The BYU football team welcomes No. 10-ranked Wisconsin to LaVell Edwards Stadium this Saturday for a nationally televised game that will kickoff at 1:30 p.m. MD T.
The Badgers enter the game with a 2-0 record after lopsided wins over Utah State (59-10) and Florida Atlantic (31-14.) Saturday's game will be the first Wisconsin has played away from home, but even though favored to win by 17 points, according to Las Vegas bookmakers, Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst believes BYU will pose a challenge, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
"I think they’ve got a good system and they understand it,” Chryst said in an article published by the Wisconsin State Journal. "I think they’ve got good skill in the secondary, and they play hard. They’ve got good players. They’ve got physical players and enough movement and pressures — a lot of different types of pressures you have to prepare for."
Adding to Chryst's concerns for his offense is the questionable status of starting guards Beau Benzschawel and Jon Dietzen.
"Benzschawel, a redshirt junior, has played in 24 games with 22 starts at right guard," wrote Jesse Temple of landof10.com. "He started all 14 games for the Badgers last season and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from the league’s coaches. He was so highly thought of entering 2017 that USA Today named him to its preseason All-America first team."
As for Dietzen, Temple writes the redshirt sophomore "underwent offseason surgery on his right ankle and missed time during fall camp. He has played in 12 games with nine starts at left guard. If Dietzen can’t play and Kapoi needs to shift to right guard, redshirt sophomore Jason Erdmann appears to be next in line."
One standout for the Badgers who is expected to play is freshman running back sensation Jonathan Taylor.
Taylor started off fall practices as "the fifth choice at running back at the time," wrote Jason Galloway of the Wisconsin State Journal. "(He) currently leads the Big Ten in rushing yards (310) and is tied with Minnesota’s Shannon Brooks with four rushing touchdowns. He became the fourth UW true freshman to rush for more than 200 yards in a game with his 223-yard, three-touchdown performance Saturday against Florida Atlantic."
Pete Fiutak, of College Football News, believes the game won't be a blowout, although the Badgers should come away with a win.
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