Fresh off a 23-10 victory over the surging Maryland Terrapins, the Wisconsin Badgers are currently standing at 5-4 on the season and one game behind the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Big 10 West (Illinois holds tiebreaker) following their loss to Michigan State this weekend.
The Badgers fought through some injuries this weekend as defensive linemen Isaiah Mullens and Gio Paez both missed Saturday’s game with leg injuries, but Wisconsin ultimately rallied behind nose tackle Keeanu Benton in a strong performance.
Heading into Week 11, here is the depth chart and injury report for the Badgers.
Only Chez Mellusi and Aaron Witt remain on the injury report this week, meaning that Wisconsin should be the healthiest they’ve been all season in a crucial matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes this weekend.
Mellusi, who suffered a broken arm against Northwestern in the fourth quarter, was expected to be evaluated following the bye and his status for the remainder of the season is currently unclear.
But, Cole Dakovich, Isaiah Mullens, Gio Paez, Preston Zachman, and Vito Calvaruso are all off the injury report, adding some much-needed depth at their respective positions down the stretch.
As for the depth chart, the Badgers installed yet another offensive line formation against the Terrapins, playing Jack Nelson, Tanor Bortolini, Joe Tippmann, Trey Wedig, and Riley Mahlman as the starting unit.
With the strong play last weekend, it’s expected that these five remain the starters for Wisconsin down the stretch, barring unforeseen circumstances.
At tight end, the Badgers welcomed back Hayden Rucci to the starting lineup last weekend, making him and Jack Eschenbach the one-two punch going forward. But, with Wisconsin’s propensity for jumbo formations and rotations, Dakovich could see a role as well.
Additionally, quarterback Chase Wolf, who was a game-time decision last week, was active, meaning the Badgers will likely be able to use Myles Burkett’s season as a redshirt year with insurance at the position.
In Mullens’s absence, defensive end James Thompson has slowly emerged as a significant contributor along the front seven, which shouldn’t change this week, given Leonhard’s desire to rotate and keep players fresh on all three levels of his defense.
Stay tuned for next week’s depth chart and injury report!