The Wisconsin Badgers have always been under scrutiny for their soft, early season non-conference schedule. With the exception of the Arizona State Sun Devils, this season has been no different (e.g. UMass, Tennessee Tech). However, this Saturday the Badgers face a rare non-conference foe in the BYU Cougars and they should not take them lightly.
BYU (6-2) has gone to an up-tempo offense this season and it has paid off in terms of big wins. The second week of the season the Cougars blew out the Texas Longhorns 40-21. The Cougars also handed a very good Houston Cougars team the only loss on their season, knocked off a 6-3 Boise State Broncos team and also a good Georgia Tech team as well.
Being an independent the Cougars don’t have the luxury of looking forward to conference play, so it’s high profile games such as the one against the Badgers that they circle on their calendars. Just another reason why Wisconsin needs to be prepared, especially for the Cougars high octane offense.
Gary Andersen seems similarities what the Cougars run on offense to what the Oregon Ducks, a team the Badgers faced in the Rose Bowl in 2012, do as well:
I think (the Cougars) are similar to Oregon philosophically. They are no huddle and fast tempo, but they run the ball a lot out of it. Their quarterback can run. So, those two things jump out at you.
It will be very interesting to see if the Badgers defense will be able to slow down such a fast-paced offense. With Chris Borland expected to return, it gives a huge boost to the defense and more of a chance to put a stop to the up-tempo pace. The Badgers need to make sure to not give up long drives and become worn out or it could end up being a very long day at Camp Randall.