For the sixth straight season the #6/#7 Wisconsin Badgers (3-0) will face off with a college football team from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Last season’s FCS foe, Austin Peay, proved to be a walk-in-the-park as the Badgers thrashed the Governors in a 70-3 victory.
This time around, the Badgers welcome in the South Dakota Coyotes (2-1) for one last tune-up before the HUGE conference opener against Nebraska. Albeit a shared FCS designation, this South Dakota team is no Austin Peay and should prove a slightly tougher test for this year’s team.
South Dakota Synopsis: First off, let’s get something straight and that’s the correct pronunciation of this team who hails from Vermillion, South Dakota. While they are the Coyotes, their name is pronounced “KI-Oats” and will most likely be botched from pretty much everyone in Madison on Saturday.
And yes, this is the same South Dakota team who shocked Minnesota in 2010 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Moreover, the team returns 18 starters from last year, so don’t think they will come in to Camp Randall intimidated at all.
The key player on South Dakota is senior QB Dante Warren who has helped the Coyotes establish a balanced attack on the offensive side of the ball. As a team, the Coyotes rank 40th in the nation with 388.7 yards per game. In an upset of the FCS’s reigning champions, Eastern Washington, Warren ran and threw for a touchdown in the 30-17 win.
While Eastern Washington in no way compares to the Badgers, this game is still dangerous for UW because what do the Coyotes really have to lose?
Wisconsin Synopsis: With the Badgers rising in the polls and a certain Russell Wilson gaining momentum in the Heisman Race each week, there’s not a lot of bad things to say about Wisconsin except when talking about their super soft schedule. Granted, the Badgers had no idea Oregon State would have such a horrendous start to the season.
And if you want to be super picky, the Badgers offensive line hasn’t dominated as much as usual Wisconsin lines do (penalties have been a problem). Despite two touchdowns against Northern Illinois, RB Montee Ball also feels his game wasn’t quite up to par after failing to reach 100 yards (had 90 on 20 carries).
But, the fact remains that the Badgers look like a great football team and are dismantling the opponents they have on the schedule, even if they appear to be bad teams. They rank #1 in the Big Ten in scoring (45.0 ppg), scoring defense (8.0 ppg) and total offense (505.7 ypg).
In fact, the Wisconsin Badgers are probably the best team in the Midwest!
For the full Wisconsin season preview go here.
Prediction: Wisconsin has beaten their previous five FCS opponents by an average of 27.2 points and I see no reason they don’t make the average go up this week against South Dakota. The Coyotes defense may have been able to contain Eastern Washington’s attack, but they will have no way of stopping the Badgers dynamic offense, especially with a defense which is giving up around 400 yards a game through their first three games.
Wisconsin 50 South Dakota 13
Do you think South Dakota has any chance of keeping this game close? Let me know by commenting below!
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.Follow paulmbanks