AdvoCare Classic: Wisconsin vs Alabama Game Info, TV Channel, Live Stream, Odds and More


It’s been roughly eight months since we last saw the Wisconsin Badgers hit the field for a game that counts, a thrilling 34-31 overtime victory over Auburn in the Outback Bowl. But 2015 is a new season and with that brings new challenges. The first of which is powerhouse Alabama to kick off the season in the AdvoCare Classic inside “Jerry’s World” down in Texas.

READ ALSO: Wisconsin vs. Bama: Position by Position Breakdown

Gone is the phenom known as Melvin Gordon, runner-up to the Heisman Trophy last year and who racked up 29 touchdowns, a Big Ten record 2,587 yards and a career FBS record 7.79 yards per carry average. But as is the norm in Wisconsin they turn out some really good running backs and that’s no exception this year as Corey Clement is the next man up. In a “backup” role to Gordon, Clement compiled 949 yards on 147 carries (6.7 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Clement should be able to have a solid year as the primary back, but finding some open holes might be an issue. With the exception of Tyler Marz and Dan Voltz, the Badgers find themselves in a rare situation in which the offensive line is very young this year. Not to mention there have been more than a few injuries in fall camp that has made setting the starting five very difficult.

On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has put together one of the nation’s best defenses. Led by outside linebacker Vince Biegel and unanimous team leader safety Michael Caputo, the Badgers will make it very tough on opposing offenses to get anything going.

First year Badgers head coach Paul Chryst and this Wisconsin team will get tested early when they face Alabama. But head coach Nick Saban and the Tide have question marks they have to answer as well. Similar to last year Saban is uncertain who will be the starter at quarterback. So instead of naming someone who might not be the right guy, Saban will use the Wisconsin game and possibly one more after that as an audition of sorts. Jake Coker, Cooper Bateman and Alec Morris are the three guys currently in a battle for the starting gig. Saban plans to have two quarterbacks ready on Saturday for Wisconsin with a third possible for limited action.

But one thing Saban will not lose sleep over is the Tide’s defense. Coordinator Kirby Smart returns nearly everyone from last year’s group that this year has an added year of experience under their belt and depth at many positions. The Tide was 12th-best in total defense, mostly due in part to their stout rush defense. That seems to be the case once again this year as Alabama’s front seven is going to be scary-good. A’Shawn Robinson is arguably one of the best defensive players in the country, which says a lot because he finished second on the line in tackles (49) behind nose guard Jarran Reed’s 55. And don’t forget about linebacker Reggie Ragland, who very well could end the season as the best linebacker in the country.

With two top defenses facing off and both team’s facing questions on the offense, this should end up being a classic opening weekend matchup. We’ve waited long enough, let’s get the Paul Chryst era started in Madison and what a bigger stage than Saturday night inside the monster that is AT&T Stadium.

Location: Arlington, TX

Stadium: AT&T Stadium

Time: 7:00 p.m. CT

TV Channel: ABC

Live Stream: WatchESPN

Commentators: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Heather Cox

Radio: Badger Sports Network

Live Stats:

Odds: ALA -10.5; O/U 50

Next: Make Your Bets: Badgers vs. Bama

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