The No. 21 Wisconsin Badgers (5-3 overall, 3-2 Big Ten) are back on the road this week as they travel east to New Jersey to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-4 overall, 1-4 Big Ten) on Saturday afternoon. UW has won four games in a row and, as of Tuesday night’s College Football Playoff rankings release, are ranked again, so continuing their hot streak against Rutgers is imperative.
Do it again pic.twitter.com/vr5F9TFerh— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 1, 2021
After opening the season with three straight wins and a close loss to Michigan, Rutgers has been in a bit of a tailspin that includes a loss to Northwestern. The Scarlet Knights are coming off a win at Illinois (by a touchdown) and are playing at home for the first time in a month, so they’ll be looking to maintain momentum too.
The Badgers have only played the Scarlet Knights three times, uh, ever and have won all three. This will be UW’s second ever trip to Piscataway, N.J. too. So far this season, the Badgers are 2-0 in true road games, so a hostile crowd doesn’t seem to be too big of a deal.
Here is all of the information you’ll need for the Aron Cruickshank Bowl!
How to watch/listen
TV: BTN, 2:30 p.m. CT, Brandon Gaudin, James Laurinaitis, Rick Pizzo
Streaming: FOX Sports App
Radio: Badger Sports Network (Varsity Network App), Satellite: XM 387, App 977, Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas, Patrick Herb
Stadium: SHI Stadium, Piscataway, N.J.
Weather: Piscataway, N.J. (mostly sunny and in the mid-50s!)
DraftKings Sportsbook Line: Wisconsin -12
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- Wisconsin and Rutgers will meet for the first time in three seasons, with the Badgers holding a 3-0 lead in the teams’ all-time series. All three meetings have come since Rutgers joined the Big Ten for the 2014 season.
- Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst is 3-0 vs. Rutgers. The Badgers scored a 48-10 win over the Scarlet Knights in his first season as head coach at UW in 2015 and claimed a 31-17 win over Rutgers in 2018.
- Chryst also directed a 27-6 win over then-No. 19 Rutgers during his first season as head coach at Pittsburgh in 2012.
- In knocking off No. 9 Iowa last weekend, the Badgers won their second consecutive game over an AP Top 25 team, their first back-to-back wins over ranked opponents since downing No. 18 Iowa and No. 9 Minnesota in November of 2019.
Landed pic.twitter.com/6mWRajOvhF— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 5, 2021
- UW is 2-0 in true road games this season, scoring wins at Illinois and at Purdue.
- Wisconsin inside linebackers coach Bob Bostad spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as offensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under head coach Greg Schiano, who has since returned for a second stint as head coach at Rutgers.
- Wisconsin running backs coach Gary Brown served in the same position on Schiano’s staff at Rutgers in 2008. Schiano served as a graduate assistant at Penn State in 1990, Brown’s senior season as a running back for the Nittany Lions.
- Rutgers junior WR/KR Aron Cruickshank played his first two seasons at Wisconsin, earning second team All-Big Ten honors as a returner in 2019. He tied the Badgers’ single-season and career records with a pair of kickoff return touchdowns that season, including a 95-yard TD in the Rose Bowl.
- During their four-game win streak, the Badgers are averaging 261.3 rushing yards per game behind the 1-2 punch of running backs Chez Mellusi and Braelon Allen.
- Allen has topped the 100-yard mark in four straight games and led all FBS running backs in the month of October by averaging 7.1 yards per carry.
- Allen is the first UW true freshman with consecutive 100-yard games since Jonathan Taylor also had four straight in 2017 on his way to breaking Adrian Peterson’s FBS freshman record with 1,977 yards
- A semifinalist for the Bednarik Award and Butkus Award, ILB Leo Chenal has put together an AllAmerica resume by averaging 11.7 tackles and racking up 10.0 TFLs and 5.0 sacks over the last three games. He ranks No. 2 nationally at 1.92 TFLs per game and No. 9 among FBS players at 10.0 tackles per contest.
- Wisconsin is the only team from a Power Five conference to boast three players with at least 8.0 TFLs on the season: junior ILB Leo Chenal (11.5), senior ILB Jack Sanborn (9.0) and sophomore OLB Nick Herbig (8.0).
We don't even know what "He-Who" really means— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 5, 2021
.... but it's working ♂️@chenal_leo pic.twitter.com/jxt1WkQ4lV
- After forcing just four turnovers during their first six games, the Badgers gained eight turnovers over their last two contests. UW owned a turnover margin of -11 through six games but built a combined turnover margin of +6 over the last two weeks in wins over Purdue and Iowa.
- Opponents have averaged just 11.8 first downs per game vs. the Badgers’ defense, the lowest rate in the FBS. Georgia (13.0) ranks No. 2 on that list.
- The Badgers lead the Big Ten and rank second in the country in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert on just 25.5% of their third-down tries (Houston leads, at 25.0%). UW has ranked among the FBS’ top five in lowest opponent third-down conversion rate in five of the last six seasons.
- Wisconsin has allowed opponents to reach the red zone just 14 times (1.8 per game), matching Georgia for the fewest red-zone trips allowed this season.
- On the way to leading the FBS in rushing defense at 53.3 yards per game, Wisconsin has held six of its eight opponents to 50 rushing yards or fewer — with four of those opponents averaging less than 1.0 yard per carry.
- TE Jake Ferguson has caught at least one pass in each of his 42 career games, breaking the school record for consecutive games with a catch set by WR Lee Evans, who caught a pass in 38 consecutive games between 1999 and 2003.
- This year, P Andy Vujnovich ranks No. 18 nationally and No. 6 in the Big Ten with his average of 44.9 yards.
- Rutgers is .500 or better through eight games for the first time since 2014, seeking to have a winning record through nine games for the first time since 2013. The last season with at least five wins was 2014 (8-5).
- Rutgers is 4-0 this season when committing no turnovers and when permitting less than 20 points.
Wear Red— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) November 5, 2021
3:30pm tomorrow vs #21 Wisconsin‼️#CHOP pic.twitter.com/Ha7VSn6KTd
- Rutgers ranks first nationally in net punt (46.6) and No. 11 in third down defense (29.2 percent).
- P Adam Korsak has 94 consecutive punts without a touchback and 40 of his 42 punts this season have had a return of four yards or fewer. He’s had four punts downed at the one this year and eight downed inside the five yard line. His long this year is...69 yards. So nice.
- LB Olakunle Fatukasi ranks No. 10 nationally and third in the Big Ten with 9.9 tackles per game. He needs eight tackles to become the 12th player in program history to reach 300 career tackles.
- WR Aron Cruickshanks leads the team in all-purpose yards with 714 this season.