Wisconsin football travels to Northwestern this weekend with the Big Ten West on the line.
The Wisconsin football team has a big game coming up this Saturday when they travel to Ryan Field to take on the undefeated Northwestern Wildcats. The Wildcats were an afterthought before the season even started. They finished dead last in the Big Ten West last year, a season after they won the division in 2018-19.
Head coach Pat Fitzgerald has turned things around again and has the Wildcats undefeated and ranked 19th in the country heading into the weekend. They are a battle-tested group. They opened the season with a 40-point win over Maryland, but the next three games they have won by a combined 16 points over Iowa, Nebraska, and Purdue.
The Wildcats are in a prime position to go back to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship if they beat Wisconsin this weekend. They are in this position because they have multiple players contributing to their success. Here are three players that Wisconsin football fans should keep an eye on this weekend when the Badgers take on Northwestern.
Kyric McGowan – WR
Kyric McGowan isn’t leading the Northwestern offense in any statistical category. He’s second on the team in receptions (14) and receiving yards (133) and he doesn’t even have a receiving touchdown.
So why’s he on this list of players to watch?
Because McGowan is essentially a swiss army knife for this offense. So while he isn’t necessarily the top receiver on this team, he also contributes on the ground. He has 14 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown. That puts him second on the team in yards from scrimmage with 221, just two behind running back Isaiah Bowser.
McGowan could be a factor in the game this weekend, so offensively, he is the player I would keep an eye on.
Paddy Fisher – LB
Paddy Fisher is that player that has seemingly been in the Big Ten forever. Similar to Ohio State’s Aaron Craft or Kansas’ Perry Ellis. Fisher is the football version of those players. Last year, when I wrote the article for Wildcats to watch, Fisher was one of those guys. And for good reason. Fisher is one of the most important players on their defense.
Fisher tied for the most tackles on the team last year and had a sack, an interception, and a forced fumble. He led the Big Ten in forced fumbles in 2017 and 2018.
This year, he has 33 tackles and a fumble recovery. His stats this season may not jump off the page like other linebackers in the conference, but make no mistake, he is the leader of this Northwestern defense. He is the guy coach Fitzgerald counts on to run this defense. He is a player Badger fans need to watch on Saturday afternoon.
Brandon Joseph – DB
Brandon Joseph has burst onto the scene this year. The redshirt freshman appeared in just two games last season and ended up taking a redshirt. This year, in just four games, he has 21 total tackles and three interceptions, which leads the team and the conference, and fourth in the country.
He isn’t just lucking into these interceptions either. He has been great in coverage. In fact, according to PFF College, Joseph is the third-highest graded defensive back in coverage in the NCAA.
He will surely be on the field Saturday afternoon and seems to have a nose for the ball. He’s a guy Paul Chryst and this Wisconsin offense will need to plan for this weekend.