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Rutgers Football Gameday: Scarlet Knights vs Wisconsin, Searching for First Win

Wisconsin aims to remain unbeaten in conference play against Rutgers, who seeks its first 5-1 start since 2014.

On Saturday, at noon, the highly anticipated football game between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will take place at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. Fans can tune in to watch the game on Peacock or listen to it on 660 WFAN or 93.5 Fox Sports New Jersey. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Wisconsin is favored to win by 13 ½ points.

This matchup holds significance for both teams. Wisconsin aims to maintain their unbeaten record in conference play, establishing themselves as the leading team in the Big Ten West Division before their upcoming showdown with Iowa. On the other hand, Rutgers is looking to achieve their first 5-1 start since 2014, their inaugural season in the Big Ten. Over the past eight seasons, the Scarlet Knights have only won five games once, finishing with a 5-8 record in 2021.

One of the key matchups to watch in this game is between Wisconsin quarterback Tanner Mordecai and the Rutgers pass defense. Mordecai has thrown more interceptions than touchdown passes this season but has displayed efficiency by completing 66.4% of his attempts. Leading an offense that has consistently scored over 35 points in their three wins, Mordecai has showcased his versatility by rushing for touchdowns in their last two games and even catching a touchdown pass in a previous victory against Purdue. However, Rutgers boasts the 15th best pass efficiency defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision and has only allowed four touchdown passes all season.

Keep an eye on Rutgers running back Kyle Monangai, who has been a standout player for the Scarlet Knights. Monangai has rushed for 471 yards and six touchdowns on 88 carries, ranking among the top rushers in the Big Ten this season. Wisconsin cornerback Ricardo Hallman is another player to watch, as he has already intercepted three passes this season, tying him for the Big Ten lead.

In their previous four matchups, Wisconsin has dominated Rutgers, outscoring them 168-30. Their most recent meeting resulted in a lopsided 52-3 victory for Wisconsin at Rutgers in 2021. However, Rutgers has shown resilience this season, allowing only two sacks, which is tied for the lowest in the FBS with Iowa State, Marshall, and Toledo. Additionally, Rutgers has consistently scored first in all five of their games this season.

Wisconsin's defense boasts standout players as well. Safety Hunter Wohler leads all Power Five players with 7.5 solo tackles per game, while defensive end James Thompson Jr. has recorded three sacks in his last three games. Wisconsin had a bye week leading up to this game, while Rutgers is coming off a dominant 52-3 win over the Football Championship Subdivision program, Wagner.

Both teams have been successful in the running game, with Wisconsin averaging 3.5 touchdown runs per game, the highest among all Power Five teams. Rutgers is not far behind, averaging 3 touchdown runs per game. In terms of turnovers, Rutgers has only committed three, while Wisconsin has forced nine takeaways in their last two games.

Notably, Wisconsin is vying for their 400th all-time Big Ten victory, a milestone that only Ohio State and Michigan have achieved. Furthermore, Wisconsin kicker Nathanial Vakos has a perfect record, converting all seven of his field-goal attempts this season.

As the game unfolds, it will be interesting to see how these teams match up and which players will make the biggest impact. Both Wisconsin and Rutgers have their sights set on victory, and this game will undoubtedly be a test of their abilities.

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