Georgia State (0-2, 0-0 Sun Belt) vs. No.9 Wisconsin (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Date/Time - Saturday, September 17 at 11 a.m. CT
Stadium – Camp Randall Stadium (80,321/FieldTurf)
Television – Big Ten Network (Brandon Gaudin and Chuck Long)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas, Mark Tauscher). Sirius 81 / XM 81
Series – First Meeting
Saturday’s matchup with Georgia State will be the Badgers’ second-ever meeting with a Sun Belt Conference program. UW defeated Troy last season at Camp Randall Stadium, scoring a 28-3 win over the Trojans on Sept. 19.
UW’s only other meeting with a school currently among the Sun Belt’s membership was a 69-13 win over New Mexico State in Madison in 1962, when the Aggies were an independent.
The Panthers have never faced a Big Ten program. Georgia State is 0-7 against power five conference programs.
Three of GSU’s previous seven Power Five opponents have been ranked: Alabama, 2010 (10/12), Alabama 2013 (1/1) and Oregon, 2015 (12/13), while two others (Washington and Clemson in 2014) were just outside the Top 25.
Wisconsin’s roster features four players from the state of Georgia: freshman P Anthony Lotti (Flowery Branch), sophomore S Arrington Farrar (Atlanta), freshman WR Quintez Cephus (Macon) and sophomore NT Jeremy Patterson (Screven). Lotti was teammates with Georgia State redshirt freshman OL Hunter Atkinson and freshman S Kwon Williams at West Hall High School.
Georgia State offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski is a native of Milwaukee who played fullback at UW-Whitewater from 1981-84 and served two stints as an assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers, including as OC in 2006.
Paul Chryst followed current Georgia State wide receivers coach Tim Lappano as offensive coordinator at Oregon State. Lappano held the post from 1999 to 2002 before leaving to coach running backs for the San Francisco 49ers. Chryst served as the Beavers’ offensive coordinator in 2003 and 2004 before joining the staff at Wisconsin in 2005.
Another Georgia State connection to the state of Wisconsin is the Panthers’ first head coach, Bill Curry, who played center for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, including a victory in Super Bowl I.
Although Georgia State and Wisconsin have never played in football, one of the most memorable moments in GSU athletics history involves the Badgers. In 2001, the Georgia State basketball team, coached by Charles“Lefty”Driesell, knocked off the No. 6 seeded Badgers 50-49 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. That remained the only NCAA Tournament win in GSU history until R.J. Hunter’s buzzer beater against Baylor in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
Wisconsin Notes to Consider
Since 2013, the Badgers have allowed opponents an average of just 16.8 points per game. That’s the second-best mark in the country over the last four seasons, trailing only Alabama (15.5 ppg).
Paul Chryst is 12-3 (.800) since returning to his alma mater as head coach, giving him the second-best record through 15 games of any UW coach in the modern era. Bret Bielema started 14-1 (.933) across the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
The Badgers rank No. 2 nationally in time of possession, averaging 38 minutes, 54 seconds through their first two games. Only Air Force (39:51) has held the ball longer than UW so far this season.
A total of 19 freshmen have made their Badgers debuts so far this season, including seven true freshmen: S Eric Burrell (vs. LSU), WR Quintez Cephus (LSU), OLB Griffin Grady (Akron), P Anthony Lotti (Akron), S Patrick Johnson (Akron), NT Garrett Rand (LSU), WR A.J. Taylor (LSU)
Georgia State Notes to Consider
Georgia State’s football program played its first game in 2010. The Panthers played as an FCS independent in 2010 and 2011 before joining the Colonial Athletic Association for the 2012 season. GSU played its first season in the FBS and joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2013, completing its transition to full FBS membership in 2014
The Panthers went 6-6 in the regular season and earned their first bowl invitation last season, taking on San Jose State in the AutoNation Cure Bowl.
Senior Robert Davis is the top active receiver in the Sun Belt. He ranks eighth among all active FBS players in career receiving yards and 13th in receptions. The 6-3, 220-pounder has caught at least one pass in every Georgia State game the last four seasons (39 straight).
Georgia State features two new faces at quarterback, where the Panthers had to replace record-setting quarterback Nick Arbuckle, the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Student-Athlete of the Year who passed for more than 7,600 yards and 51 touchdowns in his two seasons.
Graduate transfer Conner Manning (Utah) started the season opener vs. Ball State, going 21-for-32 for 163 yards, including a 14-yard TD pass to Penny Hart. Redshirt freshman Aaron Winchester entered the game in the fourth quarter and directed a scoring drive, which he capped with a 13-yard scoring run. He finished with 59 yards rushing on eight attempts while completing 4-of-8 passes for 32 yards. Manning went 8-for-24 for 135 yards last week, while Winchester went 1-for-3.