Two teams looking to bounce back after losses to Ohio State square off Saturday afternoon as Wisconsin hosts Northwestern. Television coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN2.
The Wildcats started out the year with easy wins over non-convincing competition, defeating Cal, Syracuse, Western Michigan and Maine. Last Saturday, they hosted Ohio State on College GameDay, and the game did not disappoint. The back-and-forth affair ended with heartbreak for the Wildcats, however, as the Buckeyes emerged triumphant 40-30 after a defensive touchdown on the last play of the game.
Wisconsin had about as good of a first two weeks as possible, winning their first two games by a combined score of 93-0. They lost a heartbreaker of their own, 32-30 to Arizona State on a botched officiating call, before bouncing back with a 41-10 trouncing of Purdue in their B1G opener. The next week, they traveled to Ohio State and lost by a touchdown. They have had a bye week to prepare for this one, and will look to get back in the Top 25 with a win.
Rankings and records: Northwestern is ranked No. 19 by the AP Poll and No. 18 by the Coaches' Poll. Wisconsin received votes in both. The Wildcats are 4-1 with an 0-1 mark in Big Ten play, while the Badgers are 3-2 with a 1-1 conference record. Wisconsin holds a 56-33-5 all-time lead in the series.
Vegas: Wisconsin is a 10.5-point favorite with an over/under of 57.5. OddsShark has more.
Weather: A high of 71 and scattered thunderstorms.
Three names to know
Tyler Scott. Northwestern's senior defensive lineman has had a great year, with four sacks and two forced fumbles. Against a stout Wisconsin rushing attack, the Wildcats will need Scott to make some plays in the backfield. The turnover battle will be key Saturday.
Melvin Gordon. The most effective part of Wisconsin's running back rotation, Gordon is averaging 10.3 yards per rush and has scored seven touchdowns.
James White. Gordon makes White's 6.9 yards per carry and four touchdowns look paltry by comparison, but he's equally important to the Badgers' attack.
Two things at stake
After a heartbreaking loss to Ohio State, Northwestern desperately needs to rebound with a win against a ranked opponent.
Wisconsin's last game was also a loss to Ohio State, and a loss here would likely knock them out of the division race.
How to witness
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN2.
Radio: 720 AM for Northwestern. Here's a list of Wisconsin affiliates.
Online streaming: WatchESPN.