The No. 12 Wisconsin Badgers open up the season by hosting the No. 19 Penn State Nittany Lions in an early season inter-division Big Ten showdown on FOX’s Big Noon Saturday. While it is kind of a bummer that this kickoff is so early, there will be a lot of exposure for the program with multiple FOX shows airing live from Madison over the weekend.
This is probably your best chance to yell at Brady Quinn in person, so you should probably take it.
We will be updating this post on Saturday morning with any new information that comes across our desk* between now and then as well as a whole host of fun facts from the media guides.
*kitchen table, if it isn’t being used for art projects
How to watch/listen
TV: FOX, 11:00 a.m. CT, Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Jenny Taft
Streaming: FOX Sports App
Radio: Badger Sports Network (iHeartRadio), Satellite: Sirius 104, XM 195, Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas, Mark Tauscher, Patrick Herb; Compass Radio, Gregg Daniels, Tiki Barber
Stadium: Camp Randall Stadium
Weather: Madison, Wis. (slight chance of rain early, cloudy at kickoff)
Line: Wisconsin -5.5
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- Saturday is the first time fans have been in Camp Randall Stadium for a Wisconsin Badgers football game in 651 days!
- The Badgers are 44-14 (.759) in conference play over the last seven seasons (2014-20), since the Big Ten went to its current divisional alignment. Only Ohio State (53-4, .930) has a better league record over that span.
- By hosting Illinois in 2020 and Penn State in 2021, the Badgers will open consecutive seasons against Big Ten opponents for the first time since facing Michigan to begin the 1981 and 1982 campaigns.
- In No. 19 Penn State, the Badgers face a ranked Big Ten opponent in their season opener for the first time since scoring a 21-14 win over No. 1-ranked Michigan at Camp Randall Stadium on Sept. 12, 1981.
Last chance to do your laundry— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) September 3, 2021
Make sure you know what color you're wearing for tomorrow's stripe out!
See you TOMORROW pic.twitter.com/IvpeYUzCIV
- Dating to 2000, the Badgers have won 19 of their last 21 season openers. They have also won six straight.
- The Badgers have a 25-game win streak in home openers at Camp Randall Stadium, a run that dates to 1996 and matches Oklahoma State for the 2nd-longest run among FBS teams. Only Florida (31) owns a longer active win streak in home openers.
- Penn State leads the all-time series between the teams, 10-9, including wins in six of the last seven meetings.
- Of the teams’ last four meetings, three have been decided by a single score, including a 38-31 win for Penn State in the 2016 Big Ten Football Championship Game.
- Penn State is making just its second trip to Madison in the span of 10 seasons. The Nittany Lions upset the No. 14 Badgers, 31-24, in their last trip to Camp Randall in 2013.
- Wisconsin junior QB Chase Wolf and Penn State senior QB Sean Clifford were teammates at Saint Xavier High School in Cincinnati. Wolf took over as the Bombers’ starting quarterback when Clifford, a senior, was injured in 2016. St. Xavier went on to win the Ohio Division I state title that season.
- Wisconsin junior TE Hayden Rucci and freshman OL Nolan Rucci are the sons of a pair of former Penn State standouts. Their father, Todd, played guard for the Nittany Lions and was a second round pick of the New England Patriots in the 1993 NFL Draft. Their mother, Stacy, was an AllAmerica field hockey player at Penn State.
- Wisconsin sophomore CB Dean Engram is the son of Penn State great Bobby Engram, who was a three-time All-American and the 1994 Biletnikoff Award winner as a Nittany Lions wide receiver. Following his 14-year NFL career, Bobby Engram spent two seasons as the wide receivers coach on Paul Chryst’s coaching staff at Pittsburgh from 2012-13 before taking the same position with the Baltimore Ravens.
- First-year Wisconsin running backs coach Gary Brown played running back at Penn State and led the Nittany Lions in rushing as a sophomore. The Williamsport, Pa., native was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 1991 NFL Draft en route to an eight-year pro career.
- Penn State redshirt freshman DE Bryce Mostella and Wisconsin sophomore OL Logan Brown and sophomore WR Stephan Bracey all played at East Kentwood High School in Michigan.
- Penn State analyst Danny O’Brien (OMG!) played at Wisconsin in 2012, starting seven games at quarterback.
- Senior TE Jake Ferguson’s next reception will be No. 100 for his career. He is second among active tight ends in the country for catches (Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar has 106 catches).
LOADING...— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) September 4, 2021
- Ferguson has caught at least one pass in each of his 33 career games. That string of 33 consecutive games is the fourth longest active streak by an FBS player.
- Penn State’s star WR Jahan Dotson has caught a pass in 29 straight games.
- Wisconsin’s defense has secured a takeaway in each of its last 13 games, the longest active streak in the Big Ten.
- Penn State will open Big Ten action on the road for the sixth straight season (and they open on the road the next three seasons too). In 29 seasons as a Big Ten member, Penn State has opened on the road 20 times in conference.
- QB Sean Clifford is a team captain for the third year, only the second Nittany Lions player ever to earn the distinction for three seasons.
Madison, WI— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) September 3, 2021