The last time the Wisconsin Badgers took the field, they were defeated by the Ohio State Buckeyes on the road. Gary Andersen‘s team might be just 3-2, but it could easily be 5-0 after a comeback bid was shut down against the Buckeyes and a controversial loss struck Badger town in week three.
The Northwestern Wildcats suffered the same fate the last time they took the field, losing to Ohio State at home in one of the best games of the season thus far. Sitting at 4-1, the Wildcats are serious contenders for a Big Ten title and Pat Fitzgerald has turned this program from the kittens of the conference to actual Wildcats.
Wisconsin is led by stud sophomore quarterback Joel Stave who has taken his starting job back with a strong statement to begin the season. Stave has passed for 1,056 yards and eight touchdowns through five games this season. Remaining healthy will be a big test for the quarterback who suffered a season-ending injury midway through the 2012 season. Melvin Gordon leads the scary rushing attack of the Badgers with 68 carries for 698 yards and seven touchdowns — a 10.3 yards per carry average. Jared Abbrederis has led the receiving game with 33 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns.
Northwestern has been somewhat surprising on the offensive side of the ball. The Wildcats were potent a season ago, but not many people believed they were for real, but they have proven to be just that. Kain Colter is the legs of the dual-quarterback situation while Trevor Siemian is the arm. The two quarterbacks combine for 1,278 yards and nine touchdowns while Colter has been lining up as a receiver at time while also rushing for 253 yards and four touchdowns. Treyvon Green and Venric Mark round out one of the best rushing attacks in the nation.
Defensively, the Wildcats are allowing 431 yards per game to go along with 27 points per game. They have yet to reach elite status on this side of the ball. The Badgers rank sixth in the nation, allowing 272 yards and 14.6 points per game this season.
Northwestern will travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Oct. 12. The game will be broadcasted on ABC and ESPN 2.
PREDICTION: Northwestern 27, Wisconsin 33