Mike Fiammetta (+49): Wisconsin 55, South Florida 17
Phil Mitten (+50): Wisconsin 52, South Florida 13
Andy Johnson (+52): Wisconsin 51, South Florida 16
Jake Kocorowski (+53): Wisconsin 48, South Florida 13
Louis Bien (+57): Wisconsin 63, South Florida 17
Drew Hamm (+60): Wisconsin 45, South Florida 20
Jake Harris (+63): Wisconsin 55, South Florida 17
Andrew Rosin (+74): Wisconsin 45, South Florida 10
If South Florida were a stock, now would be a good time to buy. Things are pointing up for the Bulls in head coach Willie Taggart's second season at the school. After a 2-10 campaign in 2013, USF has matched that win total in getting off to a 2-2 start with wins over Western Carolina and UConn. In its only other game against a Big Ten foe this season, the Bulls lost by just one score against Maryland.
While there are some talented pieces on the team that will try and end Wisconsin's home non-conference win streak at 32, South Florida appears to be at least a year or two away from truly contending in the AAC. Meanwhile, Wisconsin gained a lot of confidence in a 68-17 thrashing of a Bowling Green team that had knocked off Indiana the week before, and the Badgers will look to keep the momentum going.
The Bulls are led by sophomore quarterback Mike White, who has completed just 24 of his 61 pass attempts for 388 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Junior Steven Bench played the majority of the Maryland game and struggled to the tune of 14-for-36 passing with no touchdowns and one interception. Instead of relying on a shaky passing attack, South Florida is likely to take a page out of Wisconsin's playbook and try and establish the run with talented freshman tailback Marlon Mack.
Mack has amassed 502 yards and five touchdowns on the young season and averages 5.6 yards per carry. Against UConn, Mack totaled 103 yards on 31 carries and reached the end zone once. An all-upperclassmen offensive line boasts three seniors and two juniors, and includes Rimington Trophy Watch List candidate Austin Reiter at center.
If the Badgers are able to contain Mack on first and second down, they should allow their secondary some chances at easy turnovers and third-and-long situations. White tossed five interceptions in six games in 2013, and the Badgers have been opportunistic in forcing turnovers so far this season. South Florida has converted just over 36 percent of its third down attempts in 2014.
Defensively, the Bulls run a 3-4 just like the Badgers. The unit is talented but young, particularly in the secondary. Sophomore corners Johnny Ward and Chris Dunkley have seen the field early, Dunkley at wide receiver a year ago. They will face Tanner McEvoy and a struggling Wisconsin passing game that features just one wide receiver who has made more than one catch this season.
The Bulls have forced 11 turnovers this season, including seven fumbles recovered. Don't be surprised if they induce some mistakes out of McEvoy and an underwhelming group of receivers. Still, Wisconsin's margin for error will be large thanks to their dominant run game and a South Florida defense that has surrendered 142 rushing yards per game against weaker competition.
The forecast calls for a beautiful Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium with summer-like temperatures. The home team should win comfortably, improving its record to 3-1 heading into Big Ten play.
Who has the edge?
Special Teams: Wisconsin