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** 2021 Opponent Previews : @ Wisconsin (Game 11) **

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CollegeFootballNews: Wisconsin Badgers 2021 Preview

Just how much was the 2020 season an outlier and how much was an indication of where the program is at going forward? Wisconsin might be known for its brutish consistency with its style, running game, and defense that has led the way to year after year after year of success over the last three decades. However, the Big Ten Championship wins have stopped, there haven’t been any trips to the College Football Playoff – it’s the best Power Five program in the CFP to not yet be in the CFP – and there appeared to be a hard-ceiling on just how good it could be.

There had to be a tweak of some sort, and that’s where QB Graham Mertz and the passing game come in.  The defense can still be the defense – and it was really, really good last year – and the running game can still be effective, but to take that big step forward, the explosion and the production from under center has to be far better. Or, Mertz is just okay and the running game lost its mojo.


Offense | Defense | Top Players | Keys To The Season | Season Prediction


The Athletic: ‘Energy’s up’ at Wisconsin after a disjointed 2020 season: Will Graham Mertz get the Badgers back to Indy?

When the pageantry of Big Ten football finally returned last October, Wisconsin took center stage and put an authoritative stamp on what its ceiling could be. On a Friday night at Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin obliterated Illinois 45-7, as ballyhooed quarterback Graham Mertz introduced himself to the nation with a virtuoso performance in which he completed 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns. It was, Wisconsin and its fans hoped, only the start of a memorable journey to a Big Ten championship. And, maybe — with the strong-armed and uber-confident Mertz running the show — something more. But just as the fervor began to swell, it came crashing down. The following day, Mertz tested positive for COVID-19 and entered the Big Ten’s 21-day return-to-play protocol. By the time he came back, Wisconsin’s entire team was a shell of itself. A program-wide COVID-19 outbreak forced a pause on team activities, led to the cancellation of two early-season games and decimated the roster and coaching staff. Eight players from the season-opening two-deep weren’t available for the next game against Michigan, which Wisconsin still managed to win 49-11. However, the team’s top two receivers, Danny Davis and Kendric Pryor, suffered concussions against the Wolverines, while Mertz injured his right throwing shoulder, further deflating the Badgers’ chances. During one of the most bizarre seasons in college football history, few programs were impacted as much as Wisconsin, as injuries and COVID-19-related setbacks plagued the team throughout the season. All of it culminated with a brutal stretch against Northwestern, Indiana and Iowa in which Wisconsin scored in single digits in three consecutive games (all losses) for the first time since 1990.




Athlon: #13 Wisconsin Badgers Season Preview and Prediction

The Badgers' chances at winning the Big Ten West and perhaps making their first appearance in the College Football Playoff rest with Mertz. With an experienced defense in tow and direct coaching from Chryst, Mertz should have what he needs to take a step forward and avoid the turnovers that doomed the Badgers in losses to Northwestern and Indiana in 2020. Wisconsin will need Mertz to elevate some new faces on offense while the defense keeps it in games..





More Coming soon...

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But But But ... lol


Snips from the Wisconsin CFN Review:


...led the team with just 301 yards and two touchdowns in his four games, but
...Wisconsin season might have been a dud by the program’s standards, but
...The line loses Isaiahh Loudermik and Garrett Rand off of the front three, but
...The secondary didn’t have as many problems as the receiving corps, but
... it would be nice if one or three of the O linemen show off next-level talent, but
...It’s Wisconsin and it’s going to run the ball, but
...LB Jack Sanborn, Sr. He’s not all that big, but
...There’s not a lot of flash and he’ll be more about holding firm agains the run on the inside, but
...The Badgers have defensive ends. They lose a few stars, but
...Easy answer … stop turning the ball over but
...Wisconsin’s defense stopped Northwestern dead cold, but
...It went 4-0 when giving it away fewer than twice.  But
...Wisconsin has the passer in Graham Mertz, but
...with almost all of it seemingly happening on jet sweeps – but
...Of course, it was 2020 and the Badgers only played in seven games, but
...the success was there even without the pressure behind the line, but
...Berger? He was fine. He averaged over five yards per carry, but
...Penn State, Sept. 4 It’s not against a West team, and it’s not the showdown against Notre Dame at Soldier Field, but
...The Badgers can show they’re back to being the star of the West – or close to it – with a big performance, but


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I do think Wisconsin has the highest ceiling in the West (or we might if Frost's offense actually clicks), but Iowa is probably a safer bet. The defense is great, so if Mertz takes a big step forward, Berger is healthy and they get that Clemson transfer, and one or two of their receivers actually develop some consistency that's a much better offense than Iowa. Both have great defenses, and both have offense that will likely be mediocre - but Wisconsin's could be good. 

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Wisconsin Football Schedule.  They better stay healthy, because there are tough, physical games all throughout.


Sept. 4 Penn State

Sept. 11 Eastern Michigan

Sept. 18 OPEN DATE

Sept. 25 Notre Dame (in Chicago)

Oct. 2 Michigan

Oct. 9 at Illinois

Oct. 16 Army

Oct. 23 at Purdue

Oct. 30 Iowa

Nov. 6 at Rutgers

Nov. 13 Northwestern

Nov. 20 Nebraska

Nov. 27 at Minnesota

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2 hours ago, hskrfan4life said:

Would love to see Coan beat Wiscy

I don't like playing Wisconsin so late either. Rather play them earlier in the conference season.


They usually start slow and are peaking toward the end of the season. Just because of how they are built.

This is why, as a team, you need to have adequate depth. Especially in the Front 7 ('12 CCG should be a reminder).

That said, they could be 1-2 for September with an important game with Michigan to begin October with conference standing implications.

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Not high on Wisconsin like previous years.  I feel like Iowa is slightly better, and the Badgers will have an 8-4 type of year.  Both are over evaluated. 


Yall this is a year we can win them both.  The west is down this year.  They are ripe for the taking

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9 hours ago, admo said:

Not high on Wisconsin like previous years.  I feel like Iowa is slightly better, and the Badgers will have an 8-4 type of year.  Both are over evaluated. 


Yall this is a year we can win them both.  The west is down this year.  They are ripe for the taking


I tend to agree.  I don't see this being a vintage Wisconsin team.  Unless they have some incoming freshman RB that looks like Johnathan Taylor I just don't see it.  The difference in their team last year was the lack of a truly great RB.  They had good ones but not that great one.  I am not sold that this Mertz kid is the second coming of Russel Wilson either. 


There defense should be solid.  Lets see how they look after their first game against PSU.  They could be 1-2 after 3 games. 

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