Fifth Quarter Consensus: Badgers drop Beavers to 0-2

The Predictions: 

Sam Zastrow (+3): Wisconsin 45, Oregon State 20

Jake Harris (+5): Wisconsin 55, Oregon State 21

Phil Mitten (+7): Wisconsin 51, Oregon State 24

John Veldhuis (+10): Wisconsin 42, Oregon State 20

Adam Tupitza (+10): Wisconsin 45, Oregon State 27

Louis Bien (+10): Wisconsin 47, Oregon State 17

Chuck Schwartz (+14): Wisconsin 48, Oregon State 17

Adam Hoge (+17): Wisconsin 38, Oregon State 13

The Reasoning:

Concerns over how well new quarterback Russell Wilson would integrate with Wisconsin's offense proved unnecessary. Wilson led the Badgers to a 51-17 victory over UNLV on opening night, throwing for 255 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 62 yards and another score. Since so much was made of the importance of quarterback efficiency in Paul Chryst's scheme, it is worth pointing out that Wilson's quarterback rating of 292.5 against the Rebels is higher than any rating former quarterback Scott Tolzien achieved in his entire career at UW.

That is not a knock on Tolzien as much as it is a reason opposing defenses should be shaking in their boots over the prospect of facing Wilson as he becomes more comfortable in the system. Oregon State defensive coordinator Mark Banker will try and slow the Badgers' juggernaut Saturday, although his unit had issues stopping FCS foe Sacramento State in a stunning 29-28 overtime loss. The Beavers allowed SSU quarterback Jeff Fleming to throw for 257 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior defensive tackle Kevin Frahm will be back in the lineup for Oregon State, which should give the defense a fighting chance against Wisconsin's one-two punch of Montee Ball (6.3 yards per carry and three touchdowns against UNLV) and James White (5.8 yards per carry and a score against the Rebels). Still, given the shakiness of the Beavers' secondary and the Badgers' spectacular play-action passing game, expect several big plays from Wisconsin if OSU tries to load the box.

Offensively, the Beavers are in disarray. Junior quarterback Ryan Katz, who was once described by Oregon State head coach Mike Riley as "the glue that has to hold this team together," started last week's game and was benched for the second half after going 11-of-22 and trailing 14-3 at the break. Redshirt freshman Sean Mannion, who is 6-5, almost brought the team back, completing 8-of-12 passes for 143 yards.

The one bright spot in Oregon State's embarrassing first loss was the play of true freshman tailback Malcolm Agnew, who leads the nation with 223 rushing yards after one week. Unfortunately for the Beavers, Agnew suffered a hamstring injury and will not even make the trip to Madison. The second leading rusher for OSU against Sacramento State was the quarterback, Katz.

This is starting to look like so many of the non-conference games Wisconsin has played in the last decade, in that it appeared to be a tough matchup when it was first scheduled, but now that the game is finally here, the opponent finds itself in the midst of a down cycle.

Fun Facts

Since winning at No. 9 Arizona on October 9, 2010, Oregon State has lost six of its last eight games, including four to unranked opponents.

Wisconsin has won 29 straight non-conference regular season games.

Who has the edge?

Offense: Wisconsin

Defense: Wisconsin

Special Teams: Oregon State

Coaching: Wisconsin

Intangibles: Wisconsin

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