The University of Wisconsin football team (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini (2-4, 0-3) on the road this weekend, their first road game since the season opener against the University of South Florida in August.
While Wisconsin has been criticized for their lack of competitive opponents this season, they’ve certainly done more than enough to demonstrate their defensive prowess through six games.
In fact, one of the craziest statistics of all time emerged after Wisconsin’s shutout win over Michigan State: The Wisconsin defense has scored four touchdowns this season, which is as many as they’ve allowed.
While this stat isn’t likely to stand for the rest of the season, especially considering their high-profile opponents of The Ohio State University and Iowa, it is impressive nonetheless.
Heading into their matchup with Illinois, Wisconsin has fired off a stretch of six consecutive wins, including resumé-building wins against both Michigan and Michigan State. In those two games, Wisconsin outscored the Wolverines and Spartans by a combined 73–14, picking up right where they left off in the 2019 Pinstripe Bowl against Miami, winning 35–3.
While Wisconsin is trending upwards, Illinois is going in the complete opposite direction. After winning their first two games against Akron and UConn, they’ve lost four straight games, including three against Big Ten foes.
Illinois’ losing streak hasn’t been quite as bad as it seems, however, as they narrowly lost to Nebraska and put up quite a fight against Michigan last week before the Wolverines pulled away in the fourth quarter.
With that in mind, Wisconsin must not overlook the Illini despite having a matchup against The Ohio State University looming over their College Football Playoff hopes next week. Their defense especially must find a way to stop the Illinois offense, which has managed to score at least 17 points each game this season.
On the other side of the ball, junior quarterback Jack Coan and the rest of the offense need to get off to a fast start against the Illinois defense, led by junior defensive end Oluwole Betiku, Jr. Betiku has 27 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss and 7 sacks, impressive stats for a player on a sub-par defense.
This weekend, this look for Wisconsin to once again find a way to come away with the win against the Illini as they move into the toughest part of their schedule. Behind a dominant defense and running back, Wisconsin should go into The Ohio State University game at 7-0.