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Biggest Pregame Storylines for Wisconsin Football vs. Georgia Southern



Wisconsin football; Badgers head coach Luke Fickell leads his program onto the field
Sep 2, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Luke Fickell runs onto the field in front of the team for warmups prior to the game against the Buffalo Bulls at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The week two road matchup against Washington State humbled Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin football program (1-1, 0-0 B1G) with a wildly disappointing 31-22 loss to the Cougars.

But that’s in the rearview, and we’re onto week three, where the Badgers will return home to take on Georgia Southern (2-0), who is coming off a 49-35 victory over UAB.

Here’s a look at a few of the biggest pregame storylines for the Wisconsin Badgers week three matchup against Georgia Southern.

How Does Wisconsin Football Bounce Back? 

Expectations for the Wisconsin football team were sky-high entering 2023. But an early season loss where a less talented squad completely outplayed the Badgers forced us to take off our rose-colored goggles and reevaluate.

Perhaps Wisconsin isn’t a double-digit win program this season. That’s a harsh reality we may have to accept.

Plenty of talent is on the roster, but moral victories don’t mean much when you’re rolling out a sixth-year quarterback, have a high-profile coach, and have more weapons than you’ve had in years.

It all comes down to execution and taking care of the football. Will the Wisconsin Badgers be fueled by what happened against Wazzu and come together, or will they be a good team that missed a chance to be great?

Can Wisconsin Football Win the Turnover Battle? 

I understand it’s only been two weeks, and you can’t overreact too much, but the Wisconsin football team hasn’t forced a single turnover yet this season. In total, the Badgers are losing the season-long battle 5-to-0. 

That’s unacceptable. 

In an offensive system like the Dairy Raid, Tanner Mordecai will run into a few turnovers; it’s just the reality. But Mike Tressel‘s defense needs to get a few back — and has fallen completely flat. 

The pass rush hasn’t gotten after the quarterback consistently, the defensive line has been meh, and the unit lacks an identity overall. Before Big Ten play, Wisconsin football needs to put together a dominant outing on defense and inject some life into the team by forcing a turnover. 

Wisconsin Badgers Must Find a Balance On Offense

Much has been made of the Wisconsin football offense shifting to an air raid this offseason. Overall, it was a change that needed to happen. 

But the Badgers are still searching for balance and a way to get the ball in the hands of all their weapons. 

Against Buffalo, the passing game didn’t get going the way they wanted, so UW leaned on the run. In week two, the run game fell flat, so they went out and threw the ball 40 times. 

I understand that Phil Longo‘s offense is designed to take what the defense gives them, but we have yet to see what the Wisconsin Badgers offense is supposed to look like. 

Against an inferior opponent, I’d like to see the Wisconsin football team finally put together four quarters of fundamental play and run a balanced offense. 

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Dillon Graff is a Substack newsletter best-selling author, publisher of AllBadgers, and the owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today's BadgersWire, Athlon Sports, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, Bucky's 5th Quarter, and FanSided.