What: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-4, 1-3) @ Wisconsin Badgers (6-2, 3-1)
Where: Camp Randall Stadium (Madison, WI)
When: Oct. 31, 11:00 AM CT
Radio: Badger Sports Network
Odds: Badgers -20.5

After taking care of business in Illinois behind backup quarterback Bart Houston, wide receiver Alex Erickson, and safety Michael Caputo, the Badgers look to get another win at home on Halloween on Saturday.

The injury report has started to pile up for the Badgers, as they’ve lost starting center Dan Voltz (knee) for the season and will be without #2 wide receiver Robert Wheelwright (leg) for a while. Quarterback Joel Stave (concussion) will play on Saturday, but Corey Clement (sports hernia surgery) is still questionable to go against his state’s school.

The Scarlet Knights, led by controversial head coach Kyle Flood, look to rebound from a pounding by #1 Ohio State last week. Quarterback Chris Laviano (67.2% completion rate, 12 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and 148.9 quarterback rating) will lead the Rutgers offense. With four running backs listed on the depth chart in Robert Martin, Josh Hicks, Justin Goodwin, and Paul James, the Scarlet Knights have a solid rushing attack averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Their best player, wide receiver Leonte Carroo, is questionable with an ankle injury, but played last week in the first half before sitting out the second.

On defense, Rutgers has given up 32.0 points per game, which is barely inside the top 100 in the country. Linebacker Steve Longa, who is on verge of breaking the Rutgers’ season tackle record, anchors the Rutgers’ defense that will try to stop the Badgers’ running game (with or without Clement) and force Stave to make some mistakes.

Full Injury Report


QB Joel Stave (concussion) – ACTIVE

DE Arthur Goldberg (leg) – OUT

LB Chris Orr (leg) – OUT

RB Corey Clement (sports hernia surgery) – ACTIVE

RB Taiwan Deal (ankle) – OUT

C Dan Voltz (knee) – OUT

WR Robert Wheelwright (leg) – OUT


WR Leonte Carroo – OUT
CB Blessuan Austin – QUESTIONABLE
WR Janarion Grant – QUESTIONABLE
LT Keith Lumpkin – PROBABLE
MLB Kaiwan Lewis  – PROBABLE
WLB Steve Longa  – PROBABLE
WR John Tsimis  – OUT
RB Desmon Peoples – OUT
S Davon Jacobs – OUT
DT Darius Hamilton – OUT
TE George Behr – OUT
WR Dontae Owens – OUT
LB Nick Rafferty – OUT
LB Austin Rosa – OUT
RB Charles Snorweah – OUT
LB T.J. Taylor – OUT

Wisconsin: Keys to Victory

  1. Badgers offensive line adjusting without Voltz. Wisconsin has had a little over a game of experience without Voltz, as the offensive line will now be: LT Tyler Marz, LG Micah Kapoi, C Michael Deiter, RG Walker Williams, and RT Beau Benzschawel. This will likely be the offensive line the rest of the season, and the Badgers need to protect Stave this week. Stave was concussed last week against Illinois because of ineffective pass blocking. It goes without saying that the countless offensive line combinations have been a pain for the Badgers, but let’s hope that this group will now stay together the rest of the season and provide some stability for Stave and in the run game.
  2. Pressure on Laviano. There’s a lot of Rutgers fans that want Laviano to be replaced by backup quarterback Hayden Rettig. Hence, there is some actual mental pressure on Laviano to perform Saturday, but the Badgers need to get to him and force mistakes and sacks. The Chevy Bad Boys, Vince Biegel and Joe Schobert, will of course anchor this pass rush, and let’s see what they can do. I would also look for defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to have a pretty conservative approach at first to control the Rutgers’ running game, but then start pressuring Laviano as the Badgers put some points on the board.
  3. Who plays for both teams? The injury lists are long on both sides of the ball, and the outcome of this game will be influenced by who ends up suiting up. For the Badgers, if Clement can play, the team should finally be able to get their strong running game going, and Stave will be playing tomorrow despite his probable status. For the Scarlet Knights, not having Carroo or Grant would be big losses for Rutgers, as Carroo is an NFL prospect and Grant is averaging over 25 yards per kickoff return.
  4. Time of possession. This is a quintessential statistic in most football games, but I see it as even more important this week. The Scarlet Knights have averaged a time of possession that ranks 33rd in the nation at 32 minutes per game. Rutgers has a pretty solid offense, one that has put up 55 points on Indiana (not saying too much, but still), and they have the potential to eat up the clock with their quartet of running backs and talented wideout in Carroo.


Wisconsin 38, Rutgers 14

Sources: NCAA and ESPN