The Badgers struggled before beating the Citadel in 2007. The Badgers really struggled before beating Cal Poly by a missed extra point last year. The Badgers need to come out hard, score early, score often, and make sure plays on defense. Doing that would help them win almost any game, but the key here is that they should be able to do it against a I-AA opponent. If the Badgers can avoid the I-AA letdown, this game could be a real confidence booster going into the Big Ten season. If the Badgers just get by, or God forbid lose, then this could be the point at which the season's thread unravels.
2. Triple Trouble
It seems as though a requirement to play in I-AA is the Triple Threat offense. Wofford got the memo, and has enlisted quarterback Mitch Allen to lead it. To give you an idea of what Wofford likes to do, I offer you this stat: Allen's passing attempts/yards: 18/95. Allen's rushing attempts/yards: 26/147. The Badgers typically have had trouble with this type of offense. They catch a break as leading rusher Eric Breitenstein is out for the game. His replacement, Arsenio Parks, has already amassed 11 carries, so stopping him may be the key. Putting a QB spy on the field in the spot of a traditional safety could also help. That would lead to ...
3. Be a man in man-to-man
The corners will likely see a lot of man-to-man coverage on receivers. With only 10 completed passes on the year for the Wofford offense, that might not be a challenge. The key for the secondary will be shutting down third and long, and getting away from giving receivers big pockets of space and waiting for them. Getting in the face of the wide outs can help the Badgers cut off the passing game completely. Allen doesn't have near the deep threat arm that Colburn did last week, and will likely look to gain 6-10 yards on a pass play. It would be wise not to play 8 yards off in a third-and-7 situation this week.
4. This isn't two-hand touch
Tackle the player with the football! It seems like an easy concept, but it's been an issue for the Badgers, especially last game. The defense and special teams need to do a better job of open-field tackling and making the play on first contact. Receivers have gained an extra 4-5 yards before the rest of the defense can help make the tackle way too many times. In order to succeed against the triple threat, defenders need to take down the ball carrier at impact.
5. Did ma's chicken soup work?
The majority of the players that got sick are back to 100 percent. There does seem to be some lingering on the part of ol' H1N1 though, so the training staff will continue to play a big role in keeping the players hydrated and in game shape. They've done great so far, getting almost all of the sick starters on the field against Fresno State.
I think the Badgers will use this game to their advantage. With Wofford's lack of a power passing game, the Badgers will be able to bring the defense up and prevent a lot of what hurt them against Fresno, especially the third-down receiver screen. With that, Wofford shouldn't get near the 11-18 3rd down conversion percentage (10-14 at one time, which says something about the Badgers improved play down the stretch last week). The defensive line should also be healthier now that the flu has passed through Schofield and Watt. I predict that the Badgers come to play and use the momentum from the end of last week's game to pounce the Terriers.
Final score: 38-10