MADISON, Wisc. – Ninth-ranked Wisconsin looks to continue its hot start when it hosts Kent State to wrap up the non-conference portion of its schedule on Saturday. The Badgers blanked South Florida (49-0) and Central Michigan (61-0) by a combined 110-0 before knocking off No. 18 Michigan (35-14) and Northwestern (24-15) in Big Ten play, and they hope to get their high-powered offense back on track after being held to a season-low 243 yards against the Wildcats.
TV: Noon ET, ESPNU. LINE: Wisconsin - 37
"There are things we have to clean up and need to improve upon to keep going forward as a team," Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst told reporters. "Each week you'll be tested differently and that's what is kind of fun about it." Wisconsin has won 48 of its last 49 non-conference home games and looks to continue its domination of Mid-American Conference opponents by notching its 17th straight victory against the MAC. The Badgers lead the nation in scoring defense (7.3 point per game) and total defense (192.3) as they look to shut down the Golden Flashes and move to 5-0 for the second time in the last three years. Kent State matched their win total from last season after routing Bowling Green 62-20 and hope to stay on the winning track by knocking off a Power 5 opponent for the first time since a 23-14 victory against Iowa State on Aug. 30, 2007.
ABOUT KENT STATE (2-2)
Dustin Crum completed 26-of-31 passes for a career-high 310 yards and three touchdowns as the Golden Flashes racked up a program-record 750 yards of offense in the win against Bowling Green. Joachim Bangda rushed for 114 yards and his first collegiate touchdown while his backfield partner Jo-El Shaw added 109 and a pair of scores against the Falcons. "It was a really good and really strong performance by the guys," Kent State head coach Sean Lewis told reporters. "I think the guys will be the first to tell you that there's things to clean up, but still a great win and a great feeling."
ABOUT WISCONSIN (4-0)
Jonathan Taylor kept his Heisman campaign on track after rushing for 119 yards and a touchdown in the win against Northwestern to move past Anthony Davis (4,676) for fourth place on the program's all-time rushing yards list with 4,730. Linebacker Chris Orr was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after recording nine tackles, a pair of sacks and a forced fumble as the Badgers held the Wildcats to 255 yards of total offense. Tight end Luke Benzschawel has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a leg injury while safety Madison Cone will be sidelined on Saturday with a leg problem.
1. Wisconsin is 33-2 all-time against teams currently in the MAC.
2. Taylor leads the nation in total touchdowns (11).
3. Taylor has registered nine consecutive 100-yard rushing games
PREDICTION: Wisconsin 48, Kent State 14