Wisconsin Football: Key matchups to watch vs. Kent State

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Wisconsin Football

MADISON, WI – OCTOBER 12: Wisconsin Badgers mascot Bucky Badgers runs onto the field before the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Camp Randall Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Wisconsin football will host the Kent State Golden Flashes on Saturday. Here are three matchups that could decide the outcome.

Wisconsin football continued its undefeated season after beating Northwestern last week. Their defense continued to play extremely well, scoring more touchdowns than their own offense. They also added on five sacks, an interception (for a touchdown) and two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown).

The offense, on the other hand, struggled. Jonathan Taylor was bottled up all afternoon, mustering just 119 yards on 26 carries and only one touchdown. Yes, that’s a down week for Jonathan Taylor. Badger fans are extremely spoiled. But compared to his usual dominance, his stat line is not as good as it usually is.

Jack Coan also struggled. He didn’t appear to be as confident in the pocket and wasn’t nearly as accurate as he’s been this season. He threw for just 113 yards and an interception on 24 passing attempts. An average of 4.7 yards per attempt and a quarterback rating of 93.7 are both season-lows.

Hopefully, the offense just ran into a speedbump. Northwestern has always been a solid defensive team since Pat Fitzgerald had arrived there and these Northwestern-Wisconsin football games always seem to be played close, whether or not one team is truly better. Wisconsin will look to have a nice get-right game against the Kent State before they face ranked opponents in three of their next four games.

Kent State is coming off a bye week. They are currently 2-2 entering this matchup on Saturday with wins over Kennesaw State and Bowling Green and losses to Arizona State and Auburn.

The Golden Flashes haven’t been an impressive team this season. They are led by former Wisconsin football player Sean Lewis. Lewis was a kick returner and tight end for the Badgers in 2006 and 2007. He is in his second year as the head coach of Kent State, leading the Golden Flashes to a 2-10 record last season.

Although that may not seem very impressive, he has already matched their win total from last season and hasn’t necessarily had an easy schedule. Facing three Power-Five conference teams in their first five games isn’t easy.

Although this looks like it should and will be a cakewalk of a game, it’s important for the Badgers not to overlook Kent State. Focusing on the game in front of them is important. So let’s focus on three of the matchups that will be key in this game.

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