Breaking it down: Badgers look to get offensive identity back
Who: Miami (OH) vs. Wisconsin
When: 12 p.m. ET
Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin
Spread: Wisconsin -32
Matchup to watch: Miami D-line vs. Wisconsin O-line
The Redhawks most experienced and skilled group is their defensive line, where they return four upperclassmen starters. Bryson Albright will present a young Badger unit a challenge with his ability to blow up plays in the backfield. The likes of Dan Voltz and Tyler Marz will have to create running ways for whoever starts in the backfield for the Badgers. For Wisconsin to do what it does best — play power football and dominate time of possession — an Alabama hangover won’t fly for the Badger front five. Then again — experienced or not — the Badgers should have a much easier time controlling the Redhawks than they did against arguably the best line in the toughest defensive line in the country.
Thing I’m excited to see: Sunshine slinging
I don’t like to read too much into one game, but man, did Joel Stave look comfortable. If there was ever a time for accuracy problems to surface, it was against the Tide pass rush. Instead, the senior hung in the pocket and made some big time throws. What will he do against Miami, you ask? We’re going to see Paul Chryst call for more shots downfield with Alex Erickson. We might even see converted quarterback Tanner McEvoy connect with Stave for the first time this season. After the variety of throws he showed he could make, look for Chryst to put even more responsibility on Stave’s plate in Week 2.
Number to remember: 72
That’s how many yards Alabama running back Derrick Henry gained after contact against the Badgers. I understand that he’s a Heisman candidate and playing without Michael Caputo made Saturday’s challenge a great one. But arm-tackling bigger ball carriers does not work in the Big Ten. Miami running back Alonzo Smith is nowhere near Henry’s talent level. He is, however, close to him in size. The Badgers don’t want to develop into a team that struggles to bring down bigger backs because the Big Ten is loaded with them.
Prediction: Wisconsin 52, Miami (OH) 7
I don’t know how healthy Caputo will be, or if Corey Clement will look like his old self. I do know that Wisconsin shouldn’t lose the line of scrimmage battle and Stave should be able to dice up the Redhawks secondary. If that happens, Caputo and Clement won’t even be needed in the second half. This one should be decided by the time Badger fans are jumping around.