The Wisconsin Badgers (8-4 overall, 6-3 Big Ten) have been in Las Vegas for the past few days preparing to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils (8-4 overall, 6-3 Pac-12) in the Las Vegas Bowl on Thursday night. It is the first team these two teams have met since...this debacle.
Practice hard, play hard pic.twitter.com/gB1KFtiWrK— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 27, 2021
After an extremely disappointing end to the regular season which featured losing Paul Bunyan’s Axe to Minnesota and the Big Ten West division title to Iowa, Wisconsin will be looking to end their season on a high note. Paul Chryst has an excellent record in bowl games and, as a program, the Badgers are in the 20th consecutive postseason contest. That’s more in a row than Alabama and Clemson, among many others.
We have plenty more to discuss about this game and we’ll have it posted throughout the week leading up to the game.
How to watch/listen
TV: ESPN, Thursday, 12/30, 9:30 p.m. CT, Beth Mowins, Kirk Morrison, Dawn Davenport
Streaming: ESPN App; Watch ESPN streaming
Radio: Badger Sports Network (Varsity Network App), Satellite: XM 372, Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas, Patrick Herb; the national radio call is also on the Varsity Sports App, Sirius 83/XM 83, Brian Roth, Hans Olson, Tim Murray
Stadium: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.
Weather: Las Vegas, Nev. (cool and potentially rainy for walking the strip, but the stadium is a dome)
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- The Las Vegas Bowl marks the fifth meeting all-time between Wisconsin and Arizona State, and the first time the teams have matched up in a bowl game.
- The Badgers are 1-3 all-time against ASU. The Sun Devils claimed the teams’ last meeting, a 32-30 decision at Sun Devil Stadium on Sept. 14, 2013, that ended in controversial fashion when time ran out before the Badgers were able to spike the ball and set up a potential game-winning field goal attempt. This is copied and pasted from the UW game notes and it is incorrect. The Badgers VERY CLEARLY WERE ABLE TO SPIKE THE BALL BEFORE TIME RAN OUT AND...ok, gotta calm down. This game happened eight years ago.
- The Badgers’ lone win over Arizona State was a 20-19 victory in Madison on Sept. 18, 2010. Current UW head coach Paul Chryst served as the Badgers’ offensive coordinator in that game, with current assistants Bob Bostad and Joe Rudolph also on the UW staff.
- Wisconsin has won six of their last seven bowl games, including last season’s win over Wake Forest in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.
"The last game that you play as a Badger, it embodies everything you've done, all the work you've done the last four or five years... You want to leave it with momentum going up." pic.twitter.com/EZLeobTY4t— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 29, 2021
- The last time UW played a Pac-12 in a bowl game was the 2020 Rose Bowl, which the Badgers lost 28-27 to Oregon.
- The Sun Devils are 3-2 against teams that were in the Big Ten at the time of the bowl matchup (excluding Rutgers/Nebraska), most recently defeating Purdue 27-23 in the 2004 Sun Bowl.
- A win on Thursday night would move ASU back to .500 all-time in bowl games (currently 15-16-1).
- Paul Chryst is 5-1 in bowl games as UW’s head coach, with victories in the Holiday, Cotton, Orange, Pinstripe and Duke’s Mayo bowls.
- With 64, Chryst ranks fourth on the Badgers’ all-time wins list and needs one win to match College Football Hall of Famer Phil King for third place.
- Wisconsin is in a bowl game for the 20th consecutive year. That extends the nation’s third-longest active streak, trailing only Georgia (25) and Oklahoma (23).
- It is the second-longest streak in Big Ten history. Michigan played in 33 straight bowl games from 1975 to 2007.
No matter where we are, Badger fans are the best in the country pic.twitter.com/kAHuqafcO0— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 30, 2021
- ASU has been bowl eligible in nine of the last ten years (since 2011), excluding the 2020 COVID season.
- Wisconsin owns a 4-1 record all-time in games played in Las Vegas, scoring wins over UNLV in 1996, 2002, 2007 and 2010. The contests in 2002, 1996 and 2007 represented the three highest attendance totals in the history of UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium.
- The Badgers have faced the nation’s eighth most challenging schedule, according to Jeff Sagarin’s ratings. UW’s 12-game regular season included eight teams that qualified for bowl games and featured three teams still ranked in the top 20 of the AP poll.
- Wisconsin leads the nation in yards allowed (240.8 ypg) and rushing defense (65.2 ypg) while ranking sixth in the FBS in scoring defense (16.4 points per game).
- ASU has rushed for 100 or more yards in 16-straight games - its longest streak since a 21-game span between 1995 and 1996.
- The Badgers’ defense has allowed opposing offenses to score just 18 touchdowns and 156 points in 12 games this season (13.0 ppg).
- The Badgers have racked up 33 sacks, matching Michigan (33) and trailing only Michigan State (38) and Ohio State (35) among Big Ten teams during the regular season.
- Wisconsin is allowing opponents just 4.09 yards per play. Only Georgia (3.71) is allowing fewer yards per play this season.
- ASU has a third-down conversion rate of 44.0 against FBS opponents, good for No. 29 in the country.
- The Badgers rank third nationally in third down defense, allowing opponents to convert on just 26.6% of their third-down tries. That trails only Houston (25.6%) and Oklahoma State (26.2%).
- With three this year, ASU has 21 interception returns for touchdowns since the 2012 campaign - a tally tied for first in the Pac-12 (Utah) and fifth in the FBS in that time span.
- Ten times this season has ASU held opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards (six) AND/OR fewer than 100 passing yards (three) - the most instances since doing so nine times in 1996 (five and four, respectively).
- ASU is only team in the FBS to not allow a 50-yard play on the year.
- Freshman RB Braelon Allen is averaging 7.06 yards per attempt — best among FBS players with at least 100 carries. He looks to become the third Badger to average at least 7.0 yards per rush for a season, joining Melvin Gordon in 2013 (7.81) and 2014 (7.54) and Jonathan Taylor in 2018 (7.15).
- TE Jake Ferguson ranks No. 6 among active FBS tight ends in receiving yards, with 1,585. That places him 15th on UW’s career list, and third among tight ends all-time at Wisconsin. He needs 43 yards to pass Troy Fumagalli for second among tight ends.
- ASU QB Jayden Daniels needs 117 rushing yards to surpass Taylor Kelly’s school rushing record for a quarterback (Kelly sits at 1,404 to Daniels’ 1,288).
- Daniels has forced 36 missed tackles this season, No. 5 among FBS QBs