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South Florida-Wisconsin Preview Capsule

September 25, 2014

South Florida (2-2) at No. 19 Wisconsin (2-1),noon (ESPNU)

Line: Wisconsin by 34.

Series Record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

South Florida hits the road for the first time this season looking to build off a three-point home victory over Connecticut. An upset over a Top 25 team would ease lingering pressure on second-year coach Willie Taggart. Wisconsin gets its last tuneup before Big Ten play begins. The Badgers have won 30 straight nonconference home games, second in the country only to LSU’s 42-game streak.

KEY MATCHUP

Wisconsin running game vs. South Florida defense. The Badgers have their swagger back after bulldozing Bowling Green for a Big Ten-record 644 yards. The Bulls did hold the Huskies to 57 yards on 26 carries last week, but slowing down motivated star RB Melvin Gordon is an entirely different challenge.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

South Florida: The Bulls have their own impressive tailback in freshman Marlon Mack, who has run for 502 yards and five touchdowns on 89 carries. Mack will have to contend with a defense that has held foes to an average of 91 yards on the ground.

Wisconsin: What can Gordon do for an encore after running for career highs of 253 yards and five scores against Bowling Green? He brushed aside talk last week of whether he’s back in the discussion for the Heisman Trophy, though another impressive showing would keep the buzz going into Big Ten season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Weather forecast calls for a sunny afternoon Saturday with highs in the upper 70s. That’s warm by Wisconsin standards for late September, though kickoff temperature will be 20 degrees cooler than what South Florida experienced in first four games. ... Bulls’ 11 turnovers gained are sixth in FBS. ... USF senior WR Andre Davis (sternum) listed as questionable. He has missed last three games after getting hurt in season opener. ... Badgers lead nation in rushing at 359.7 yards per game. ... Wisconsin hasn’t lost to nonconference foe at home since falling 23-5 to UNLV in 2003. ... Badgers are only team in country to not give up a red-zone touchdown. Defense has allowed three field goals and picked off two passes in five drives.

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