The first road test for the No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers could yield some needed answers before the bye week.
UW (2–0) heads west to take on the struggling BYU Cougars (1–2) on Saturday afternoon.
Last weekend, Wisconsin handed Florida Atlantic its second loss of the young Lane Kiffin era on the back on true freshman running back Jonathan Taylor, who rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns. The defense, despite giving up a long 63-yard touchdown pass, only surrendered 248 total yards while registering five sacks and 10 tackles for loss against the Owls.
On the other side, BYU has struggled offensively, gaining only 231.7 yards per contest and averaging 11 points per game. The Cougars lost to in-state rival Utah 19–13 last week, and despite a front seven that both Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst and offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph mentioned this week, appears to have a new starting quarterback in Beau Hoge following an injury to Tanner Mangum.
Here are the TV/radio/streaming options for the game, as well as the Wisconsin players and positions to watch.
When and where is the game?
Wisconsin and BYU will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah (seating capacity 63,470).
How can I watch?
The game will be broadcast on ABC, with Mike Patrick assigned to play-by-play duties, Tommy Tuberville as the analyst, and Paul Carcaterra reporting from the sideline.
How can I stream the game online?
Via WatchESPN.com and the ESPN mobile app (iOS/Android).
How can I listen to it on the radio?
On the Badgers Sports Network, where you’ll find the usual of team of Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas and Patrick Herb. On satellite radio, you’ll find the broadcast on Sirius 127/XM 207. Otherwise, head to BadgerSportsNetwork.com to find it. You can also listen on iHeartRadio (iOS/Android/online) by searching “WIBA.”
Wisconsin players to watch:
With starting left guard Jon Dietzen out (right leg), it appears Kapoi, the redshirt junior who has played in 27 games with 13 starts in his UW career, would take his place. Kapoi is no stranger to playing time at both left and right guard so far in his career and, most recently, the early part of the 2017 season.
After starting at left guard in the 59–10 win over Utah State on Sept. 1, Kapoi took over for right guard Beau Benzschawel last week in the victory over Florida Atlantic. The Hawaii native has the versatility to play both positions and he will need to have a solid performance against a BYU front that’s only allowing 3.9 yards per carry through three games.
If Benzschawel cannot go on Saturday, let’s throw in walk-on Jason Erdmann’s name to this list as well, as he presumably would take over at right guard. Erdmann also received first-team reps during fall camp when Dietzen was banged up in August.
We featured Andrew Van Ginkel on Friday and the early contributions he has brought to Wisconsin’s defense (eight tackles, two for loss, one sack), and the mostly three-man rotation of Van Ginkel and starters Garret Dooley and Leon Jacobs has yielded positive results so far. They have recorded 8.5 of the team’s 18 tackles for loss and three of the unit’s six sacks through two games.
Their efforts have come against offenses that have tried to utilize up-tempo pacing to throw off the Badgers. Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard said on Tuesday that BYU displayed some pace against Portland State, but it is a different offense than Wisconsin has seen.
Offensive coordinator Ty Detmer implements a more pro-style approach, but with starter Tanner Mangum more than likely out for Saturday’s game, it should be interesting how the Cougars attack the Badgers’ defense with back-up Beau Hoge. More importantly, it should be intriguing how UW pressures BYU’s offense with an inexperienced signal caller. Dooley, Jacobs, and co., should have chances to leave an imprint on this game heading into the bye week.
Quarterback Alex Hornibrook and the passing game
It definitely wasn’t the cleanest game against FAU last Saturday, but it will be interesting to see how the southpaw responds out west against BYU’s defense.
For the season, Hornibrook has completed 60.8 percent of his passes with four touchdowns to only one interception while also averaging 222.5 yards per contest. He went 16-of-28 for 201 yards with a touchdown and a pick against the Owls.
The interception in the second quarter was bad, but Hornibrook has also not been helped by dropped passes in the first two games. A dropped deep pass by wide receiver A.J. Taylor negated what would have been a big gain near midfield against the Aggies, while tight end Troy Fumagalli dropped a would-be first down against the Owls.
If Wisconsin cannot get the run game going due to injuries and BYU’s front seven, can Hornibrook and the passing attack step up and answer the call?
Jake Kocorowski: Wisconsin 27, BYU 13
Owen Riese: Wisconsin 34, BYU 7
Jon Beidelschies: Wisconsin 24, BYU 17
Ryan Mellenthin: Wisconsin 27, BYU 14
Kevin O’Connell: Wisconsin 38, BYU 10
Drew Hamm: Wisconsin A normal ABV for beer, BYU 4% ABV or less