The Wisconsin football team comes home to Madison this Saturday as the Badgers take on BYU. Kickoff is at 3:30 ET and can be seen on ESPN.
This will be Wisconsin’s second home game in the past seven weeks. Despite the friendly atmosphere, the Badgers (6-2) will face a hostile opponent on the verge of being a nationally ranked football team.
BYU (6-2) has won five games in a row and has averaged 38 points per game during that span. The Cougars also dominated then-No. 15 Texas in September, winning 40-21 at home. While they opened their season with a stinker of a loss against a pitiful Virginia team, the Cougars’ other loss was against Utah, a team that gave Stanford its only loss of the season.
Sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill leads the Cougars’ offense. A dual threat quarterback, Hill is second in the nation among quarterbacks in rushing yards behind only Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch. Hill has steadily improved as a passer, as well. After completing fewer than 40 percent of his pass attempts in BYU’s first three games, Hill has posted a 65 percent completion rate in the five games since then.
For the Badgers, senior linebacker Chris Borland is expected to return to the field this Saturday after a hamstring injury. Redshirt junior Marcus Trotter filled in admirably for him last week in a 28-9 win over Iowa, with nine tackles.
The defense could use Borland’s leadership. Linebacker Conor O’Neill is questionable with an ankle injury. Defensive end Tyler Dippel is not expected to play due to a family issue. It caused him to miss last week’s game as well.
A non-conference game in early November is certainly a schedule quirk. BYU and Wisconsin have only met once before. In 1980, the Cougars came into Camp Randall and won, 28-3.
With this being one of the last games remaining against a quality opponent, Wisconsin needs to take advantage of an opportunity to impress the voters and the convoluted computers if it wants to hold onto hopes of a BCS at-large bid.