Staff Predictions - No.6 Wisconsin vs. BYU

Staff Predictions - No.6 Wisconsin vs. BYU

Football

Staff Predictions - No.6 Wisconsin vs. BYU

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin completes its three-game series, and its three-game nonconference homestand, Saturday against BYU. The Badgers Insider Staff gives our game and score prediction.

Brian Becker – Wisconsin 38, BYU 14

A year after Wisconsin’s 40-6 victory in Provo, Utah, the Badgers will enter tomorrow’s contest as heavy favorites. BYU is a better team than the one UW saw a year ago, especially since the Cougars have a true road win over Arizona, but the Badgers have won 41 straight nonconference home games.

Unlike last year, UW will also see a healthy Tanner Mangum, who is slated to start his 24th game. Through two games Mangum has averaged 202.5 passing yards on an average of 34.5 pass attempts, as nine different players for BYU have caught at least three passes. Mangum’s go-to target through has been Moroni Laulu-Pututau, who leads the team in both receptions (eight) and receiving yards (80). Wisconsin’s secondary has been solid through two weeks, as the continued experienced they’ve gained should allow them to challenge BYU’s passing offense. If Wisconsin’s defense can prevent Mangum from getting into a rhythm, Wisconsin’s run defense should be able to contain Squally Canada, who’s only averaging 3.7 yards per carry.

Offensively Wisconsin should be able to generate a rhythm as the game wears on. Wisconsin is averaging 17 points in the first half, compared to 22.5 points in the second half, and I would expect to see something similar on Saturday. In the end, Jonathan Taylor will prove to be too much for BYU to handle and Alex Hornibrook makes the throws he needs to.

Becker’s Record: 2-0

Billy Hirschfeld – Wisconsin 24, BYU 14

I think BYU will come with energy and payback from the loss last year. It will be a slow start for the Badgers in the first half offensively, and defensively it will be a great battle for both teams, but it will come down to the offenses to make something happen.

Hirschfeld’s Record: 2-0

Logan Samp – Wisconsin 35, BYU 14

BYU has had a strong showing in their first two games, nearly going 2-0 against PAC-12 opponents. Expect a slow, rough and tough game to start, with Wisconsin blowing it open late in the second half. BYU will take chances in the first half in attempt to keep pace with the Badgers, but ultimately it’s about who can control the line of scrimmage. Can the Cougars QB Tanner Mangum be accurate enough to put a scare into the Badgers? I don’t think so.

Samp’s Record: 2-0

Benjamin Worgull – Wisconsin 41, BYU 17

The Cougars are a much-improved unit than the one the Badgers held to 11 first downs, 81 rushing yards on 26 carries and just 111 passing yards in a 40-6 victory last season in Utah. That’s a good thing for Wisconsin and the defense, which will be tested by BYU in ways Western Kentucky and New Mexico simply couldn’t. Expect some busts in pass coverage that would provide valuable teaching tools for UW heading into conference.

It’s been three years since BYU has beaten a ranked team and the Badgers are getting some weapons back on offense. That’s bad news for the Cougars, not helping matters that UW appears close to putting together a truly dominant performance with Alex Hornibrook under center. UW dominates another second half and covers the 21.5-point spread for the first time this year.

Worgull’s Record: 2-0

Worgull’s Record vs. spread: 2-0

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