No. 9 Wisconsin hosts Florida Atlantic, offers storm help
Florida Atlantic (0-1) at No. 9 Wisconsin (1-0), Saturday Noon ET (BTN).
Line: Wisconsin by 31 1/2.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The threat of Hurricane Irma striking south Florida makes the stakes of this nonconference game a secondary concern. While Florida Atlantic was scheduled to arrive as scheduled from its Boca Raton campus, Wisconsin has said that it will help as needed if the Owls can't return home right away because of the storm. Forecasts call for the hurricane to possibly make landfall on Sunday. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said the school could pay for any extra nights of hotel rooms for the Florida Atlantic team and let them use the Badgers' facilities.
Wisconsin running backs vs. Florida Atlantic run defense. The Owls got dented by Navy's triple-option attack for 416 yards rushing on 68 carries. Now coach Lane Kiffin's team must deal with the Badgers' physical run game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Florida Atlantic: K Greg Joseph. A team that managed just 19 points against Navy probably won't fare much better against Wisconsin's stout defense. But if the Owls manage to at least get into Badgers territory, they have a kicker who can hit from long range. Joseph nailed a program-best 54-yard field goal last week. He's the school's all-time field goal leader.
Wisconsin: RB Jonathan Taylor. The freshman ran for 87 yards on nine carries in his college debut, giving the Badgers a spark in the second half of what turned into a 49-point blowout. With starter Bradrick Shaw questionable at midweek with a leg injury, Taylor could be in line for more carries.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Owls' roster includes 37 players who weren't on the team last season. ... LB Azeez Al-Shaair had team-high 14 tackles last week against Navy and lead team with 113 tackles last season. ... Wisconsin held Utah State to 85 yards rushing last week, having held a foe to less than 100 yards on the ground for the 17th time in 28 games under coach Paul Chryst. ... Badgers QBs have gone seven straight games without throwing an interception.