Miami (OH) Redhawks vs. Wisconsin Badgers: Three Things to Watch For


As bad as that performance against the Alabama Crimson Tide was Saturday night inside AT&T Stadium, at least they have the opportunity to get things back on track at home Saturday against the Miami (OH) Redhawks.

And even though the Redhawks are not at the caliber that the Tide were, there are still some questions everyone should be watching for.

1. How healthy are both Michael Caputo and Corey Clement?

This is probably the biggest question weighing on the minds of Badger fans across the country. We saw just how bad Caputo got his bell rung, taking a knee to the head and then trying to line up in Alabama’s backfield. And the disappearing act that Clement did was later found out that he was suffering from a groin injury earlier in the week.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

If both players are going to play (looks as if Caputo will, Clement a game-time decision), they need to be watched very closely. Although Caputo does not believe he suffered a concussion, it was still a bad head injury and another shot like that could put him on the sidelines for a very long time.

Same goes for Clement. If not healed properly, groin injuries have a tendency to linger for the course of the season. Wisconsin cannot afford to lose their star running back, especially with an offensive line as inexperienced as the one now and a pair of reserve backs that are nowhere near the talent of Clement.

2. Can Wisconsin win and dominate the trenches?

Alabama’s offensive and defensive lines man-handled the Badgers for most of the game. Against Miami (OH), the Badgers need to return to their dominance in the trenches.

The Tide rolled over the Badgers and there was nothing they could do about it.

On offense, Wisconsin needs to do better at creating holes for the running game. The Badgers must improve on their woeful 40-yard performance on the ground if they want to be successful the rest of the season. Injuries throughout fall camp on the line did not help matter. Offensive coordinator/line coach Joe Rudolph did some shuffling up front this week in practice, mainly integrating redshirt freshman Micah Kapoi on the right side of the line.

Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is also hoping his unit can get back on track at Camp Randall Stadium. The front seven of Wisconsin was dominated most of the game and had a very hard time stopping Derrick Henry and the Alabama offense. After having one of the best total defenses a year ago, the Badgers gave up 502 total yards, 238 of that coming on the ground.

Against the Redhawks, Wisconsin needs to regain their toughness in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

3. Air Stave: Can Joel Stave Keep Success in Passing Game Going?

One surprising aspect coming out of that loss to Alabama was the success quarterback Joel Stave had throwing the football. After starting to game 14-16, Stave finished 26-39 for 228 yards and two touchdowns.

Any cases of the yips or lack of confidence certainly was thrown out the window as Stave, for the most part, looked confident and poised in the pocket. He made some very nice throws and did not make any mistakes with the exception of an interception at the end of the game.

It will be interesting to see how much Stave airs it out against the Redhawks, a defense that will be much-more favorable this week. I don’t expect Stave to play much more than a half on Saturday, but I want to see if that same confidence and poise returns this week as well. One thing working in Stave’s favor is the fact the next three games will be against opponents will defenses not nearly as daunting as Alabama was. That provides the opportunity for him and this passing game to really get rolling with some confidence and get even more in-sync heading towards the Big Ten opener against Iowa October 3rd.

Next: Miami (OH) Redhawks vs Wisconsin Badgers Game Info

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