Five Keys to Victory: South Dakota

With the Big Ten conference opener one week away, No.6 Wisconsin is looking for one more victory in the nonconference season when it faces FCS opponent South Dakota at Camp Randall. Badger Nation gives its five keys to victory against the Coyotes.

1, I know we're a bit better than Minnesota, but…

Last year the Coyotes crossed the border and came out with a hard fought win against a Big Ten opponent. Looking past the team on the field is never a good thing, but with Nebraska and the Big Ten season on the horizon it might be hard not to. Bret Bielema needs to keep the team focused on the task at hand or they may just reveal a weakness that hasn't been exploited to date and give the rest of the conference an advantage in the future.

2. Reestablish the run

Its not like Montee Ball and James White have had anything less than a pretty good season this far. But since the UNLV game, the dynamic duo haven't looked quite as unstoppable as last year. The slight dip in the running game may have something to do with new starters on the offensive line. With Gabe Carimi, John Moffitt and Bill Nagy all lacing them up on Sunday and with the injury to Josh Oglesby, the Badgers don't have the experience together as a unit that makes an offensive line a great unit. Getting all the starters on the field at once will do wonders come the Big Ten season.

3. Heisman shift

In the preseason, there were more than a few Badgers name dropped when considering Heisman candidates. Those names, however, were usually some combination of Montee Ball and James White. The only buzz around Russell Wilson was a debate on whether the transfer would fit in with the Wisconsin offense or not. It's only been three weeks, but already questions about fitting in are gone and the Heisman hype has shifted up towards the offensive line right onto the shoulders of Wilson. Now that he's earned the praise of teammates and fans, its time to take the next step. Some big stats this Saturday wouldn't hurt at all.

4. Depth test, part two

Last week the Wisconsin secondary fared pretty well against a good quarterback. South Dakota signal caller Donte Warren is also a dual threat quarterback, which should cause a lot of single coverage for a second week in a row. Last week, the Coyotes had eight different receivers with at least one catch, which means Wisconsin could see a lot of three receiver sets. It comes at a great time as Wisconsin could see much more of the same next week when Nebraska and Taylor Martinez come to town.

5. Momentum

Nothing gets a team fired up for a week of practice quite like a blowout. A win similar to the blowouts the Badgers served up last year to Austin Peay and Indiana could give the Badgers a bit of a boost going in to the Nebraska game. That said, coach Bielema should be aware that his team is thin at spots and can't afford to get injured running up the score.

Fearless prediction:

The Coyotes might be the least talented team the Badgers have faced this year. They might also be the most talented team the Badgers have faced this year. My bet is on the former. Badgers should win big.

Wisconsin 62 South Dakota 10

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