BYU-Wisconsin Preview Capsule

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Associated Press

Posted on November 7, 2013 at 11:36 AM

BYU (6-2) at No. 21 Wisconsin (6-2), 3:35 p.m. EST (ESPN)

Line: Wisconsin by 7½.

Series record: BYU leads 1-0.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

BYU, an FBS independent, gets the first of two chances over the final month to secure a statement victory, with a trip to Notre Dame also on the schedule in a few weeks. The Badgers hope to win out to improve their BCS at-large chances with another trip to the Big Ten title game since unbeaten Ohio State stands in the way in the Leaders Division.

KEY MATCHUP

BYU QB Taysom Hill vs. Wisconsin defense. The dual-threat sophomore has completed 65 percent of passes and thrown for 11 touchdowns in his last five games, all victories. The Badgers had trouble with Ohio State's Braxton Miller (who doesn't?) and Arizona State's spread, but have otherwise excelled, especially in the red zone. An injury to star linebacker Chris Borland didn't trip up Wisconsin last week at Iowa.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

BYU: Hill makes the Cougars click. He's sixth in the country in total offense (367.5 yards per game). But he's never had to play in the hostile confines of Camp Randall Stadium, in front of a crowd that hasn't seen its Badgers for a month.

Wisconsin: RBs Melvin Gordon and James White. Given BYU's up-tempo offense, running the ball makes sense for Wisconsin to control clock. Except that Gordon especially is a breakaway threat on any carry. It's a welcome problem for coach Gary Andersen.

FACTS & FIGURES

The teams' only other meeting was on Sept. 20, 1980 in Madison, a 28-3 victory for BYU. ... Andersen is familiar with BYU after coaching against the Cougars at his previous stop at Utah State. He went 1-3 against the school. ... Wisconsin has surrendered eight touchdowns to opponents in 21 red-zone trips, for an FBS-stingiest 38.1 percent conversion rate. ... BYU has 14th-best rushing offense in FBS (258.8 yards per game) while Wisconsin is 10th (287 yards). ... BYU senior LB Kyle Van Noy has 26 career sacks. ... White leads active FBS players with 41 career rushing touchdowns.

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