After a seemingly one-sided win against the Utah State Aggies last Friday, the Badgers will hope to improve their record to 2-0 against Florida Atlantic. What should we expect to see in the matchup against the Owls?
1. Will the Wisconsin offense be able to get going right away? Last Friday, the offense struggled greatly early in the game. Whether that meant Alex Hornibrook missing his receivers, dropped balls, and even a few fumbles, the offense stumbled into the season. If the offense can click early on, it should be a good night. The Owls gave up a dreaded 526 yards to Navy last week. This could be the perfect opponent for the Badgers to get their offense under control for a full 60 minutes.
2. With Florida Atlantic’s beat-up defensive line, who will go off in the Badgers’ backfield? Florida Atlantic has suffered injuries on the defensive line and it has showed, as they gave up 416 yards rushing last week. That being said, which Badger will be the one to run for the majority of the touches? Freshman running back Jonathan Taylor led the Badgers in rushing yards last week when he ran for 87 yards on nine attempts, including a touchdown. Bradrick Shaw, who is questionable this week, had 84 yards on 18 attempts and also had a touchdown. Chris James will look to redeem himself after a 15-yard game on five attempts, including a fumble.
3. Expect the Owls to run the ball with their undecided quarterback situation. The Badgers’ defensive line should get plenty of work on Saturday morning. The battle for the starting spot at quarterback continues in Boca Raton between Daniel Parr, De’Andre Johnson and 2016 starter Jason Driskel. Johnson, who was featured on Netflix’s show Last Chance U, has an undisclosed upper body injury. Without being 100% on who will be their quarterback for the season, we can expect sophomore Devin Singletary to get more rushing attempts.
4. Who will contribute the most in the Badgers’ passing game? While most of the focus will be on running the ball, it isn’t wrong to wonder who will contribute the most to the offensive scheme through the air. Last week, senior tight end Troy Fumagalli led the team in receiving yards with 105 yards and a touchdown. Fan favorite Jazz Peavy struggled and only had one catch on the night. Quintez Cephus had nearly 40 yards and a touchdown catch. Cephus is quick, has good hands, and the ability to get open.
5. Will T.J. Edwards be able to recreate his stellar performance from Friday? Edwards stepped up in a huge way to fill in for Jack Cichy in the Badgers’ season opener. Edwards intercepted one pass and almost snagged another. Will he be able to play at this breakout level all year? Edwards led the team in tackles last season, and again he finds himself at the center of the Badgers’ stout defense.
Again, we will get the answers to these questions on Saturday morning at 11:00 am as the Wisconsin Badgers take on the Florida Atlantic Owls.