Slashing. Over-powering. Dominant. These are merely just a few words to describe the rushing attack of #19 Wisconsin (2-1) as USF (2-2, 1-0) will face the daunting task of traveling to Camp Randall Stadium this Saturday to square off against the Badgers. To go along with being on the road for a noon kickoff game, this is an early challenge for Willie Taggart and Chuck Bresnahan’s young defense.
The Badgers have traditionally been known for their dominant backfields and superb execution from their offensive line, but this year’s may be statistically historic, already claiming the nation’s top rushing attack through three weeks of play.
In case you missed it, this past Saturday witnessed Wisconsin thrashing Bowling Green at home 68-17. When the final whistle was blown, the Badgers racked up 644 total rushing yards, setting the record for most rushing yards amounted in a single game in the Big Ten’s modern era which dates back to 1946 (Per ESPN Stats and Information).
Along with the performances of QB Tanner McEvoy and backup RB Corey Clement was the imposing will of junior RB Melvin Gordon, who may have entered his name into the Heisman trophy race. Gordon amounted 253 yards on 13 attempts and 5 TD in merely 3 quarters against Bowling Green and looks to do the same against the visiting Bulls.
Wisconsin closes out their non-conference schedule with USF as they gear up for the beginning of Big Ten play. With it being the first road game of the year for the Bulls, the young roster will be tested facing a top 25 team and one of the loudest environments in all of college football, especially at the beginning of the fourth quarter when the crowd goes into a frenzy as “Jump Around” is being played.
Bresnahan’s defensive front must apply tremendous pressure up front to slow down this high potent rushing offense and force Wisconsin to utilize the passing attack. Controlling the tempo on defense and containing Gordon and Clement will definitely be the key to a USF victory.