The Badgers are back home for the first time and are facing an unfamiliar opponent. They welcome the Chippewas of Central Michigan to Camp Randall in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
UW is heavily favored in this matchup, and is coming off a dominant performance in the opener but what do they have to do to avoid a disappointing upset at home like what happened a year ago vs BYU?
Central Michigan was abysmal a year ago, going 1-11, but started 2019 on the right foot handling Albany 38-21. The team welcomes a new head coach in Jim McElwain who is the former wide receivers coach at Michigan and has had success containing JT as the Wolverine defense held Taylor to only 101 yards and out of the endzone which is far from what Taylor’s usual output.
This time around with the Chippewas, McElwain may not have as much success as Central Michigan ranked 104 in rush defense in 2018. The Chippewas allowed 204 YPG to running backs which is a good sign for a Badger offense that has come to ride the legs of Taylor.
The Badgers come into the game favored by 35 so this may be a trap game but the leaders of the team have done a good job of keeping the team leveled and with their focus in the right spot. As defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield put it, “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games”.
The Badger defense looked dominant in week one and now will face the task of shutting down quarterback Quinten Dormady and running back Jonathan Ward. Each had success against Albany and are the catalyst of the Chippewa offense. Wisconsin kept quarterback Blake Barnett and back Jonathan Cronkite in check in week one and will look to continue their dominance.
The team showed a clear excitement of getting back in front of their home crowd and showing them what they can do. Taylor characterized the atmosphere as electric and linebacker Zach Baun added “when you get to play in front of 80,000 fans it’s a big deal. It’s a whole different atmosphere here.”
Wisconsin will begin a stretch of five straight home games and have a week off after Central Michigan before they begin Big Ten play. They will look to carry over their success at home from 2018 to 2019.