UW v. Temple – Five things to watch

BadgerNation.com's keys to UW's matchup with Temple Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium

Secondary response? Wisconsin's defensive backs have, by all counts, not enjoyed practice this week after their weak performance against Bowling Green to open the season. One would imagine they will come ready to play Saturday and ready to prove a point. Temple may be a college football bottom feeder (to be generous) but they have a capable veteran quarterback in Mike McGann and a some decent receivers, particularly Purdue transfer Bruce Gordon. If UW plays like it did last week, McGann will throw for 300 yards.

As the DBs turn: Allen Langford and Joe Stellmacher are listed as starters ahead of Levonne Rowan and Johnny White. And Zach Hampton is pressing Roderick Rogers for playing time at free safety. Seemingly every defensive back is looking to rebound from last week's dreary performance, but it will be particularly intriguing to witness the response of players like Rowan and White, who are being challenged to re-earn starting spots, and Langford and Stellmacher, who are in position to prove themselves as starters. Expect to see several players grace the secondary again this week. The Badgers need to have the last line of defense relatively settled by the time they hit the road for North Carolina next week, and definitely by the time Michigan comes to town Sept. 24.

Running wild: After Arizona State ran for 300 yards against Temple last week, it would seemingly go without saying that the Badgers should have an extremely productive running game Saturday. But will UW stick to a run, run, run format, as it did last week in successfully keeping Omar Jacobs on the sideline in the second half? Or will the Badgers expand the offense? There is a double edged sword here, between getting the entire offense running on all cylinders, and the benefits of keeping some plays in the bag and off of film for upcoming opponents.

No let down As the above suggests, this publication expects this game to be over by halftime — unless the Badgers show up feeling smug and content, expecting to walk into their stadium and watch the Owls roll over. If that happens, there will be some tense moments. But UW has shown no signs of letting down this week. The defense knows it must play a much cleaner game than it did against Bowling Green, and the offense does not appear to be letting last week's success go to its head.

Chance to kick After not taking a single field goal attempt last week, it will be interesting to see whether Taylor Mehlhaff has an opportunity to kick one this time around. Not because this game is going to come down to a field goal or anything, but because UW is going to need a strong kicking game to have a chance in the highly competitive games to come.


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