The Wisconsin Badgers are set to face off against the Georgia Southern Eagles in Week 3 in a home bout at Camp Randall Stadium, with kickoff slated for 11 A.M. CT on Saturday.
The Badgers come into the game as 20-point favorites, indicating how oddsmakers and bettors expect this game to go.
However, there is an important matchup this week that could indicate how well the Badgers play, and ultimately, what the final score ends up being.
What’s the matchup to watch for the Badgers against Georgia Southern?
Badgers DL vs. Georgia Southern OL
The Wisconsin Badgers were dominated on both fronts, especially the edges, against the Washington State Cougars, with the latter ultimately coming out with a victory.
With a Big Ten defensive line, you'd expect better results against Georgia Southern’s offensive line, but the Badgers still haven't gotten as much traction with their front unit as you’d like, specifically in the passing game.
Georgia Southern’s offense is getting even better this offseason with the addition of Tulsa transfer quarterback Davis Brin, who was thwarted by injuries in 2022, but has the ability to be a volume passer, while they retain some of their key skill position threats as well.
But, their offensive line returns three starters, including two experienced options in Khalil Crowder and Brian Miller, and has allowed just one sack through two weeks, albeit against lesser competition.
The Georgia Southern offense has averaged 42 points, and put up high-scoring games in 2022, where they beat Nebraska 45-42, James Madison 45-38, and Appalachian State 51-48.
Now, I still expect a handy Badgers victory, but let’s go back to the matchup of the week: Wisconsin’s defensive line against Georgia Southern’s offensive line.
If the Badgers can disrupt the tempo of the Eagles’ offense by getting pressure and forcing their offense into unfavorable situation, that slows down the pace of the game on that side and provides Wisconsin with control of the tempo, something they struggled to do in Week 2.
However, if they can’t consistently field a pass rush, the Badgers allow quarterback Davis Brin to push the ball downfield more, leading to potential chunk plays and scoring opportunities, keeping the game closer than you’d like.
This is a good tune-up game for the Badgers defensive line to start getting on track ahead of the team’s conference slate, and a strong performance would go a long way into dictating a potential blowout for Wisconsin.