New Mexico latest home tuneup game for No. 5 Wisconsin
New Mexico (1-0) at No. 5 Wisconsin (1-0), noon ET (BTN)
Line: Wisconsin by 34½.
Series record: First matchup.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
After beating FCS school Incarnate Word, New Mexico’s new pass-happy offense faces a much stiffer test on the road. Wisconsin might want to get off to a cleaner start on offense as it plays the second of three straight nonconference tuneups at home. The Badgers won their opener by 31, but didn’t get the thorough, beginning-to-end blowout that might be expected of a top-five team against Western Kentucky. It could happen on Saturday.
New Mexico passing game vs. Wisconsin secondary. More on-the-job training for a defensive backfield with three first-year starters. The Lobos went into this season determined to open up the offense. They had seven pass plays of 30 yards or more last week, just three short of their total for all of 2018. The Badgers’ strength on defense is up the middle, so probing the perimeter and taking shots down field isn’t a bad idea.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
New Mexico: QB Tevaka Tuioti threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns in the opener last week, including 192 yards in the first quarter.
Wisconsin: Star RB Jonathan Taylor might pile up some yards against a defense that allowed 244 and three scores on 34 carries on the ground against Incarnate Word.
FACTS & FIGURES
Tuioti’s 300-yard passing game last week was the first by a New Mexico quarterback since September 11, 2010 when B.R. Holbrook threw for 323 against Texas Tech. ... One of the top rushing teams last year, Lobos tweaked the offense when Calvin Magee joined as offensive coordinator in the offseason. ... Lobos have 10 kickoff returns for touchdowns over last six seasons. ... Taylor went over the 2,000-yard rushing mark last week, 17th player in school history to eclipse that mark. ... Wisconsin held Western Kentucky to three points in four trips to red zone. Badgers have allowed opponents just 11 touchdowns on 39 trips inside the 20 (28.2 percent) dating back to the 2017 season.
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