After a week of upheaval the Wisconsin Badgers return to the football field Saturday against the Utah State Aggies. In the wake of two straight subpar offensive efforts, the Badgers this week fired offensive line coach Mike Markuson, replacing him with graduate assistant Bart Miller. Bret Bielema hopes Miller can quickly return the discombobulated Badgers’ offensive line to the dominance of past seasons, and help that sputtering offense get on-track. Utah State meanwhile is coming off a huge overtime win over arch-rival Utah, and is looking to keep the upset train rolling in Camp Randall.
No one is rooting harder for a return to the old Wisconsin ways than Montee Ball, who has fallen out of the Heisman discussion after two underwhelming games. Danny O’Brien, who looked awful against Oregon State, is also hoping for some improved pass protection. The Badger passing game took a big hit last week when Jared Abbrederis left with a chest injury, and as of now Abbrederis’ status for Saturday is still undecided. Without Abbrederis, the Badgers will have to rely heavily on inexperienced Jordan Fredrick and Kenzel Doe, as well as Jeff Duckworth who showed up late in the Oregon State game.
The Badgers looked better against the Beavers on defense after a breakdown-filled effort vs. Northern Iowa. This week they face a rising star quarterback in Chuckie Keeton, who threw for two scores and ran for 94 yards in the Aggies’ huge upset win over Utah. The Badgers will have to stay disciplined to contain the duel-threat Keeton, and also deal with running back Kerwynn Williams who ran for 95 yards on 17 carries vs. the Utes. Wisconsin is very thin in the secondary now after Shelton Johnson broke his arm. Michael Trotter gets the start at safety against the Aggies.
Game time is 7 PM central. The game will be televised on Big 10 Network and broadcast over the radio airwaves by The Badger Sports Network.