentage. Expect the coaching staff to call a lot of ball control type plays.
Kirk doesn't seem like a guy who needs praise or the spotlight. As long as he doesn't force balls and try to be the hero, look for him to have a good game.
Nothing flashy, but it wins games.
Also a senior, Russell Wilson has really developed into a good all-around quarterback.
Since he made the move from NC State to Wisconsin, it seems he has improved in every category.
He's a more accurate quarterback, completing 74.2 percent of his passes this season. He also runs effectively, averaging 7.6 yards a carry.
His decision making is so much better he doesn't even look like the same quarterback.
Wilson needs to carry his offense, unlike Kirk Cousins.
If Wisconsin wins, it will be because Russell Wilson continued playing with the poise we have seen all season.
Montee Ball and James White are like peanut butter and jelly.
Ball has an astonishing 16 touchdowns already, and will be looking to add to that number.
No matter which running back carries the ball for Wisconsin, Michigan State had better tighten their chinstraps.
Both of these guys have a combination of speed and power that translates to the NFL.
I don't expect a ton of carries unless Russell Wilson is struggling because of how good Michigan State's defense plays against the run.
The Badgers will run enough to establish a balance, leaving the Spartans guessing.
If they can establish the run, play action passes will be deadly.
While not as potent, Michigan State also has a good running back tandem.
Edwin Baker and Le'Veon Bell are both capable of beating you. Le'Veon specifically will run through arm tackles like nobody is even there, at 6'2", 237 pounds. Edwin is very shifty and strong as well.
Unlike Wisconsin, Michigan State has to run the ball effectively to win.
If Wisconsin makes Michigan State one-dimensional, this will be over early. Both of these guys are skilled enough to do well, and I think they will.
They will both test Wisconsin more than anyone has this season, especially behind a big offensive line.
B.J. Cunningham is a senior leader for this Spartans offense.
At 6'2", 215 pounds, he has an NFL body to match his athletic ability.
While his numbers aren't going to blow anybody away, he can beat any defensive back in the country. He must get open early and often to get Wisconsin out of the box. They will stack the box and blitz if Cousins can't find his receivers early.
B.J. can have a career day if Cousins can get the ball out of his hand.
Wisconsin has a pair of receivers that are tough to handle.
Nick Toon is a prototypical wide receiver at 6'3", 220 pounds. He has been injured and missed the Badgers last game against Indiana. I have heard he will play, but if not, that will be a devastating blow to the Badgers offense.
Jared Abbrederis is 6'2" and a lanky 180 pounds.
Even so, he has shown the athletic ability to be a go to guy. If Nick Toon can't go, I'm not so sure Jared will be very successful.
Both will play a vital role in the outcome of this weekend's game.
Michigan State has a great home crowd, and they will be in full force Saturday night.
Russell Wilson hasn't ever faced them before and will be rattled.
This crowd needs to get so loud it bothers the entire state of Michigan. If the fans do their job, it will be hard for Wilson to concentrate and hear the calls.
This will impact the game, right or wrong.
I know this seems obvious, but it needs to be said.
The team that stays calm, cool, and collected will win this game!
All too often in sports, we see a team or individual player completely fall apart, leading to a loss. It is key for both teams to take care of the football and live to fight another down.
Especially in a game featuring two defenses that are so great and evenly matched.
Field position and turnovers will play a big role in this game, for better or worse.