No.  19 Badgers follow up shutout by hosting Washington State

No. 19 Badgers follow up shutout by hosting Washington State

Washington State (1-0) at No. 19 Wisconsin (1-0), Saturday, 3:30 pm ET (Fox)

Line: Wisconsin by 17 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook

Series record: Wisconsin leads 2-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Washington State is seeking its first 2-0 start since 2019 and its first win over a ranked team since beating No. 25 Iowa State 28-26 in the 2018 Alamo Bowl. Wisconsin may need a win to stay ranked next week.

KEY MATCHUP

Washington State QB Cam Ward vs. Wisconsin’s defense: Ward delivered three touchdown passes against Idaho in his Washington State debut last week after throwing for 4,668 yards and 47 touchdowns last season at Football Championship Subdivision program Incarnate Word. Ward is facing a Wisconsin defense that didn’t allow a single point in its season opener. The Badgers gave up the fewest yards per game and yards per play of any Bowl Subdivision team last season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Washington State: RB Nakia Watson is a Wisconsin transfer who rushed for a career-high 117 yards last week in the Cougars’ 24-17 victory. Watson rushed for 522 yards and five touchdowns for Wisconsin from 2019-20.

Wisconsin: RB Braelon Allen scored on a 96-yard breakaway last week for the longest run from scrimmage in Wisconsin history. Allen ran for a total of 148 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries in the 38-0 blowout of Illinois State. That follows a freshman season in which Allen rushed for 1,268 yards and 12 touchdowns.

FACTS & FIGURES

Washington State led the Pac-12 with 29 takeaways last year and intercepted two passes against Idaho last week. The Cougars have forced at least two turnovers in 11 of their last 14 games. … Washington State also had 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks last week. … Wisconsin’s Nick Herbig recorded two sacks and John Torchio scored on a 100-yard interception return against Illinois State. … Washington State coach Jake Dickert was born in Kohler, Wisconsin, and played at Wisconsin-Stevens Point from 2002-06. … Wisconsin hasn’t allowed a single offensive touchdown in 15 of Jim Leonhard’s 62 games as defensive coordinator. … Wisconsin’s Chimere Dike had three catches for a career-high 106 yards against Illinois State. He turned a short completion into a 74-yard gain, the Badgers’ longest pass play since a 74-yarder from Jon Budmayr to Jared Abbrederis in 2010.

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