Wisconsin Football: Five Badgers Key to an Outback Bowl Victory

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No. 4: Safety Michael Caputo

Outside of Wisconsin’s poor performance in the Big Ten Championship, the Badgers defense has been among the stoutest in the country all season, and safety Michael Caputo has been a major reason for that.

Sep 6, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers safety Michael Caputo (7) during the game against the Western Illinois Leathernecks at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 37-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The redshirt junior leads the Badgers with 58 solo and 99 total tackles this season. Playing more like a linebacker than a safety, Caputo lives near the line of scrimmage and has been a key part of the Badgers run-stopping force.

Stopping the run will be important yet again in the Outback Bowl.

Auburn features the SEC’s leading rusher, Cameron Artis-Payne, who is knocking on the door of 1,500 yards this year. Quarterback Nick Marshall is no slouch on the ground, either, adding 780 yards on the ground. Both have rushed for 11 touchdowns on the season.

Caputo’s best game came the first contest of the season when he totaled a career-high 15 tackles against LSU. Wisconsin will need another strong performance against an SEC rushing attack come Thursday.

Next: No. 3: Tight End Sam Arneson