After defeating the then-No.19 Northwestern Wildcats last Saturday with a dominating 35-6 victory, the Wisconsin Badgers are for real. The No.25 ranked Wisconsin (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) will visit the Illinois Fighting Illini (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. local time and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
The Badgers worst nightmare became a reality when wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was knocked out of the game against Northwestern after suffering a concussion. It is no secret that Abbrederis has become quarterback Joel Stave’s favorite target. Without their primary receiving weapon, the Badgers offense refused to take their foot off the pedal and simply proved to the country that this team can be a contender for a BSC Bowl game.
Wisconsin football fans can take a sigh of relief knowing that Abbrederis has been cleared to play against the Fighting Illini. The offense is finally beginning to click on all cylinders and with their seemingly unstoppable wide receiver cleared to play, Illinois is going o have their hands full on the defensive side of the ball.
The Illinois defense has been giving up an average of 195.4 rushing yards a game and the Badgers backfield, led by Melvin Gordon have been averaging 298.2 yards a game. Melvin Gordon has the potential to have a monster game and place himself has a legitimate Heisman Award candidate.
Although Illinois’ defense may be weak, the offense led by senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase should not be over looked. Scheelhasse leads all starting quarterbacks in the Big Ten with a 159.2 efficiency rating. The Badger’s 5th ranked defense has shown the ability to shut down productive offenses allowing only an average of 13 points a game.
Since 2007, the Fighting Illini have yet to score more than 17 points in a game against Wisconsin. Expect the Badgers to extend Illinois’ Big Ten losing streak in another dominating victory.