Bob Davie doesn’t want to worry about what the Wisconsin Badgers are going to do on Saturday. He wants to focus on his team, and what they can do against one of the best teams in the country in No. 5 Wisconsin.
“(I) respect the chance to just go up there and play them, I really mean that,” Davie said. “They are unique to college football in some ways in this era of spread offense. They’re very good, it’s really a very aligned program from top to bottom.”
The game is the first between the two schools and will kick off at 10 a.m. mountain time and will be broadcast live on Big Ten Network from Camp Randall Stadium.
The Badgers are 1-0 on the year and coming off of a 34-3 victory over Western Kentucky last week in the season opener. Last years Badger defense finished the year ranked fourth in the country in total yards allowed and gave up an average of 13.2 points per game to opponents. Non-conference opponents have fared even worse, with 14 games being played at Camp Randall in the last six seasons and half of those opponents failing to score a touchdown. Statistically, the Badgers pose the biggest test of the season for the new Lobos offense.
“To win in the fashion (New Mexico) did offensively, we’ve got to play sound team defense and you can probably say that every week,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. “They’ve got a good scheme and I was impressed with how they’ve learned it and understood it. It didn’t look like the first game of a new offense.”
The Lobos offense will be without wideout Q’ Drennan, who dislocated his hip on the Lobos first drive against the University of the Incarnate Word and backup quarterback Coltin Gerhart(cq), who sprained his foot after coming oin in relief late in the game.
The Badgers offense is headlined by sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor, who reached 2,000 yards in his career in only 15 games. Taylor is a Heisman trophy candidate and the latest in a long line of outstanding Wisconsin running backs that includes Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon.
UW is currently riding a 40 game non-conference winning streak, which is the longest active streak and the fifth longest in the modern era, which began in 1946.
The Lobos will receive a payment of $1.2 million for playing this game, according to a contract between the two institutions that was obtained by the Daily Lobo through an Inspection of Public Records Act request.
Cameron Goeldner is a sports beat reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer, women’s basketball, softball and the Albuquerque Isotopes, but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @goeldfinger.