Following the vote to reinstate Big Ten football, Wisconsin Athletics released their official 2020 schedule this past weekend.
Now comes the hard part. After two disappointing games to end the 2019 season, with losses to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship, then a heartbreaking loss to Oregon in the 106th Rose Bowl, Wisconsin hopes to lay waste to the field. Here’s a breakdown of their schedule.
Week One — vs. Illinois.
The Badgers’ chance at revenge against the team that dashed their playoff hopes in 2019 comes in their first game of the season. It won’t be easy, as Illinois returns quarterback Brandon Peters for his redshirt senior season, as well as four starters on the offensive line. The Illini defense that led the Big Ten in takeaways brings back eight starters.
Week Two — at Nebraska
Wisconsin will miss Jonathan Taylor’s production in 2020 as the star running back who ran for 204 yards against the Cornhusker defense. Wisconsin has won the past seven matchups against Nebraska, but the Huskers bring back 15 starters, 10 on the offense. Wisconsin will look to win their eighth consecutive game against the Cornhuskers.
Week Three — vs. Purdue
A rematch of last year’s senior day in 2019 should come with some fireworks. The Boilermakers led the Big Ten in passing yards per game, and may retain 2018 All American Rondale Moore should he choose to opt back in to the season. That being said, Paul Chryst is undefeated against the Boilermakers.
Week Four — at Michigan
The Badgers will face a completely different Michigan team than the one they drummed 35-14 in last year’s matchup at Camp Randall. The Wolverines lose starting quarterback Shea Patterson and four starters on the o-line, but the two-headed monster of Hassan Haskins and Zach Charbonnet in the backfield awaits the Badgers in week four at the Big House.
Week Five — vs. Northwestern
After winning the Big Ten West in 2018, the 2019 Wildcats ended up being the runt of the litter, finishing an abysmal 1-8 in conference play. The Badgers marginally escaped NW last fall at Camp Randall and will hope to use this game as a tune-up for a massive matchup against Minnesota.
Week Six — at Minnesota
Chryst vs. Fleck. Lawful good vs. Chaotic evil. The Badgers dominated the fourth quarter of this matchup in 2019 to get Paul Bunyan’s Axe back. In the all-time matchup, the Badgers are 19 points behind the Gophers and will hope to erase that deficit in 2020.
Week Seven — vs. Indiana
The Hoosiers are the only team the Badgers didn’t play in 2019. Wisconsin last played against Indiana in 2017 in a 45-17 route in Bloomington. This is a completely different Hoosier roster, with quarterback Michael Penix Jr. hoping to capitalize on a strong 2019, going 5-1 in his six starts. The Badgers are 9-1 in their last ten games against Indiana.
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Week Eight — at Iowa
Since losing to Iowa in Chryst’s inaugural season in 2015, the Badgers have rattled off four straight against the Hawkeyes. The past two have come with little margin for error, a game winning touchdown in 2018 and a botched two-point attempt in 2019. Iowa will come to Camp Randall for a potentially division-deciding matchup.