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AccuScore Simulation: Outback Bowl

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AccuScore has run more than 10,000 simulations for every bowl game for Yahoo! Sports, calculating how each team's performance changes in response to game conditions, opponent's abilities, roster moves, weather and more. Each game is simulated one play at a time and the game is replayed a minimum of 10,000 times to generate forecasted winning percentages, player statistics and a variety of game-changing scenarios. Here's AccuScore.com's analysis of the Outback Bowl.

Baseline: Tennessee 61%, Wisconsin 39%; Score: Tennessee 34, Wisconsin 28

The Outback Bowl pits Wisconsin against Tennessee with both teams vying for a 10-win season. After giving LSU a stiff challenge in the SEC title game, the Vols are winning over 60% of simulations by six points on average. Quarterback Erik Ainge is throwing for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his last collegiate game. Running back Arian Foster is rushing for over 100 yards and a touchdown.

Wisconsin has been plagued by injuries all year, but has persevered for a solid season finishing fourth in the Big 10. Quarterback Tyler Donovan is throwing for 220 yards and a score. Look out for receiver Paul Hubbard as he is averaging 20 yards per reception. The offense clearly runs through running back P.J. Hill, and he is forecasted for 115 yards and another score. The Tennessee defense is forcing more than a fumble per game, which means Hill and the other Badgers players will want to keep an extra good grip on the ball to avoid turnovers.

Should Tennessee Focus Solely on Stopping PJ Hill?

Wisconsin relies heavily on Hill to keep the ball moving on offense. AccuScore looked at whether Tennessee should keep additional defenders in the box to increase the focus on stopping Hill.

In this situation, Donovan would be able to take advantage of the open opportunities in the Tennessee secondary. His yards, touchdowns, and completion percentage would all make a slight up tick. Even if Hill were to have a bad game by his standards, (just 81 rushing yards) the additional production from Donovan and the passing game would actually slightly boost Wisconsin’s chances of winning.

Baseline Win % C-A Yd TD Rush Yd YPC TD
Donovan 38% 15-25 220 1.4 10 27 2.7 0.4
P.J. Hill -- -- -- -- 25 116 4.7 1.1
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Shut Down Hill Win % C-A Yd TD Rush Yd YPC TD
Donovan 40% 16-24 237 1.7 10 26 2.6 0.3
P.J. Hill -- -- -- -- 23 81 3.5 0.8
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Peyton Manning At QB?

Erik Ainge has been a four-year starter at quarterback for Tennessee, and is making his last collegiate appearance in this bowl game. He has been up and down in his career, but he has been impressive this season having thrown for 3157 yards and 29 touchdowns.

AccuScore wanted to see just how good Ainge has been this year, and who better to compare him to than the last great four year starter at quarterback for Tennessee: Peyton Manning. AccuScore simulated what would happen if a 22 year old Manning were at quarterback for Tennessee against Wisconsin.

Tennessee Win % C-A % Yd TD Int
Erik Ainge 61% 24-36 67% 247 2.5 0.9
Peyton Manning 70% 25-37 68% 290 3.1 0.9
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Ainge’s stats compare favorably to Manning with regards to completion percentage and interceptions, but Manning has the big edge in yards per completion and touchdowns. The Vols saw their win probability jump to 70 percent with Manning at quarterback.

For more information, visit www.accuscore.com.