Sep 7, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers helmets sit on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 48-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin Football: Week 5 Depth Chart + Injury Report For Game vs. Illinois

Madison, Wis. — Wisconsin football (2-2) official released its two-deep depth chart and injury report ahead of its fifth game vs. the Illinois Fighting Illini (3-1).

Here is a look at where things stand heading into Week 5:


Offensive Two-Deep

Nov 20, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) hands the football off to running back Braelon Allen (0) during the first quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback

Starter: Graham Mertz (RS JR)

Backup: Myles Burkett (FR) OR Deacon Hill (RS FR)

Running Back

Starter: Braelon Allen (SO)

Backup: Chez Mellusi (SR)

Reserve: Isaac Guerendo (RS SR)

Fullback

Starter: Jackson Acker (RS FR)

Backup: Riley Nowakowski (RS SO)

Wide Receiver 

Starter: Chimere Dike (JR)

Backup: Markus Allen (RS FR)

Wide Receiver 

Starter: Skyler Bell (RS FR)

Backup: Keontez Lewis (SO)

Tight End

Starter: Hayden Rucci (RS JR)

Backup: Jack Eschenback (RS SR)

Left Tackle

Starter: Jack Nelson (RS SO)

Backup: Nolan Rucci (RS FR)

Left Guard

Starter: Tyler Beach (RS SR)

Backup: Joe Brunner (FR)

Center

Starter: Joe Tippmann (RS JR)

Backup: Trey Wedig (RS SO)

Right Guard

Starter: Tanor Bortolini (RS SO)

Backup: Michael Furtney (RS SR)

Right Tackle 

Starter: Riley Mahlman (RS FR)

Backup: Logan Brown (RS JR)


Defensive Two-Deep

MADISON, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 02: Wisconsin defensive coach Jim Leonhard looks on in the fourth quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium on October 02, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

Defensive End

Starter: Rodas Johnson (RS JR)

Backup: Cade McDonald (RS SO)

Nose Tackle

Starter: Keeanu Benton (SR)

Backup: Gio Paez (RS JR)

Defensive End 

Starter: Isaiah Mullens (RS SR)

Backup: James Thompson Jr. (RS SO)

Outside Linebacker

Starter: Nick Herbig (JR)

Backup: Kaden Johnson (RS SO)

Inside Linebacker 

Starter: Jordan Turner (RS SO)

Backup: Tatum Grass (RS JR)

Inside Linebacker

Starter: Maema Njongmeta (RS JR)

Backup: Jake Chaney (SO)

Outside Linebacker

Starter: C.J. Goetz (RS SR)

Backup: Darryl Peterson (RS FR)

Cornerback

Starter: Alexander Smith (RS SR)

Backup: Ricardo Hallman (RS FR)

Cornerback 

Starter: Jay Shaw (RS SR)

Backup: Semar Melvin (RS JR)

Nickel Corner

Starter: Cedrick Dort Jr. (RS SR)

Backup: Justin Clark (GR)

Strong Safety

Starter: John Torchio (RS SR)

Backup: Titus Toler (RS JR)

Free Safety 

Starter: Kamo’i Latu (RS JR)

Backup: Preston Zachman (RS SO)


Special Teams Two-Deep

Sep 4, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers punter Andy Vujnovich (38) during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Punter

Starter: Andy Vujnovich (RS SR)

Backup: Gavin Meyers (RS SO)

Field Goals

Starter: Vito Calvaruso (JR)**

Backup: Nate Van Zelst (RS FR)

**Update: On the injury report.  Nate Van Zelst expected to fill in.

Kickoff

Starter: Jack Van Dyke (JR)

Backup: Vito Calvaruso (JR)

Long-Snapper

Starter: Peter Bowden (RS JR)

Backup: Zach Zei (RS FR)

Holder

Starter: Gavin Meyers (RS SO)

Backup: Andy Vujnovich (RS SR)

Punt Return

Starter: Dean Engram (RS JR)

Backup: Chimere Dike (JR)

Kick Return

Starter: Isaac Guerendo (RS SR)

Backup: Keontez Lewis (SO)


Wisconsin Football Injury Report vs. Illinois

Players listed as Questionable:

  • N/A

Players listed as OUT:

  • K Vito Calvaruso – Leg (Right)
  • TE Clay Cundiff – Leg (Left)
  • TE Cam Large – Leg (Right)
  • CB Alexander Smith – Leg (Right)
  • OLB Aaron Witt – Leg (Right)
  • S Hunter Wohler – Leg (Left)
  • QB Chase Wolf – Leg (Right)

 Out for the season:

  • S Travian Blaylock – Leg (Right)
  • DE Mike Jarvis – Leg (Left)
  • ILB Luna Larson – Leg (Right)
  • DE Isaac Townsend – Leg (Left)


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MADISON, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 02: Wisconsin defensive coach Jim Leonhard looks on in the fourth quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium on October 02, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

Wisconsin Badgers: Studs and Duds vs. No. 3 Ohio State

Wisconsin Badgers: Studs and Duds vs. No. 3 Ohio State

The Wisconsin Badgers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) were defeated by the Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) in Saturday night’s Big Ten opener.

The Badgers were utterly outclassed in all three phases, suffering a 52-21 loss.

There were very few positives to take away from this matchup, but let’s look at the studs and duds from UW’s week four loss.


Stud(s)

Braelon Allen

Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) celebrates after rushing for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Illinois State Redbirds at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

One of the only bright spots on Saturday night was Braelon Allen. The sophomore back posted a stat line of 23 carries for 165 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, Allen notched 3 receptions for 6 yards and even completed a 10 yard pass to Jack Eschenbach. 

The Badgers RB1 did it all in Columbus, but it was not enough to take home a victory or even keep it close. 

While there were few positives to take away, Allen was a glimmer of hope for the Badgers. The 18-year-old continues to show signs of improvement from game to game. The second-year starter will likely continue to be the focal point of the offense.

Allen was the lone bright spot on Saturday night, so let’s take a look at the duds…


Duds

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 30: Head coach Paul Chryst of the Wisconsin Badgers looks on from the sidelines against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl at Allegiant Stadium on December 30, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Badgers defeated the Sun Devils 20-13. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Defense

To put it lightly, the defense was dreadful on Saturday night. The Ohio State offense, led by CJ Stroud, got everything they wanted. Wisconsin’s defense crumbled right away, allowing 210 yards of offense and a 21-0 deficit in the first quarter. 

There were few adjustments made, and Ohio State just kept pouring it on. By the time halftime rolled around, the Badgers had allowed 328 yards of offense and were trailing 31-7. 

Wisconsin had no answers for Stroud and company, allowing 539 total yards of offense with 281 yards coming through the air.

The Badgers were touted for their defense heading into this matchup. However, UW could not put stops together and allowed Stroud to put together one of his best passing performances of the season with 281 yards, 5 touchdowns, and one interception.

Wisconsin has the defensive talent to rebound from this game and have a solid season on that end. However, the defense ended up as a dud this week.

Coaching

There has been plenty of conversation around Paul Chryst’s job security lately. After an embarrassing loss on national TV, those conversations will likely be reignited. 

After the loss to Ohio State, Chryst’s record against top 10 opponents fell to 5-10. While the talent gap between OSU and Wisconsin is vast, the Badgers hardly put up a fight. 

The entire coaching staff did not seem confident whatsoever in this matchup as the Badgers seemingly waved the white flag very early in the game when the Badgers punted on 4th-and-1 in the first quarter, down 21-0.

While the defensive coaching was the poorest of all, the entire coaching staff was to blame in this one. Wisconsin came out flat on both ends and was simply outcoached on Saturday night.

Adjustments will need to made going forward if Wisconsin is looking to contend for the Big Ten West title.

Graham Mertz

Although Mertz has looked like the most complete version of himself this season, Saturday night was a step back for the third-year starter.

Ohio State marched down the field with ease to go up 7-0 on the first possession of the game. Following that, Mertz threw an interception on his first pass attempt of the game. After that back-breaking turnover, the game was all but over.

The redshirt junior posted a stat line of 94 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. Mertz found Skyler bell four times for 55 yards and spread the ball evenly to his other wideouts. However, the passing attack left plenty to be desired.

While it’s possible to chalk his lackluster performance up to a lack of confidence after an interception on his first pass attempt, the Kansas native just couldn’t find a way to bounce back. 

Mertz now falls to 2-7 against ranked opponents as the Badger’s starting quarterback. Luckily for Wisconsin, no currently ranked teams are left on their schedule. 

The Badgers will move on to face the Illinois Fighting Illini next week, looking to right the ship in their second matchup of conference play.


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Sep 24, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Jack Sawyer (33) sacks Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) during the first half of the NCAA Division I football game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch Ncaa Football Wisconsin Badgers At Ohio State Buckeyes

Post Game Recap: Wisconsin Badgers fall to Buckeyes 52-21

No. 3 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0) made Saturday night miserable for the Wisconsin Badgers (2-2, 0-1) as C.J. Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams, and Emeka Egbuka led the Buckeyes to a dominating 52-21 victory.

Wisconsin Badgers Crushed in Columbus

Ohio State opened the game with a six-play, 88-yard scoring drive in the first three minutes, which OSU parlayed into a 28-0 scoring run in the first 21 minutes of the game.

C.J. Stroud found the tight end, Cade Stover, in the endzone twice in the first quarter, setting the tone for the entire game. Stover finished with four receptions on six targets resulting in 51 receiving yards and those two touchdowns.

Ohio State’s 539 yards were the most allowed by the Badgers since OSU totaled 558 against UW in the 2014 Big Ten title game.

Coming off a blowout win over New Mexico State last weekend, Graham Mertz and the Badgers’ offense came out flat against the Buckeye defense.

Mertz finished the game with 11 completions on 20 passes, and he passed for a mere 94 yards with two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) and an interception that came early in the first quarter.

Braelon Allen carried much of the offensive load on Saturday, rushing for 165 yards on 23 attempts, including a 75-yard touchdown.

What’s Next?

Following Saturday’s loss, the Badgers will return to Madison to face the 3-1 University of Illinois Fighting Illini on October 1. That game is scheduled to kick off at 11:00 a.m. CST on Big Ten Network.


 

Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Sam Strash on Twitter @strash_sam.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 30: Running back Braelon Allen #0 of the Wisconsin Badgers warms up before a game against the Arizona State Sun Devils in the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl at Allegiant Stadium on December 30, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Badgers defeated the Sun Devils 20-13. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Game Breakdown and Best Bets: Week 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Ohio State

Game Breakdown and Best Bets: Week 4 Wisconsin Badgers vs. No. 3 Ohio State

The Wisconsin Badgers showed up to play last week, defeating the New Mexico State Aggies 66-7.

I wish I could say the same for myself. Unfortunately, I went 0-4 last week, bringing my record to 2-6 for the season.

I have no choice but to stay positive. It’s a minor setback for a major comeback.

The Wisconsin Badgers will travel to Columbus to take on the No. 3 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, September 24. Kickoff is at 6:30 pm (CST) on ABC.

To find all our content for this week’s game, visit badgernotes.com.


Game Breakdown

Ohio State Buckeyes

Last week I said the Aggies of New Mexico State were one of the worst teams in all of college football (And I was right. I Need to take my wins wherever I can at this point).

This week is the opposite for Badgers. They are facing off against one of the best teams in the country, Ohio State.

The Ohio State offense has been an absolute juggernaut this season, averaging 47.7 points per game.

OSU is No. 7 in the nation in passing at 358.3 yards per game, and their running game is no joke either, averaging 207 yards per game, which is good for No. 34 in the country.

That totals to a whopping 565.3 yards per game, which is tops in the country.

It all starts with the Heisman favorite and potential number one pick in the 2023 NFL draft, quarterback C.J. Stroud.

Stroud is a true pocket-passing QB, completing over 72% of his passes this season for 941 yards, 11 touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

OSU’s Dynamic WR’s

Jaxon Smith-Njigba has been banged up this year, tweaking his hamstring in Ohio States’ week one matchup against Notre Dame. So, his numbers on the year don’t look the best, four receptions and only 36 yards. Still, he is an elite receiver who will have a breakout game at some point.

In Smith-Njigba’s absence, Emeka Egbuka, and Marvin Harrison Jr. have stepped up big time as 1A and 1B receiving options.

Egbuka has hauled in 20 receptions for 324 yards and three touchdowns, eclipsing his numbers from his freshman season in 2021.

Marvin Harrison Jr. has been stuntin’ like his daddy this season, collecting 18 receptions for 342 yards and five touchdowns.

This week, the Buckeyes receiving corps will easily be the biggest challenge for the Badgers’ defense.

Ohio State’s two-headed monster at running back could also cause issues for Wisconsin’s defense.

Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson have been splitting carries evenly this season. Williams with 32 attempts, and Henderson with 29.

The duo has a combined 404 yards and four touchdowns on the ground this season.

Henderson did leave last week’s game against Toledo after the first drive with an undisclosed injury (he was seen wearing a walking boot after the game).

In summary, fuck Ohio State. 


Wisconsin Badgers

Last week was exactly what the Badgers needed. A dominant performance in all three phases of the game.

The competition was awful, but it still gives the fellas a little extra confidence heading into this week’s massive matchup with the Buckeyes.

Like Wisconsin, Ohio State boasts an elite defense, allowing only 278.7 total yards per game.

The offensive line needs another strong performance if the Badgers want to keep things competitive. Starting tackle Riley Mahlman will miss his third straight game with a leg injury. Expect Logan Brown and Trey Wedig to earn snaps in his place out at right tackle.

UW will try to establish the run, as always, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them take some deep shots early, considering the Buckeyes gave up touchdowns of 50, 40, and 23 yards against the Toledo Rockets last week. I would love to see Graham Mertz try to exploit that.

As for the defense, getting pressure on C.J. Stroud is a must. Stroud is not a quarterback who likes to run much, only collecting nine yards on seven carries this year.

If the Badgers give him time in the pocket, he will carve this defense up. Ohio State has a very strong offensive line, and thankfully, players like Nick Herbig and Keeanu Benton can neutralize that.

Herbig, Wisconsin’s star outside linebacker, is currently tied for sixth in the nation with four sacks on the season. Benton has yet to record a sack this season, but his numbers are still impressive, totaling eight tackles, eight pressures, and 1.5 tackles for loss through three contests.

I don’t have much else to say about the game, considering this will be Wisconsin’s toughest task all season. 


Wisconsin Badgers Best Bets

As mentioned earlier, it hasn’t been a great start to the season for me. But that’s in the past. We’re on to this week. 

 Best Bets Season Record: (2-6-0)

  • Wisconsin Badgers +19 (-110) – This is my favorite bet of the week. In our staff predictions article that came out yesterday, you’ll see that I have faith in the Badgers keeping this game close. I think they will pressure C.J. Stroud enough to keep it within the 19 points.
  • Graham Mertz over 216 passing yards (+129) – Mertz is playing the best football of his life right now, and the Badgers will need some big plays to hang around in this one. Mertz has also gone over 216 yards passing in every game this season. 
  • Clay Cundiff over 36 yards receiving (+106) – Cundiff has been one of Mertz’s favorite targets this year and has gone over 36 yards in his last two games. I don’t mind him +300 to score a touchdown, either. Cundiff is easily the Badgers’ biggest red zone threat. 
  • Defensive or special teams TD scored by either team (yes +190) – If you’ve read my previous articles, this needs no explanation. I’m addicted

To place your own bets with BadgerNotes partner – MyBookie.AG – Click here


You can follow me on Twitter @FrznPizzaCooperThere you’ll find jokes, plenty of music takes, offensive line talk (especially anything Larry Allen related), Larry Bird highlights (I got a thing for Larry’s what can I say), and of course my work for badgernotes.com.

Gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER. Always bet responsibly.

Badgers Country. Let’s ride.

How to Watch: Wisconsin Football vs. No. 3 Ohio State

How to watch, listen and stream Wisconsin football vs. No. 3 Ohio State

On Saturday afternoon, the Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) will hit the road to face the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) as UW kicks off conference play.

Wisconsin heads into Saturday’s matchup, coming off a 66-7 victory over the New Mexico State Aggies this past weekend.

This will be the first Big Ten matchup for Wisconsin and Ohio State this weekend, and both teams will look to begin conference play in the win column.

Ohio State has been one of the most impressive college football teams through three games. The Buckeye’s offense has been nothing short of spectacular thus far. OSU quarterback CJ Stroud has been nearly perfect through the air, throwing zero interceptions in 85 pass attempts. The Badger’s defense will be the most formidable group Ohio State has faced so far, but the explosiveness of their offense could spell trouble for Wisconsin.

Last weekend, Wisconsin put together a complete game against New Mexico State in all three phases. While against inferior competition, the Badgers showed improvement after their week two loss against Washington State. Heading into Saturday, the Badgers face a difficult challenge going up against one of the nation’s best offenses.

Let’s take a look at where you can watch, stream, and listen to Saturday afternoon’s matchup in Columbus:


Where: Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio

When: Saturday, Sep. 24, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. CST

Where to watch: ABC

Announcers: 

Play-by-play: Chris Fowler

Analyst: Kirk Herbstreit

Where to stream: Fox Sports App or foxsports.com/live

Other streaming options:

Badger Notes has joined forces with Playback Sports.

This streaming service allows fans to join in a watch party that enables them to enjoy games among other fans in a virtual bar-like setting that also includes live message boards.

Join the Badger Notes watch party and stream Wisconsin football games by following this link.

Where to listen: Badger Sports Network on the iHeartRadio app or Sirius Satellite Radio XM 195

Play-by-play: Matt Lepay

Analyst: Mike Lucas


Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Jake Maier on Twitter. @JakeJMaier.

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Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen (0) and the rest of the offensive unit listens to quarterback Graham Mertz (5) in the huddle during their game Saturday, November 20, 2021 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin beat Nebraska 35-28. Mjs Uwgrid21 24 Jpg Uwgrid21

BadgerNotes Staff Predictions: Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Ohio State

BadgerNotes Staff Predictions: Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Ohio State

This Saturday, the Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) hit the road to take on the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) for a night game in Columbus, Ohio.

The unranked Badgers are coming off a 66-7 victory over the New Mexico State Aggies, where UW produced 595 total yards of offense (335 passing, 260 rushing) and scored the most points in a single game during the Paul Chryst era.

On the other hand, No. 3 Ohio State is among the nation’s best programs yet again, beating Notre Dame, Arkansas State, and Toledo to begin their 2022 campaign.

For Wisconsin, this David vs. Goliath matchup marks the beginning of Big Ten conference play, entering the game as 18.5-point underdogs, per MyBookie.

Here is how our BadgerNotes team sees Saturday’s matchup playing out on the field:


Dillon Graff: Managing Editor

Final score prediction: Ohio State 41, Wisconsin 20

When the Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) take on the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, they’ll be searching for their first win against OSU since 2010.  

UW has a lifetime winning percentage of 24% against the Buckeyes, their lowest mark against all Big Ten teams – which also doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence for me personally. 

For the Badgers to have a chance at victory, they’ll need to play a near-perfect game – while still getting a few breaks along the way. Wisconsin will need to take care of the ball, pressure the opposing quarterback, and execute in the RedZone. 

I think Wisconsin, who enters the game as an 18.5-point underdog, will play OSU tough until halftime, but the Buckeye’s high-powered offense will ultimately wear down the Badgers’ defense and cover the spread. 

I’d love to be wrong about this, but I don’t see a scenario where the Wisconsin Badgers become the first team to walk out of Columbus with a win since September 2017. 


Brandon Cooper: Staff Writer

Final score prediction: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 24

If the Badgers’ defense can generate a solid pass rush, and the offense can control the time of possession, they should be able to keep this game close.

Still, Ohio State has an insane amount of talent at wide receiver, which I think will give the badgers secondary enough fits for them to win this game.


Alex Fletcher: Staff Writer

Final Score Prediction: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 17

I expect this heavyweight Big Ten matchup to be much closer than most people think.  Look for Wisconsin to capitalize on its strengths.  

The Badgers are ranked 31st in total offense and 11th in total defense. 

While only ranked 47th in passing offense, the Badgers make up for it with the 26th-ranked rushing attack, led by Braelon Allen and the always dangerous Badger backfield.  

Jim Leonhard’s defense is always tough, boasting the No. 13 rushing defense and No. 19 passing defense.  They will need to be every bit as good for a chance at winning against No. 3 Ohio State’s number No. 1 overall offense.  

This stellar unit comes with the No. 7 overall passing offense, led by Heisman hopeful CJ Stroud, and the No. 35 ranked rushing offense, led by future NFL running back TreVeyon Henderson. The cherry on top is a receiver room full of future high-round draft picks.  Despite all this future NFL talent, I expect the Badgers to keep it within the number, currently sitting at 18.5 points.  


Jake Maier: Staff Writer

Final Score Prediction: Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 21

The Badgers are facing a tough battle this weekend. The Ohio State offense has been spectacular through three games, led by CJ Stroud.

While the Badger’s defense will be the toughest OSU has faced so far, I don’t think Wisconsin will have enough juice to hold off Stroud and company.

On the offensive side, I expect Mertz to have a solid game. The redshirt junior has made some fantastic throws this season and has looked like the best version of himself, but I think this Buckeyes defense will be able to force him into making mistakes. I expect the Badgers to still be in it at the half, but I think the Buckeyes will run away with it in the end.


Sam Strash: Staff Writer

Final Score Prediction: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 17

The first conference matchup of the season is here, and Ohio State is going to run away with this one. As much as I want to find a justification for why the Badgers will win on Saturday, there just isn’t one.

The only hope we have against the Buckeyes is the passing game. Ohio State has an elite defense, but their one weakness thus far is that they have struggled against the pass.

The Badgers need to pound the rock with the committee of Braelon Allen, Isaac Guerendo, and Chez Mellusi to open up the passing game for Graham Mertz and the receiving room.


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Badgers PFF grades: Top 5 OFF/DEF players from week 3 victory over New Mexico State

Madison, Wis. – Head coach Paul Chryst and the Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) took care of business at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday afternoon, beating the visiting New Mexico State Aggies 66-7 in a game that was never even close.

Bobby Engram’s offense ruled the day, producing 595 total yards of offense (335 passing, 260 rushing) and scoring the most points in a single game during the Chryst era.

I thought third-year starting quarterback Graham Mertz looked excellent on Saturday, completing 12-of-15 passes for 251 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. The Kansas native has taken a clear step forward and given the Badgers a respectable passing attack.

The Badgers’ defense, led by Jim Leonhard, only allowed seven points (which came in garbage time), 242 yards of offense, and wound up forcing three turnovers.

The defense dismantled the Aggies two quarterback system from the jump, ending eight of New Mexico States’ 15 possessions in three and outs.

UW, currently unranked, finished conference play on a high note and will now prepare for a grueling Big Ten slate that begins with a road test against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Here’s a look at the top 5 highest graded offensive/defensive players from Wisconsin’s 66-7 victory over the New Mexico State Aggies, according to Pro Football Focus:


Wisconsin Badgers Offense:

  • RT Trey Wedig (94.6) Elite
  • QB Graham Mertz (90.3) Elite
  • TE Hayden Rucci (89.7) Elite
  • TE Clay Cundiff (89.5) Elite
  • WR Skyler Bell (88.9) Elite

Wisconsin Badgers Defense:

  • CB Ricardo Hallman (90.2) Elite
  • ILB Maema Njongmeta (86.0) High Quality
  • DE Rodas Johnson (85.1) High Quality
  • ILB Jake Chaney (83.7) High Quality
  • DE James Thompson Jr. (83.1) High Quality

Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Basketball news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.

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Sep 10, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; General view of Camp Randall Stadium during the second quarter of the game between the Washington State Cougars and Wisconsin Badgers. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Game Breakdown and Best Bets: Week 3 Wisconsin vs. New Mexico State

Well, last week against Washington State, the Wisconsin Badgers did what they do best. Play down to their competition.

Was I completely wrong in my game breakdown? Yes. Did I also hit 50% of my best bets? Yes.

It takes a real man to admit when he’s wrong, but an even bigger one to apologize. 

Unfortunately, I’m not that guy. 

The Badgers (now un-ranked) will look to right the ship against the New Mexico State Aggies (0-3), on Saturday, September 17th, at Camp Randall Stadium. Kickoff is at 2:30 pm(CST)

To find all of our content for this week’s game, visit badgernotes.com


Game Breakdown

New Mexico State Aggies

To put it bluntly, the Aggies are one of the worst teams in all of college football.

They have lost 20 straight road games to FBS competition, and you can expect that number to go up by one on Saturday.

The Aggie’s defense allows 350 yards per game, which surprisingly ranks 49th in the nation.

There is good news for the Badgers, though. The Aggies allow 194 rushing yards per game—ranking 111th out of 131 FBS teams.

Their offense, however, only averages 236 yards per game. Ranking them 121st out of a possible 131 teams in the FBS.

To top it off, the Aggies average a mere 8.3 points per game, which is good for second-worst in the country(Iowa currently ranks dead last, which is a shocker…but also a very Iowa thing to do).

New Mexico State runs a two-quarterback system. With Gavin Frakes and Diego Pavia getting reps as the starting quarterback, and it has been sub-optimal, to say the least. “If you have two quarterbacks, you actually have none,” said the late, great John Madden.

Frakes and Pavia have combined for six interceptions and only one touchdown pass in their three previous games.

Pavia does have 119 rushing yards (he’s the Aggie’s leading rusher as a part-time quarterback, which is fucking wild) on 23 carries with two touchdowns on the season. Making him a much more significant threat than the Frakes, who is just a freshman. Expect him to start and possibly play the whole game.

I said this last week, and it burned me, but the Aggies will need to play the game of their life to win this one.


Wisconsin Badgers

For the Badgers, this is undoubtedly a prove-it game. Is this year’s team for real? Is Paul Chryst the right coach for this program? Every time Wisconsin struggles, this will be a question, with Jim Leonhard waiting in the wings.

Last week the Badgers struggled mightily, committing 11 penalties and turning it over three times in plus territory.

Graham Mertz played reasonably well but didn’t get the protection he needed from the offensive line or additional help from the receiving corps.

Clay Cundiff was the most impressive receiving option against Washington State, registering four receptions for 59 yards and two touchdowns.

Not surprising to see a tight end thriving in a Bobby Engram offense. Look for the Badgers to keep utilizing this strategy.

As for the running game, the Badgers need to be more physical. It all starts with Braelon Allen, so look for him to set the tone early.

This week is going to be a huge statement for the big fellas up front. The Aggies have ZERO business competing in this contest.

New Mexico State only has three sacks and one forced turnover the entire season. There is no reason the Wisconsin Badgers shouldn’t be able to do whatever they want.


Best Bets for the Wisconsin Badgers

Last week wasn’t the best, but it could’ve gone a lot worse. I went 2-2 on the week, cashing in on two unders. Under 49.5 for the game(final total was 31) and the under for the 2nd half as well. 

  • Under 46.5(-110) – Wisconsin is historically an under team. The defense probably won’t give up many points, and I wouldn’t bank on the Badgers scoring over 40. 
  • Defensive or Special Teams touchdown(+229) – As long as these are plus odds, I will bet on the defense to score a touchdown every week. Don’t give a fuck how much money I lose.
  • New Mexico State +37.5(-110) – The Badgers “should” dominate this game, but I don’t see them winning by 38 points. Diego Pavia’s rushing ability from the quarterback position will allow the Aggies to score just enough to cover. 
  • Longest Touchdown over/under 54.5(over +108) – This is my favorite bet of the week. I could see the Badgers breaking off a big play to start the game. If the running game clicks, there’s always a chance for a big gain with Wisconsin’s talent at running back.

To place your own bets with BadgerNotes partner – MyBookie.AG – Click here


You can follow me on Twitter @FrznPizzaCooperThere you’ll find jokes, plenty of music takes, offensive line talk (especially anything Larry Allen related), Larry Bird highlights (I got a thing for Larry’s what can I say), and of course my work for badgernotes.com.

Gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER. Always bet responsibly.

Badgers Country. Let’s ride.

Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) celebrates after rushing for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Illinois State Redbirds at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

How to watch: Wisconsin Football vs. New Mexico State

How to watch, listen, and stream Wisconsin football vs. New Mexico State

On Saturday afternoon, the Wisconsin Badgers (1-1) will play host to the New Mexico State Aggies (0-3) as UW rounds out its non-conference schedule.

Wisconsin will look to get back into the win column after a demoralizing loss to the Washington State Cougars this past weekend.

The Badgers and Aggies enter Saturday’s matchup coming off a loss. Both teams kept it close but eventually lost in one-possession games.

New Mexico State, coming off three straight losses to begin their season, has looked out of sorts on both ends of the ball. With a turnover differential of -6, the Aggies have made several costly mistakes. It’s hard to imagine New Mexico State ironing out its struggles against a talented Wisconsin defense.

UW looked stagnant in their last matchup against Washington State. Coach Paul Chryst will need an efficient, bounce-back performance from the offense to avoid dropping below .500.

Let’s take a look at where you can watch, stream, and listen to Saturday afternoon’s matchup in Madison:


Where: Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.

When: Saturday, Sep. 17, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. CST

Where to watch: BTN

Where to streamFOX Sports App or foxsports.com/live

Other streaming options: Badger Notes is joining forces with Playback. This streaming service will allow fans to join in a watch party that would enable them to enjoy games among other fans in a virtual bar-like setting that also includes live message boards.

Join the Badger Notes watch party and stream Wisconsin games for FREE by following this link.

Where to listen: Badger Sports Network on the iHeartRadio app or Sirius Satellite Radio XM 195

Play-by-play: Matt Lepay

Analyst: Mike Lucas


Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Jake Maier on Twitter. @JakeJMaier.

*Chat about this article over at Badgers After Dark

Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen (0) and the rest of the offensive unit listens to quarterback Graham Mertz (5) in the huddle during their game Saturday, November 20, 2021 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin beat Nebraska 35-28. Mjs Uwgrid21 24 Jpg Uwgrid21

Wisconsin Badgers vs. New Mexico State: What to watch for

Wisconsin Badgers vs. New Mexico State: What to watch for

Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin Badgers (1-1) will host the New Mexico State Aggies (0-3) on Saturday, September 13, at Camp Randall Stadium.

Following a brutal 17-14 loss against the Washington State Cougars, the Badgers will look to right the ship in their final non-conference matchup.

Here are some items worth watching for in week three:


How will the Badger’s offense respond following a disappointing loss?

In Wisconsin’s week one matchup against Illinois State, the Badgers put together a complete performance on the ground and through the air.

In week two, it was not the same story.

While the offensive stats favored Wisconsin, costly mistakes allowed the Cougars to secure a 17-14 win. The Badgers committed three turnovers last week, with two fumbles and one interception.

The game plan had a few bumps in the road, considering Washington State had answers for the UW’s running back duo of Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi. Furthermore, the wide receiver group struggled after Chimere Dike, and Markus Allen dropped passes.

One group that struggled the most was the offensive line. Left guard Tyler Beach and right tackle Logan Brown notched a top 5 offensive PFF grade, but all and all, the line was disappointing.

Although quarterback Graham Mertz made impressive throws when given time in the pocket, he did not have adequate time on all his dropbacks.

Heading into Saturday’s matchup, the Badgers must come out of the gates firing on all cylinders. The offense will need a big game from their running back tandem, who struggled against Washington State’s sound run defense. Conversely, the WR room must get involved against New Mexico State and limit mistakes when given the opportunity.

After a tough outing last week, how the Badger’s offense responds will be an interesting storyline to watch in week 3.


Will Clay Cundiff become the focal point of Wisconsin’s passing attack?

Although Clay Cundiff coughed up an untimely fumble in the fourth quarter against Washington State, the redshirt junior tight end looked like one of the best receiving options on the Wisconsin offense.

In week two, the Kansas native hauled in four catches for 59 yards and two touchdowns.

Despite the back-breaking turnover, Cundiff received a vote of confidence from his quarterback after a strong performance in week two.

Mertz has favored the tight ends in the passing game in his two years as a starter, and Cundiff looks like a reliable option for the third-year starter.

The 6-foot-3, 236-pound tight end has caught six passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns through two games.

Cundiff has the tools to be a formidable tight end and will be a player to watch as he builds off a strong outing in week two.

If you keep an eye on any one player this week, Clay Cundiff is an excellent place to start.


Will the special teams unit fix the mistakes?

Although there were plenty of concerns coming out of week two, the special teams unit was arguably the biggest.

The special teams unit proved costly in the matchup against Washington State as kicker Vito Calvaruso missed two field goal attempts. The Arkansas transfer is now 1-for-4 on field goal attempts in two games this year.

However, Calvaruso was not the only concern on special teams. At the beginning of the third quarter, Washington State had a significant kickoff return that later set up a field goal to close the gap on Wisconsin’s lead and ultimately allowed the Cougars to notch a three-point victory.

Not only that, but the return game has been a big concern for Wisconsin. In two games, punt returner Dean Engram has posted only two yards in his return opportunities. The Badgers are losing out on field position due to the poor return game, which is becoming costly to the Badger’s success in the third phase.

For Wisconsin to get things back on track and notch a victory in week three, limiting mistakes on special teams will be one of the most critical factors.

Although the offense will need to make strides in week three, the special teams unit may be one of the most important groups to watch.


Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Jake Maier on Twitter. @JakeJMaier.

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*Chat about this article over at Badgers After Dark