The Badgers are set for Week 2 as Wisconsin welcomes Pac-12 opponent Washington State to Camp Randall. With kickoff in a few hours, our three-man team at BadgersWire put together our predictions for the Week 2 clash.
The Badgers and the Cougars both come in at 1-0 with victories over FCS opponents. Washington State started slow but responded well to take down Idaho, while Wisconsin cruised over Illinois State as the defense pitched a shutout.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 PM CT on FOX as the Badgers and Cougars look to move to 2-0 on the young season. Here our are staff predictions for Saturday’s matchup:
Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) celebrates following a touchdown during the third quarter against the Illinois State Redbirds at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Although the Washington State Cougars struggled to beat Idaho last week, they will provide a more challenging opponent than Illinois State for Wisconsin in Week 2.
The Badgers should be able to build a comfortable lead, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cougars are able to get on the board by the end of the game. Wisconsin’s defense gave up several big play last week, which might carry over to Saturday against Washington State.
Score Prediction: Wisconsin 24, Washington State 7
Sep 3, 2022; Pullman, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1) throws a pass against the Idaho Vandals in the second half at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. Washington State won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
The Wisconsin Badgers (1-0) are coming off a 38-0 victory over FCS Illinois State last week but will see an uptick in competition in week two.
Washington State features an air raid offense led by FCS transfer Cameron Ward, who is dynamic enough to give the Badgers trouble with his ability to extend plays.
That said, I think Wisconsin wears Washington State’s defense down, and if UW can play efficiently, they will win this game comfortably.
I have a hard time envisioning Jim Leonhard’s defense giving up enough points for Wisconsin to lose this one – and I saw enough out of the offense last week to feel good about their ability to move the ball.
Score Prediction: Wisconsin 31, Washington State 10
Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi (1) rushes with the football during the fourth quarter against the Illinois State Redbirds at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
This is a matchup that Wisconsin will have to slow down and win in the trenches, and if any team in the country should feel comfortable doing just that it’s the Badgers.
Cam Ward will provide a passing threat that will give this new-look Badger defense problems at times, especially with how the secondary looked against Illinois State.
In the end, Wisconsin uses the home crowd and their run game to come out on top in a game that could end up too close for comfort.
Score Prediction: Wisconsin 27, Washington State 14