PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Previewing The Enemy: Penn State vs Wisconsin

By: David Abruzzese and Ethan Kasales

The Nittany Lions travel to Indianapolis this Saturday for the Big Ten Championship game to face a stiff test in the No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers.

Plenty rides on the outcome of this game; the Big Ten is arguably the best conference in the country, and its champion has a compelling case for the committee to discuss. With a loss to either No. 3 Clemson or No. 4 Washington, the winner of Saturday’s contest should be included in the final field of four. Take a look at the test the Lions face in Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend.

Wisconsin Offense

The household name on Wisconsin’s offense is running back Corey Clement, but the key component here is quarterback Alex Hornibrook. The redshirt freshman has proved his worth in Wisconsin’s two-quarterback system (Hornibrook occasionally splits reps with senior Bart Houston). The lefty’s accounted for 1,243 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven touchdowns after assuming the starting position from the graduated Joel Stave. His job hasn’t been too difficult: disperse the ball when called upon, and hand it off to Clement when he’s not throwing. Though his status for Saturday has been left up in the air, he’ll likely start under center according to James Franklin.

Behind Hornibrook is one of the nation’s best running backs in Corey Clement. He’s tallied 1,140 yards and 13 touchdowns running behind one of the nation’s most stout offensive lines. The Badgers won’t hesitate leaning on the talented senior come Saturday, but expect to see reserve Dare Ogunbowale get a fair amount of carries as well.

Troy Fumagalli and Jazz Peavy — Wisconsin’s top two pass catchers who also have two of the best names — lead the Badgers in the receiving category. Peavy’s tallied 39 grabs for 582 yards and five scores while Fumagalli comes in right behind with 38 catches, 467, and one score. Fumagalli, the Badgers’ tight end, will be a matchup nightmare for whoever is tasked with guarding him given his 6-foot-6, 248-pound frame.

Wisconsin Defense

Wisconsin’s stout defense hasn’t missed a beat since Dave Arranda headed to LSU in the offseason. Justin Wilcox has assembled the nation’s seventh-ranked total defense, as the Badgers are only giving up an average of 292 yards per game. They also allowed just 17 touchdowns during the regular season – good for second in all of college football.

Wisconsin leads FBS in interceptions with 21 thus far, while the Nittany Lions have picked off a mere nine for comparison’s sake. Sophomore linebacker T.J. Edwards paces the Badger defense with 75 total tackles, while T.J. Watt – J.J.’s younger brother – has been an absolute freak in the pass-rushing game. Watt boasts a team-leading 13 tackles for loss (9.5 sacks). Safeties Leo Musseo and D’Cota Dixon will also create headaches for Penn State’s passing attack, as the duo has nine interceptions between them.

The Badgers will likely stack the box on defense in hopes of shutting down Saquon Barkley, which leaves Trace McSorley and the Nittany Lion wideouts to take a bunch of deep shots like they did against Michigan State. It should be quite a fun battle to watch between Wilcox and Joe Moorhead Saturday night. Buckle up.

About the Author

Staff

Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

Comments

More by Onward State

Staff Predictions: Over/Under Penn State’s Projected Win Total

Vegas bookmakers have set Penn State’s over/under win total count at 9.5 for the upcoming football season.

Penn State Baseball Swept In Weekend Series Against Northwestern

To Our Favorite NFL Teams: Please Draft Saquon Barkley

Athletics

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Students were delayed hours on Tuesday afternoon while trying to purchase on-campus parking permits.

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend