While a potentially devastating hurricane continues to head towards the state of Florida, the Badgers and Florida Atlantic still plan to meet in Madison.
Yes, that means the Lane Kiffin circus makes a stop at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday…for now.
But, before we get to the inside information on the Owls, let’s take a look at some of the stats and interesting facts heading in to the contest.
10 Things to Know About Wisconsin vs. Florida Atlantic:
1: This will be the first meeting against the Florida Atlantic Owls, who are part of Conference USA. Wisconsin has been very successful against the current makeup of the conference, owning a 5-0 record against the current teams.
2: One of the least talked about aspects of Wisconsin’s 2016 season was its struggles in the punting game. UW went from 13th in the Big Ten to having sophomore Anthony Lotti punt great last week. His 43.0 average puts the Badgers second in the Big Ten in net punting average after Week 1. Truly a marked improvement.
3: Florida Atlantic list three players as the potential starter at quarterback on Week 2’s depth chart. Daniel Parr is listed first and got most of the action last weekend. However, former star of Netflix hit Last Chance U, De’Andre Johnson, saw game action as he tries to get back to a healthy state. Head coach Lane Kiffin said all three of the QB’s, including Jason Driskell, took snaps as a starter in practice already this week. The QB situation is one to watch going in and during the game on Saturday.
4: Wisconsin forced four turnovers out of Utah State. That shouldn’t be a surprise, as the Badgers ranked fourth in the country amongst Power 5 programs last season with 28 total turnovers. Florida Atlantic turned the ball over three times last week against Navy in a 42-19 loss to the Midshipmen.
5: Florida Atlantic converted on just 5 o 13 third down attempts last week against Navy. Wisconsin allowed Utah State to convert just 5 of 16 of its third down attempts last week as well. Looking deeper in to that stat, the Aggies were able to convert on just 2 of 9 third down attempts before the game was out of hand in the fourth quarter where they converted on 3 of 7 attempts.
6: Just how stingy has the Badgers defense been at home? Since 2013, the Badgers have given up zero offensive touchdowns to opponents on six of 11 touchdowns. Four of those six times have resulted in complete shutouts as well.
7: That is the number of tackles inside linebackers Chris Orr and T.J. Edwards had to lead the Badgers last week. Orr did that while not technically getting the start in his return from an ACL tear suffered on the first play of the game against LSU in the opener last season. Conversely, Ryan Connelly, who got the start, only had three tackles last week. Connelly gets the start on paper again, but will Orr continue to outplay him on the stat sheet?
8: FAU is no stranger to taking on teams from the Big Ten, having played eight games against other teams from the B1G to date. However, the Owls haven’t been all that successful, going just 1-7 in those eight games. It’s only win came back in 2007 as they beat Minnesota in a 42-39 barn burner.
9: The Wisconsin Badgers come in to this game ranked No. 9 in the latest AP Poll, which is where they were ranked heading in to the 2017 season. UW’s preseason top 10 ranking in the AP Poll coupled with coming in No. 10 in the Amway Coaches Poll meant the first consensus top 10 ranking for UW since 2007.
10: Sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook may have started his first season opener last weekend, but it was his 10th career start. It also happened to mark a few career highs, throwing for 244 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Can he top that mark against one of the worst defenses in the country?