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BadgerNotes Staff Predictions: Wisconsin Football vs. Illinois

Here are this week’s staff predictions for Wisconsin football vs. Illinois.



Wisconsin Badgers Football vs. Illinois
Illinois wide receiver Casey Washington (14) is tackled by Wisconsin cornerback Ricardo Hallman (2) on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Illinois won the game, 34-10, in current Illini and former Badgers head coach Bret Bielema's return to Madison. Syndication Stevens Point Journal

The Wisconsin football team suffered a bad loss against the Hawkeyes last week. With the loss, the Badgers lost control of their own destiny to winning the Big Ten West. Now they will need some help, including from Minnesota this week (yuck).

But before we can focus on Iowa losing a few games, the Badgers will need to keep pace by winning any conference games they can. Ohio State is waiting next week. In a worst-case scenario, the Badgers lose three in a row, which is something they cannot afford to do.

This game against Illinois is a must-win.

So let’s take a look at how the BadgerNotes staff think things will play out against the Illini.

BadgerNotes Staff Predictions: Wisconsin Football vs. Illinois

Christian Borman (4-2): Wisconsin 17-14

I want to pick the Badgers here so badly. But I can’t get over how much this offense has struggled this year. I will say, however, that once Braedyn Locke got into a rhythm, I thought he looked pretty good for a redshirt freshman. With a week to prep for the Illini, will he be able to make enough plays to lead the Badgers to a victory? Not having Braelon Allen at 100% is going to make things harder for him and the offense.

The defense is what gives me hope in this matchup. They have been playing well as of late. They kept the Badgers in the game against Iowa when the offense was doing nothing. I think this has a chance to be another low-scoring, ugly, Big Ten West football game that we have all grown accustomed to. But can the Wisconsin football offense score enough to win the game? That will be the big question.

I’m being a bit of a homer here and believing the loss to Iowa woke them up a bit. It’s going to be ugly, but I think the Badgers squeak by the Illini this week.

Dillon Graff (4-2): Wisconsin 23-17

This shit’s going to be ugly — I just know it. I’m going into Saturday’s matchup vs. Illinois with little expectation in hopes that Wisconsin football can prove me wrong.

I like Braedyn Locke as much as the next guy and even think he can help the Badgers keep their head above water. The defense has been much better since the bye week — so that’s something.

If Wisconsin loses this game — I’ll need therapy.

Jake Maier (4-2): Wisconsin 21-17

Dylan Buboltz (4-2): Wisconsin 24-17

This is the definition of a trap game. I think it’s important to know everything is still in front of the Badgers even if they need some help. With a huge primetime game next week against Ohio State, this is a game Wisconsin football needs to get. They can’t afford another loss, especially to a team like Illinois who is struggling.

I’m excited to see what Brayden Locke looks like with a full week to prepare. He won’t face a tougher defense than he did last week. I know most fans want to see Myles Burkett or Nick Evers, but Locke won’t be QB2 job early and there was never really a competition for it.

You have to rely on Braelon Allen and the defense in this game. Illini quarterback Luke Altmyer has already thrown nine interceptions and is prone to turning the ball over.

I don’t think this is a game UW looks past because they can’t afford to look past it. I like the defense to get some turnovers as well.

Ryan Eilers (4-2): Wisconsin 34-17

Well.. Wisconsin football stunk last week, huh? On top of the loss to the Hawkeyes on the field — we lost el capitán (Spanish for DAWGGG). After having surgery Sunday, Tanner Mordecai is out for an extended time with a broken right hand.

Insert Braedyn Locke.

I don’t know if it’s our shared love for Lululemon, or that fact he threw for 11,182 yards (2nd most all time) and 128 touchdowns (best all time) as a prep star against the highest level of competition in Texas. But I am all in on Locke. Oh, by the way, Texas football has had some decent quarterbacks along the way. Not sure if you have heard of Kyler Murray, Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford, Drew Brees, Vince Young, and that Patrick Mahomes guy. Locke threw more touchdowns than all of them.

Yeahhhh, I think buddy can spin it. The lights won’t be too bright for the young signal caller. He’s been building for this moment his whole life. Now, it’s go time!

To be abundantly clear, as a first-time starter, it’s not fair or reasonable to expect him to come out and set the field on fire. But I’m not a fair and reasonable man. I go through all the stages of fandom depending on the score of the game and the down and distance.

Saturday will be Braedyn Locke’s coming-out party. Big Bert and the Fighting Illini are not as stout defensively as Iowa was last week. I expect boys to step up their game and rally behind the adversity that they are now facing. The former Rockwall, TX legend goes out and throws for over 250 yards and 2 tuds as the Wisconsin football team opens up an all-you-can-eat buffet-style a** whipping on Illinois. Consider me Locke-d and loaded! Badgers 34 — 17.

Drew Hamm (3-2): ??

I do yard work for the first half so I don’t have an aneurysm watching Brayden Locke for 60 minutes.

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Christian Borman was born and raised in Wisconsin and covers the Badgers football and basketball programs, plus some recruiting for He previously covered the Wisconsin Badgers for years as the site expert for Badger of Honor of the Fansided Network.