Series: Wisconsin leads series 2-0.
Badgers to watch:
UM – RB Anthony Davis, QB Brooks Bollinger SE Darrin Charles RT Jason Jowers, C, Al Johnson, CB B.J Tucker, LE Jake Sprague, LB Broderick Williams .
WVU - Anthony Mims (Hamstring) Out, Jahmile Addae (Head) Probable, Phil Braxton (Leg) Doubtful.
UW – WR Lee Evans (Knee) Out.
WVU 0-0, 1-0
UW 0-0, 2-0
Sat. 9/7 Noon EST
Series: UW 2-0
TV: ESPN Regional
BCS: WVU-nr - UW- 21
Line: UW - 15
Stats & Trends
First and foremost, WVU has to be able to run the ball against the Badger defense. If Cobourne and company can break a few runs for 10 or more yards against Wisconsin's 8 man front then the passing game will be very effective. Last years Wisconsin defense, much like Mountaineer defense of 2001, had a hard time stopping the run but things seemed to have improved this year, party due to the return of the Badgers main run stopper, DE Jake Sprague. Wisconsin is giving up 100 yards rushing and 206.5 yards passing per game. Against UTC the WVU offensive racked up 332 yards rushing but this week the offensive line will need to step it up about 3 notches if they expect to have the same success against the Badger D-Line.
Advantage : West Virginia
WVU defense vs. Wisconsin offense.
Although the WVU defense looked much improved last week, the Badger offensive line and QB Brook Bollinger will give Coach Rich Rodriguez an excellent indication as to how the newly installed 3-3-5 stack defense will oprate against a solid offense. WVU will have a slight advantage to due Wisconsin inexperience in facing the 3-3-5 defense although it is similar to Michigan's 3-4-4 defense. Unfortunately that slight advantage will disappear when the Wisconsin O-Line takes the field. LT Ben Johnson, LG Dan Buenning, C Al Johnson, RG Jonathan Clinkscale and RT Jason Jowers combine to weigh over 1500 pounds! Now that's a lot of cheese. The good news is that Wisconsin's best player, Lee Evans, will not be suiting up for this game which leaves inexperience at the wideouts. Of the top four Badger receivers, 3 are freshman while the other, Darrin Charles, is a sophomore. Hopefully, this inexperience will lead to hesitation on Bollinger part which will allow Grant Wiley and James "Dirty" Davis to log a few sacks.
|UW Message Board|
|UW Official Site|
At this point into the season its hard to determine if special teams will be an asset or liability to the respective teams. Last week the Mountaineers punted only twice but they did manage to block a punt and convert 8-8 extra point attempts. On the other hand, WVU missed a field goal and played some many players that it is difficult to accurate assessment of the special teams.
The Badgers have solid kickers but neither have very strong legs. The cover teams gave a solid performance last week against UNLV but the Rebels do not have the speed that the Mountaineers have on the return teams.
Advantage : Push
Picks to Click:
On Offense: Rasheed Marshall
On Defense: James Davis
Stat of the week:
The all-time record for the Mountaineers on the road is 176-250-15 with the average score being WVU 14.6 - Opponent 18.52 .
I'm 1-0 this year on predictions! I predicted that WVU would roll last week 56-10 which was thisclose to the actually score. Hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. Unfortunately I'm not so blind that I can't see that the Mountaineers will have a hard time defeating the Badgers in front of 76,000 fans on Saturday. With or without the musket, no breaks, no win.
WVU 17 - Wisconsin 24
ps: Next year we get them at our house.