Wisconsin vs. USF fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, August 30
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Wisconsin (0-0) vs. USF (0-0) Game Preview
USF went up to Wisconsin in 2014 and lost 27-10. Now comes the return favor in Tampa at night in late August with a chance for a massive moment in the Charlie Strong era.
The Bulls closed out last season with six straight losses after starting 7-0. The program is on a five game winning streak against Power Five programs and is 8-1 in its last nine going back to early 2015.
Wisconsin is coming off an underwhelming season – not helped by a clunker of a performance in a loss to BYU – but there’s no time to waste any opportunity. The Badgers get Central Michigan up next, and then it’s on with Michigan and Northwestern to follow.
Why Wisconsin Will Win
Can the USF defense be a whole lot better after getting hammered for almost 250 rushing yards per game?
The Bulls get back seven starters, but it’s a young defensive front seven that needs to prove it can hold up against a powerful ground attack.
Welcome to Wisconsin.
The Badgers might have to rebuild a bit on the offensive front, and the quarterback situation will be front-and-center in the spotlight, but Jonathan Taylor is still there, the line should be fine, and the O should be able to pound away and wear USF down.
On the other side, the Wisconsin defense has the experience to be more than fine right out of the box, especially in the secondary. But …
Why USF Will Win
The USF offense should be a whole lot stronger. Nine starters return for new offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell, with a good running game and enough balance to keep the Badgers on their heels.
Blake Barnett is a solid veteran quarterback, Mitchell Wilcox is one of the nation’s best tight ends, and the line gets back four starters. With what should be an even and controlled style under Bell, part of the goal will be to own the clock, and in the expected heat, keep things moving and don’t let the Badgers dominate the clock.
Badger quarterback Jack Coan got in some good work last season, but the offense needs better play at the position. The answer at some point in the game might be superstar true freshman prospect Graham Mertz, but first, USF has to slow down the ground attack.
What’s Going To Happen
Give it a half.
USF will be terrific for a quarter, and the Wisconsin offense will sputter and stall a wee bit, but the ground game will take over late in the first half, the O will find a groove, and the defense will adjust enough to get off the field quicker.
It will be a war of attrition for a bit, but Taylor and the Badgers will pull away early in the fourth. It might not be a scintillating win, but it’ll be effective.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Wisconsin 30, USF 16
Line: Wisconsin -13.5, o/u: 57.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3
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