Week 11 - BYU at Wisconsin

Posted Nov 8, 2013

Week 11 Fearless Predictions & Preview - BYU at Wisconsin

BYU (6-2) at Wisconsin (6-2) Nov. 9 3:30, ESPN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: While things have changed over the course of the season, at the moment Wisconsin is the one of only two ranked teams on the schedule, with Notre Dame the other. With the win over Texas, this would still be the highlight of a season that's getting stronger by the week.

BYU is already tied into a bowl game, accepting its automatic bid to the Fight Hunger Bowl, but it's world as an independent is almost like a series of fun bowls with the potential to finish the regular season having played ten bowl bound teams. But is Wisconsin going to be a BCS-caliber opponent or is it destined for a New Year's Day game in Florida?

The Badgers are still in the hunt for an at-large BCS game, winning three straight since the tough loss to Ohio State, but the dominant wins over Northwestern, Illinois and Iowa might be a bit misleading. Still looking for a truly decent win, Wisconsin isn't going to get any credit for losing to Arizona State in painful, controversial fashion, and it's not going to get any national respect if it beats Indiana, Minnesota and Penn State to close things out. Dominant at home, the key will be to keep on bringing the strong defense while doing what the O does best and outpower the BYU rushing attack, but it's going to be a battle.

This is just the second meeting between the two teams all-time. The first was a 28-3 BYU win in 1980.

Why BYU Might Win: The Cougars have the makeup to match the Badgers rushing punch for rushing punch. Wisconsin has yet to give up 200 yards on the ground, and it has managed to do a nice job of keeping mobile quarterbacks in check, but Braxton Miller and Ohio State were able to keep things moving and Arizona State came up with four rushing scores. BYU has the right makeup and quickness in the backfield to get to the second level, and while the UW linebackers are sound, the defense traditionally has a problem coming up with big stops against the better rushing quarterbacks. Taysom Hill is among the most effective all-around playmakers in the country.

Why Wisconsin Might Win: It'll be Wisconsin and will pound and pound some more. The Cougars have no problems getting physical up front, and they've only allowed four rushing scores on the year, but Boise State was able to grind a bit and Utah State and Georgia Tech ran well with their quirky attacks. Wisconsin won't be as subtle with Melvin Gordon and James White controlling the clock and the game. On the other side of the ball, there might be problems with the run defense, but the pass rush should be able to get to Hill on a regular basis against the leaky Cougar line.

Who To Watch Out For: It's all about Hill and whether or not he can make the Badger secondary pay. Not tested enough last week against Iowa, Wisconsin's corners will give up the big play, and Hill should be able to come up with a few after ripping up Houston for 417 passing yards and four scores and Boise State for 339 yards and three touchdowns in the last two weeks. The Badgers have to respect the run, but fear his passing skills.

What Will Happen: BYU isn't good enough on third downs to keep the chains moving and control the clock like it'll need to do. Wisconsin might have a few struggles early on, but it will ramp up the defense in the second half and take over.

Prediction: Wisconsin 38 … BYU 30
Line: Wisconsin -7 o/u: 55.5
Must See Rating: (5 The Wolf of Wall Street – 1 Ass Backwards) … 4
Buy tickets for this game at TicketCity