Mixed Outlook on Wisconsin’s Outback Bowl Chances Against Auburn


Whooped. Shellacked. Discombobulated. Confused. Flummoxed. Bamboozled. Poor.

All these words described our feelings in the before, during and aftermath of the B1G title game loss to Ohio State, especially when all of us picked the Badgers to win.

This is what we still feel like after Ohio State and the B1G Championship Game: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Now our jolly band of writers has a more somber approach to the 2015 Outback Bowl against the Auburn Tigers.

We’ve had discussions with Fly War Eagle on the Badgers’ strengths and Auburn’s game plan on defense. Now it’s time for you to see what we think the Badgers can do in the New Year.

Jim Oxley

I see this being a very close game despite a 6.5-point spread in favor of Auburn. I think the Badgers will be able to get Melvin Gordon going, control the pace of the game and give their defense enough time to rest.

Nick Marshall will make some plays, but the absence of his top receiver, Duke Williams, will be noticed in a big way. Freshman kicker Rafael Gaglianone could come up big for the Badgers, and I’ll say his strong leg will be the difference in a Wisconsin 38-37 victory.

Taylor Johnson

The Badgers will get be able to get their yards, especially on the ground. My biggest concern is Wisconsin’s defense and how they will hold up after Ohio State. Auburn’s offense ranks 16th in the country, racking up 489.2 yards per game and doing damage from both the air and the ground.

Besides Marshall, stopping running back Cameron Artis-Payne is a top priority. I’m sick as anyone seeing this bowl losing streak and want it to end, unfortunately I believe it will continue for one more year. Auburn 31-23


Rayan Vatti

I think Wisconsin 45-38. Gordon will gash the struggling Auburn defense without its D-coordinator for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. Auburn will score at will against Wisconsin, with Sammy Coates posting a Devin Smith-esque stat line. However, Wisconsin forces a turnover near the end and the Badgers finally win a bowl game.

Douglas Etten

With Gary Andersen leaving, so to does some of the memory of the last time these Wisconsin Badgers saw the field. Is Auburn as good as Ohio State? Probably not. But can UW respond to their most putrid offensive performance in recent memory and move the football if Gordon isn’t churning yards? That’s the question!

There might not be a game more important to the coaching psyche of Barry Alvarez, than this one. Turning the ball over is an absolute killer, more so for the Badgers, whose offense has proven to be simply one dimensional. Unless Gordon and Corey Clement run wild, they’ll fall to Auburn 38-27.

Jon Rzepecki

Looking back, I was vague a little too poetic on Wisconsin’s chances against OSU and a 3rd string QB. So for this I’ll be a lot more oddly specific. Badgers strike for 21 first-half points, Auburn responds with 17. The Tigers hold Gordon to 75 total yards, but Clement runs for 150+ and Joel Stave throws for 175 and 2 TDs. Auburn holds the Badgers offense to just 13 points in the second half, while the Tigers find the end zone twice. One big pass play by Marshall and another short run by Artis-Payne.

Regulation ends tied 34-34 after Auburn kicks a sub 30-yard field goal after Marcus Trotter is called for a bogus roughing-the-passer call. Badgers win the toss and hold Auburn to another short field goal, but Stave throws an interception the first offensive play to end the game. Auburn 37-34

Zach Rastall

Unlike the Big Ten championship game, the Badgers should actually be able to score against the Auburn defense. However, it’ll be tough to keep up with the Tigers’ potent offense unless Gordon decides to repeat his performance against Nebraska. Don’t count on it. Auburn 42-27

Next: 2015 Outback Bowl: Game Info, Odds and More