No. 23 Wisconsin looks to get back on track, beat IL

No. 23 Wisconsin looks to get back on track, beat IL

Taylor left in the first half with an injury the last time these teams met - an ugly, 24-10 win for UW in Champaign. While there is a slim chance that the Illini could come into this game and take advantage of the emotions that come with how poorly the Badgers played against MI last week, there's little chance that this can actually happen. The Fighting Illini are not good, and that news shouldn't shock anyone.

No. 23 Wisconsin entered into the 2018 season with a ton of hope and plenty of promise. Now that that dream is over, the Badgers need to narrow their focus on winning a conference championship and take care of business throughout the rest of the season.

The Badgers' run game continues to impress this season, however, and Jonathan Taylor is the nation's second-leading rusher at 950 yards through six games.

But after last week's performance, the defense has a lot of adjustments to make. "Personally, I do not see any positives". Last week against Purdue, he started again and caught a career-long 52-yard pass that set up a first quarter touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

Wisconsin: QB Alex Hornibrook is coming off his worst game in his two seasons as the full-time starter going 7 of 20 for 100 yards with a score and two interceptions last week against MI.

As a whole, Hornibrook's season has been average as he has thrown for eight touchdowns and four interceptions. Although the stats do not look as badly as my previous statement suggested, one has to factor in that 75 of Hornibrook's passing yards came in the final five minutes of the game when the team was down 31 points. In his defense, MI does possess an elite defense in college football and Illinois' defense is nowhere near that level. After such an abysmal showing last week, Badger fans can only hope that Hornibrook has moved past it.

Wisconsin sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor remains a bright spot on offense. He has rushed for 100-plus yards in six games this season, and averaged 184 yards per game at Camp Randall.

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"With an offensive line as big, as physical, as athletic as Wisconsin has, that's a tough duty with that commitment to the run", IL coach Lovie Smith said.

The team is now 3-3, the best record in Smith's time with IL at the halfway point of a season. However, to the surprise of many, IL has actually showed signs of progress and have an outside shot of making a bowl game this season.

Series record: Wisconsin leads 41-36-7.

IL is bolstered on offense by senior quarterback AJ Bush Jr., a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech who is a dual threat.

Illinois: Bush has rushed for three scores over two games since returning from a hamstring injury, including two touchdowns and 116 yards on 18 carries on October 6 at Rutgers. Barring an unforeseen collapse, the Badgers will participate in a bowl game for the 17th consecutive season, likely in a warm-weather destination.

For my prediction, I have to side with Wisconsin.

At least one big goal is still in play for No. 23 Wisconsin: the Badgers still control their destiny to win the Big Ten West and get to the conference title game.

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