MADISON, Wisconsin -- No. 20 Northwestern (8-2 overall, 4-2 Big Ten) and No. 21 Wisconsin (8-2 overall, 5-1 Big Ten) are set to kickoff on a chilly, windy afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium. After snow fell throughout the Midwest all evening, the turf has been cleared while the bleachers are lined with the white powder. Factoring in windchill, the air feels about 18 degrees.
In past seasons, the cold temperatures might not have been as much of a problem for the Badgers as their run game dominates their offense. This season though, the first under head coach Paul Chryst, Wisconsin has relied heavily on fifth-year senior quarterback Joel Stave. Stave averages just over 216 passing yards per game. The Badgers are just ninth in the Big Ten in rushing yards average at a shade under 155 per game.
Northwestern, on the other hand, hasn't relied much on its passing game at all this season. The Wildcats have the second-worst passing offense in the conference in terms of yards per game. But, sophomore running back Justin Jackson has been superb. He is up over 1,000 yards rushing for the second-straight year and has led Northwestern's rushing attack to the second-most yards per game in the Big Ten this season.
But with Wisconsin's defense leading the Big Ten in fewest rush yards allowed at over 97 per contest, it could be a challenge for Northwestern to get anything consistent on the ground. Northwestern's defense has also been strong throughout the season, so a low-scoring game may be in order.
The game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. and will be aired on BTN.
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