Start time: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, September 19th
Location: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin
TV: Big 10 Network
Betting Line: Wisconsin -34.5. Over/Under: 58.0
After getting the first win of the 2015 season in last week's home opener, Troy fans could be in for a long afternoon come game time on Saturday. The Trojans travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers, who currently rank as the 24th best team in all of college football.
All hope is not lost, as the Badgers have shown some weaknesses this season while Troy has significantly improved on a week-to-week basis. Troy is a massive underdog, but that's not something we haven't experienced before. Here are three things the Troy Trojans must do if they are to have a chance at an upset, or to just keep the game respectable.
Keep The Badger Defense Guessing
The Trojans run a variation of the typical college spread-style offense, giving the coaching staff a ton of options when it comes to calling plays. They did an outstanding job of mixing up plays last week to the tune of 44 points against Charleston Southern, and it will be vital that they do the same this week.
Whether it is calling timely runs and breaking out play action passes or allowing quarterback Brandon Silvers to display his arm strength with deep passes, the Trojans need variety in order to keep the Wisconsin defense honest. Their Big 10 opponent is unquestionably more talented, so keeping the defensive coaching staff guessing could help to overcome that talent edge.
Let Brandon Silver Loose
I briefly touched on this in the last one, but it will be vital to any kind of Troy success on offense. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Silvers was outstanding a week ago, throwing for 249 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Granted, it was against the FCS Charleston Southern Buccaneers, but he needs to be given a chance to do it against better competition.
They won't get a better opportunity than this.
Silvers displayed poise in the pocket and precision touch on his deep ball last week, and the coaching staff let him throw it long several times with positive results coming almost every time they made the call. Big plays, especially in the passing game, are huge when trying to complete an upset. Silvers will need to be given equal, if not more, chances to show off his arm and throw the ball downfield to his explosive receivers.
Stop The Run
This is a prime example of something easier said than done, but it is important nonetheless. For several years now the Wisconsin Badgers have had one of the nation's top rushing attacks behind names like Montee Ball, Melvin Gordon, and James White, and this year looks no different.
The Badgers will be without starting running back Corey Clement again this week, but that does not make the Wisconsin run game any easier to stop. Troy will need a great game from the defensive line, especially the interior tackles, and mixing in a healthy dose of blitzes wouldn't hurt. Wisconsin has displayed a willingness to attack through the air this season, but taking the rushing attack out of the equation will make things significantly easier.
The Troy offense plays better than the final score indicates, but miscues in opposing territory puts an end to several nice drives. The Trojan defense is able to contain the Badger running backs in the early portion of the contest, but as the game wears on the talent gap starts to show.