The University of Wisconsin Badgers and coach Gary Andersen will take to the road for the first time in the 2013 season to take on coach Todd Graham and the Arizona State Sun Devils. Wisconsin has had two games two familiarize themselves with their new coach thus far this season, and the defense has done well with the new 3-4 scheme. It will now be time to put it to test in a late night desert matchup on Saturday.
This is a true test for the badger defense. The Sun Devils have talent on their offense and have the ability to put up points in a multitude of ways. Quarterback Taylor Kelley distributes the ball well and has a very accurate arm. Look for him to be precise as he attempts to carve up the Badger secondary. The Sun Devils can also score with a more than capable running game, featuring running back Marion Green.
The Badger offense will enter the game with their stable of running backs ready to carry the load and keep that Sun Devil offense on the side lines. Running backs Corey Clement, James White and Melvin Gordon are ready to lug the ball whenever they are given the opportunity. While this group of running backs is as talented as any trio in the country, look for White to carry the ball the majority of the time. Whoever is lugging the football for the Badgers will have the luxury of doing so behind what is once again a dominant Wisconsin offensive line. The Badgers are big, tough and mobile up front — the type of line any running back salivates to run behind.
The deciding factor of this game may be the matchup of the Sun Devil offensive line against the Badger defense. The Sun Devils will attempt to throw the ball early and often against the Badger defense. Will the Badgers be able to get the fourth or fifth rusher up field before Kelley releases the ball? The challenge for the Badgers will be getting to the quarterback quickly, whereas the challenge for the Sun Devils will be trying to recognize from where on the field that extra pressure is coming from. The 3-44 is designed to confuse the offense’s pass protection scheme. The Sun Devils should far well on Saturday evening, if they are able to pick up the extra rushing Badger.
The Sun Devils have one last factor on their side. The game will be played very late at night, and the Badgers will be on the road. Not only are they on the road, they are out of their time zone and they will be in a hostile environment. Fans who are visiting the Sun Devil Stadium for the first time are awakened to what a rowdy college football crowd is really like. The Sun Devils would be remiss if they did not thank their fans for assistance in some of their big victories throughout their playing days in the stadium. The home field advantage and exciting Sun Devil offense have potential upset written all over this game. Coach Anderson would be doing himself a great favor if he kept his team calm throughout what will undoubtedly be a high emotion contest.