Four Things to Watch: Wisconsin v. Northwestern
In the State of Illinois, it’s curse-breaking season fresh off the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series. A team from up north hopes to do the same thing at Ryan Field on Saturday morning when Wisconsin takes on Northwestern. It’s not a 108-year curse, rather, 17 years since Badgers have beat Wildcats on the road. If Badgers win this game, the path gets a little more clearer, but as we know, the last hurdle can be the hardest.
Slowing down Austin Carr
This is the best wide receiver in college football you know nothing about. He’s an explosive player and Pro Football Focus says he’s having the best wide receiver season according to their metrics. Wisconsin really hasn’t seen this kind of talent at wide out. That being said, Derrick Tindall Jr. and D’Cota Dixon seem to up to the task. Both have played stellar football all season and know they need to be on their A-game versus Carr. He’s had over 100 yards in five of his last six games, and there hasn’t been a game this season where Carr didn’t catch at least five balls.
The Quarterback two-some
Wisconsin will apply the two-quarterback system which is familiar for a game at Ryan Field. If you remember Tanner McEvoy’s failure in the first half was much of the reason why Wisconsin lost here in 2014 then it became the return of Joel Stave all in Gary Andersen’s grill piece. This time it’s a little different. Both players are on board with the idea, even if some including me are not a huge fan of the whole thing. The Double H (Houston and Hornibrook) need to cut down on turnovers. That cannot happen in a game like this one.
Badgers pass rush will be key
Wisconsin has done a masterful job at getting to the quarterback. That will have to continue on Saturday. Northwestern throws the ball more than most teams Wisconsin played against this season. Clayton Thorson threw the ball more than 35 times in the three of the last four games. Don’t be surprised if this is a big T.J. Watt and Vince Biegel game given how much Northwestern is throwing the football. This game is going to be much different than the one last year in Camp Randall.
Jazz Peavy’s redemption
We all know what happened last year as officials robbed Wisconsin of a victory in Camp Randall. Jazz Peavy knows it too. He acted like it didn’t bother him, but you know, this game has been circled for awhile for the Kenosha native. Watch for Peavy to have a big game and impact on this football game.
Wisconsin gets Wildcats at the right time coming off a loss to Ohio State. I could see them a little beat up, and Badgers pass rush being the difference in this game. UW 23-14