The Wisconsin Badgers are and have always been a run-first team, and Saturday they take on a Lane Kiffin-led Florida Atlantic team that is fresh off of a tough outing against Navy last week in which the Midshipmen ran all over the place. Could Wisconsin do the same this weekend and have three different 100-yard rushers in the same game?
Let's start with Navy-FAU in week 1. The lightning-delayed game saw the Midshipmen win 42-19 on the back of its rush-heavy attack.
Navy quarterback Zach Abey threw just 10 passes in the game — completing three for 110 yards 1 score and 1 interception. On the ground, he was unstoppable, totaling 235 yards and 2 touchdowns on 32 carries.
Joshua Walker ran 8 times for 75 yards and 2 touchdowns, Chris High added 16 carries for 61 yards and Navy totaled 416 yards and five touchdowns on 68 total carries, averaging 6.1 yards per carry on the night.
Against Utah State last week Taylor led the way with 87 yards and a score on 9 carries while Shaw rushed for 84 yards and a TD on 18 carries. James didn't get as many opportunities, totaling 15 yards on five carries. Backup Garrett Groshek got in on the fun late with 2 carries for 29 yards and a score.
Those three should absolutely feed on FAU this weekend when the Badgers host the Owls.
Wisconsin's offensive line has to be licking its collective chops heading into the game after watching the film of Navy slicing and dicing through the FAU defensive front seven. The Badgers' offensive line is certainly a step up from Navy's, no offense to our Midshipmen.
Plus, the Badgers actually throw the ball — against Utah State Alex Hornibrook completed 15 of 23 pass attempts for 244 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has a huge target in tight end Troy Fumagalli, and has a slew of young receivers behind senior Jazz Peavy looking to prove themselves.
The Owls will not be able to load up the box and sell out against the run like they did against Navy.
Even if they do, Wisconsin will still be able to move the ball on the ground, and the Badgers have a very realistic shot of putting three running backs over 100 yards Saturday.