Badgers Preview: Wisconsin at BYU
Wisconsin Badgers head to West for their first road trip of the season before they start the Big Ten season in two weeks against Northwestern. This game stuck out to fans like a sore thumb because it was a road trip out west against a tricky BYU team. But as the Cougars have played this season, they might not have the gas that fans believed BYU had before the season began which is reflective of the spread.
LOCATION: Provo, Utah
TIME: 2:30 pm
SPREAD: -16 Wisconsin
Three things to watch
1. Beau Hoge taking the ball for Cougars – Looking around the Interwebs, and it appears BYU’s backup quarterback Beau Hoge will be the starter on Saturday. Hoge is ESPN’s Merrill Hoge’s kid, so, I’m sure they’ll beat that to fucking death. From what we gander from him, he’s going to be a more agile quarterback, and there could be more read option in the mix than what we’ve seen with Tanner Magnum at the start of the year. That bodes well for Wisconsin who has torn up option teams since the arrival of Dave Aranda. They have enough speed to keep up with the speedy quarterback.
2. Can Badgers offense cook against better competition – We saw Wisconsin hang 59 on one team from Utah then they scuffled a bit against Florida Atlantic. What will we see on Saturday. Alex Hornibrook needs quite the bounce back, and Jonathan Taylor should get the major opportunities yet again. Both could have big days. In the LSU game, the Cougars allowed nearly 300 yards on the ground then against Utah, they let Utah’s quarterback throw for 300 yards. Even though the points don’t reflect it, BYU’s defense isn’t much to write home about.
3. How much does BYU have left? – Bryan Fischer of Athlon Sports had an interesting piece about the ‘seven things about week 2’, and he featured BYU as one of them. Fischer mentions how the Cougars are out of a chance at getting a Power 5 bid, and they were soundly beat by Utah in the Holy War which is a much bigger rivalry than any of us know. It’s an interesting nugget where you have to wonder if this comes in a little more deflated than expected.
I’ve thought this might be the game to trip up Wisconsin in what could be a dream season, but I’m not seeing it with BYU so far this season. They’ve shown absolutely nothing on offense, and a new quarterback could inject new blood, yet Wisconsin’s defense may be too much for them. I like the Badgers big led by their defense. UW 30-10