When Northwestern travels north to Madison to play Wisconsin on Saturday, the Wildcats will be without some key contributors on both sides of the ball, according to the injury report released by the team late Thursday afternoon.
Offensive linemen Geoff Mogus and Shane Mertz will both miss the game with injuries. Mogus did not play last week in Northwestern's 21-14 win over Purdue. Mertz replaced Mogus at left guard. With both players out, Connor Mahoney was listed next on Northwestern's depth chart this week. Mahoney, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound junior has alternated between offensive line, defensive line and even superback throughout his Northwestern career.
With Mogus and Mertz out, the offensive line will probably start with Blake Hance at left tackle and Mahoney playing left guard. Either Brad North, who started against Purdue, or Ian Park, the usual starter who is a bit dinged up and did not play despite being available last week, will start at center. Matt Frazier will start at right guard and Eric Olson will start at right tackle. It'll be interesting to see if Pat Fitzgerald has to shift some players around the line to account for the injuries, which could spell trouble in Camp Randall's raucous environment.
Defensively, nickel corner Keith Watkins is out this week. He is an important player for the Wildcats' defense as he comes in to defend slot receivers in passing situations. Also, safety Kyle Queiro was listed on the report as out, which has been the case for several weeks since injuring his arm earlier in the season.
Northwestern plays Wisconsin at 2:30 p.m. CT on Big Ten Network.