For the third season in a row, the Wisconsin Badgers will play their opener on a Friday.
UW announced via Twitter that 2019’s season opener against South Florida has been moved to Aug. 30 rather than the initially announced date of one day later. The game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla., though the start time for the game has not yet been announced.
A UW official told B5Q’s Jake Kocorowski and Mike Fiammatta on Thursday night that ESPN spoke with both programs about bumping the non-conference game one day earlier to Friday, and both agreed.
Wisconsin opening at USF will be an interesting match-up and good road test to start the season. The Bulls had the definition of an up-and-down year in 2018, starting the season 7-0 and climbing into the top 25 before losing six straight games by an average margin of 19 points per.
The Bulls should see some improvement next season, however, as they return their leading passer in Blake Barnett and leading rusher in Jordan Cronkrite.
The Badgers will then return home for six straight weeks. UW will take on former Florida head coach Jim McElwain and Central Michigan on Sept. 7, followed by a bye and four straight home games against Michigan (Sept. 21), Northwestern (Sept. 28), Kent State (Oct. 5), and Michigan State (Oct. 12).
After that initial homestand, the Badgers will take to the road again against Illinois and Ohio State on Oct. 19 and 26, respectively. The remainder of Wisconsin’s 2019 schedule includes a return home against Iowa (Nov. 9), traveling to Nebraska (Nov. 16), hosting Purdue (Nov. 23), and heading back on the road to attempt to retrieve Paul Bunyan’s Axe against Minnesota to end the season (Nov. 30).
If all goes well, hopefully a trip back to Indianapolis will be in order.
Update, Feb. 8: B5Q has updated the article with a UW official confirming the reason for the date change.