Wisconsin (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) comes off a 17-9 win against Purdue where they stymied a Boilermakers’ offense to 221 yards and only three field goals. Though UW was sloppy with three turnovers and eight penalties, the offense accumulated 494 yards and seven yards per play. That included Jonathan Taylor recording 219 yards on 30 carries with a 67-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Maryland (3-3, 1-2) started the season hot with an upset win against Tom Herman’s Texas Longhorns. However, injuries to the quarterback position has derailed productivity, and the Terps’ defense ranks last in the conference in scoring defense and total defense.
When and where is the game?
Maryland and Wisconsin will kick off at 11 a.m. CT at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison
How can I watch?
The game will be broadcast on Fox, with Joe Davis assigned to play-by-play duties, Brady Quinn as the analyst, and Bruce Feldman reporting from the sideline.
How can I stream the game online?
Via FOXSportsGo.com and the FOX Sports Go app (iOS/Android).
How can I listen to it on the radio?
On the Badgers Sports Network, where you’ll find the usual team of Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas, Mark Tauscher and Patrick Herb. On satellite radio, you’ll find the broadcast on Sirius 83/XM 83. Head to BadgerSportsNetwork.com to find it. You can also listen on iHeartRadio (iOS/Android/online) by searching “WIBA.”
Who and what to watch for during the game
Wisconsin secondary vs. D.J. Moore
The Wisconsin secondary will face the dynamic 5’11, 215-pound junior who leads the Big Ten in receptions per game (7.3), receiving yards (624, 104 per contest), and touchdown receptions (seven). That includes a 12 catch, 210-yard, two-touchdown performance in the Terps’ loss last week to the Wildcats.
“He’s active everywhere in the passing game,” defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard said on Wednesday. “He moves all over the place, so playing on the outside, playing on the inside. Anywhere from screens to just shots down the field. Very good what they do with him. I’m impressed with him as a player. He’s just an ultra-competitive guy. He’s a player when he’s got the ball in his hands, he’s very dangerous so we got to be on top of him and at times you have to scheme to take him away. It’s fun to watch him on tape, but hopefully we can keep him under wraps.
When asked how the Wisconsin secondary could defend Moore, senior cornerback Derrick Tindal pointed out they will have to be disciplined.
“You know us, we’re going to play man-to-man no matter who it is,” Tindal said on Wednesday. “As far as defending that, you can play off, you can play press, it’s just about your technique. Sticking and staying true to your technique and like our coaches say, get into that top shoulder.”
Maryland’s offense averages only 161 yards per game through the air, but it should be noted Max Bortenschlager has not thrown an interception in each of his three starts this season.
Behind Moore on the stats sheet, senior Tavion Jacobs has caught 18 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
“All of them fast. Normal, typical Maryland receivers, man,” Tindal said. “Fast, good hands, all of them can play, so looking forward to the challenge of playing them and just stressing myself out with their speed and stuff. I like the challenge, man. D.J. Moore and the rest of the guys will be good challenges. Just got to go out there and stick to our technique and make it easy.”
Wisconsin front seven vs. Maryland’s Ty Johnson
With all the focus on one of the conference’s best receivers, also keep an eye out on how the Wisconsin front seven works to contain running back Ty Johnson, who ranks sixth in the conference in rushing yards per contest (81.3) and averages 7.2 yards per carry on 68 attempts.
After starting the season hot with recording over 100 yards rushing in three of the first four games (including 132 on 12 carries versus Texas and 130 on 18 against Minneosta), he’s only registered 77 yards on 22 carries combined in losses at Ohio State and at home against Northwestern.
For the season, Maryland averages over 178 yards on the ground, good for fifth in the Big Ten.
When asked about Bortenschlager and Maryland’s offense, redshirt senior outside linebacker Garret Dooley acknowledged the Terps’ unit “is based solely on whether they can run the ball.”
“I know they’re averaging about 180 yards of rushing a game, and so that’s just something as a defense that we have to focus on stopping. I know that they have really good athletes at the running back and wide receiver spot, and especially when they get into open space, that they can make defenders look silly pretty much, so that’s just something we have to focus on—getting multiple people to the ball so it’s not just one-on-one tackles all game.”
The Badgers’ defense ranks fourth nationally in rushing defense, allowing only 78.8 yards per game. Halting Johnson’s productivity will allow the defense to focus in on the passing attack.
Jonathan Taylor and the Wisconsin offensive line starting early
Under former Wisconsin assistant Andy Buh, Maryland’s defense is giving up nearly 475 yards and 41 points per contest in their three conference games, worst in the conference. Against the likes of the Gophers, Buckeyes and Wildcats in Big Ten play, it has allowed an average of nearly 200 yards on the ground.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, has averaged 252.3 yards in their three conference games, 263.8 for the season through six contests. The bread and butter of head coach Paul Chryst’s offense involves the likes of UW establishing their run game.
That will open up play action and other possibilities through the air, as the Terps are also worst in the conference in pass defense—allowing 275 yards through the air in Big Ten play (264.7 yards in their six games altogether).
Taylor, for that matter, is on the verge of joining an elite group of players who have rushed for 1,000 yards as a freshman in the fewest amount of games (seven). If he gets 14 yards, he will be added to a list of players that includes the likes of Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk, Adrian Peterson, North Texas’s Jamario Thomas and UW’s P.J. Hill in achieving that mark.
Another fun stat time for Taylor: The Salem, N.J., native has recorded 32 runs of 10-plus yards. That’s good for second-most in the nation behind Stanford’s Bryce Love (33).
Jake Kocorowski: Wisconsin 38, Maryland 14
Owen Riese: Wisconsin 41, Maryland 23
Ryan Mellenthin: Wisconsin 31, Maryland 20
Kevin O’Connell: Wisconsin 38, Maryland 10
Andrew Rosin: Wisconsin 35, Maryland 17
Drew Hamm: Wisconsin 35, Maryland 14