The red-hot Badgers take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Saturday afternoon at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. Wisconsin will look to extend their win streak to five games.
After starting the season 1-3, Wisconsin (5-3 overall, 3-2 BIG 10) has won four straight games, the last two against top-25 opponents. Rutgers (4-4, 1-4) is coming off of their first conference win of the year against Illinois last week.
The Badgers and Scarlet Knights have only faced off three times prior to Saturday’s matchup. Wisconsin is 3-0 all-time against Rutgers, and has thoroughly dominated all three games, outsourcing the Scarlet Knights 116-27. Saturday’s game is the first trip back to Piscataway the Badgers have made since 2014.
Three Keys to Victory
#1: UW Defense needs to play like the top defense it is.
Wisconsin’s biggest advantage in this game looks to be their defense. With both offenses averaging around 350 yards per game, it will be up to UW’s defense to once again give the Badgers the edge. Wisconsin’s defense is holding opponents to just under 215 yards a game, while the Scarlet Knights’ defense is giving up 360 yards a contest.
#2: Run the ball.
The Badgers’ offense needs to capitalize on the weaker Scarlet Knights’ defense. Rutgers is giving up over 140 yards per game on the ground. Chez Mellusi, Braelon Allen, and the Badgers’ running attack need to have a big day. The Wisconsin offense is at its best when Graham Mertz isn’t forcing the ball and trying to make too much happen. To put Mertz in the best position possible, the Badgers need to pound the ball and rely on their stellar run game.
#3: Don’t turn the ball over.
UW has turned the ball over two or more times in five of their eight games. Rutgers has 10 takeaways throughout their eight games. The Scarlet Knights will be itching to cause turnover to give their offense more chances to score and wear out the UW defense. Wisconsin can’t afford to give Rutgers any additional opportunities to stay in the game.
Though Wisconsin is favored to win by 13 points on the road, UW can’t underestimate the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers will look to spoil Wisconsin’s win streak and start one of their own on Saturday. Kick-off is scheduled for 2:30 on BTN. On, Wisconsin!