Week 11- BYU vs. Wisconsin
BYU (6-2) will take on the #24 Wisconsin Badgers (6-2, 4-1 Big 10) this Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. A familiar foe will be awaiting their arrival in Badger coach Gary Anderson. Anderson is in his first season as head coach at Wisconsin after an impressive career at the University of Utah and Utah State. We are all well aware that these two teams want to play completely different styles:
So aside from who is the pace-car for the game, here are a few things to watch for that could have a major influence on the outcome of the game.
What to Watch for:
Penalties: BYU is #117 in penalties (out of 123) and #111 in penalty yards. Translation: BYU has been really sloppy this season, like really. The offensive line has been a big issue and false starts, especially in the red zone, have been drive killers. BYU cannot afford to give a good team any freebies. I am hoping that this was a point of emphasis in the bye week and that the offensive line will come out ready to play. The Wisconsin defense is already tough enough to play against; BYU can’t play against itself too.
Field Position: BYU is having a very good year in the return game for both punts and kick-off’s. BYU comes in at #4 in kick-off return yards/game and #37 in punt returns. However, BYU lost their punt returner JD Falslev to a hand injury (non-football related) during the bye week. The options for BYU are Cody Hoffman and Skyler Ridley. Hoffman has been on the kick return team in years past but I am concerned about the risk of injury to the best WR on the team. My bet is that Ridley is the man. The fair catch is the safe play for BYU. Cut your losses and don’t risk the fumble. But who knows, maybe Ridley steps in and doesn’t miss a beat. It will be definitely interesting to see how it plays out and it could have a significant impact on the game.
BYU has a lot riding on this game as they will likely make the top 25 if they can pull off a road win at Wisconsin. Then if they can knock off Notre Dame they could crack the top 20. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As with most of BYU’s games this season I think it will be a tale of two halves. I think points will be scored in the first half by both teams and the defenses will take over in the 2nd half. If BYU can control the penalties and have some success in stopping the Wisconsin rush attack then I think BYU does just enough, with some late heroics, to pull out the win.
Prediction: BYU 27, Wisconsin 24
—What are your predictions for the game? Comment below…—