The No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers (3-0 overall, 1-0 B1G) are coming off a dominant victory over No. 20 Michigan Wolverines (2-1 overall, 0-1 B1G) on Saturday. That is all well and good, but it is time to move on and focus on this coming Saturday’s game against the offensively challenged Northwestern Wildcats (1-2 overall, 0-1 B1G).
RT Logan Bruss and OLB Izayah Green-May are both back in their starting positions and off the injury report after being listed there for Week 4.
The Badgers enter their second conference matchup with a couple of changes to the starting lineup, technically, due to targeting suspensions. Eric Burrell will miss the first half of the Northwestern game after a tough targeting call against Michigan.
Reggie Pearson’s targeting call was more cut and dry and he will also miss the first half of the game against the Wildcats.
Reggie Pearson has been ejected for targeting.— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) September 21, 2019
Wisconsin has now lost both of their starting safeties due to targeting on this drive.
So, the Badgers have the same two starting safeties, but who actually takes the field for the beginning of the game will be different than what is listed. With Scott Nelson already being out for the season and Madison Cone listed on the injury report, it will be an all hands on deck situation. Collin Wilder will most likely feature prominently in the first half.
Speaking of injuries, the Badgers still have a couple that they are dealing with. Sophomore NT Bryson Williams is still listed as questionable and safety Madison Cone joins him, further complicating the depth chart in the defensive backfield.
Madison Cone and Bryson Williams are questionable this week. Luke Benzschawel still out. pic.twitter.com/fdM09pRqRq— Jesse Temple (@jessetemple) September 23, 2019
Williams, while listed on the injury report, is still named as the starting NT for the week, bumping true freshman Keeanu Benton, who filled in admirably the last two games, back to his reserve role.
TE Luke Benzschawel will not play versus Northwestern, although it would appear that Paul Chryst and co. have found a way around not having him by going to the Hippo package in short yardage situations.
"This formation is made up of pastry-fed men who would like nothing more than to mash your ass. This is a formation that struggles to buy pants that fit & renders the term “big & tall” hopelessly inadequate." - @RJ_Writes in Read Option beautifully describing the Hippo formation— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) September 23, 2019
So, as of Monday morning, the Badgers are relatively healthy and hopefully ready to get back out on the field and please...for the love of God not lose to Northwestern at home after beating Michigan.
We will keep you posted all week if anything changes on the injury report or depth chart. We will also have a roundup of Paul Chryst’s press conference later today.
UPDATE (Thursday, 11:12 a.m. CT): LB Leo Chenal is out as is NT Bryson Williams.