Oct 28, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Braedyn Locke (18) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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Wisconsin hoping offense wakes up vs. Northwestern

Wisconsin will try to regain its offensive stride against visiting Northwestern on Saturday as the Badgers look to remain in contention in the Big Ten West.

The Badgers (5-4, 3-3) will return to Madison after a 20-14 setback last Saturday at Indiana, their third loss in four games. Northwestern (4-5, 2-4) lost to Iowa 10-7 at Wrigley Field the same day on a field goal with 14 seconds left.

Wisconsin is tied with Nebraska and Minnesota, its final two opponents, a game behind first-place Iowa in the West. In their three recent losses, the Badgers have just 30 points, including only 10 in the first half.

Wisconsin quarterback Tanner Mordecai has missed the last three games after breaking his throwing hand. Senior running back Chez Mellusi suffered a season-ending broken leg in the fourth game. And against Indiana, leading rusher Braelon Allen (ankle) and senior wide receiver Chimere Dike (leg) were out.

Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell was not sure Monday of the status of Allen and Dike, although both were listed first on this week’s depth chart.

“It’s hard to tell, the pace you are at on a Sunday — what does that translate to a Tuesday, Wednesday, and even push it through to a Saturday,” Fickell said. “So I wish I knew more.”

Redshirt freshman Braedyn Locke completed 21 of 41 passes for 243 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions against Indiana in his third start.

Northwestern quarterback Ben Bryant has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury. Brendan Sullivan has completed 40 of 65 passes for 522 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions over the last three games, but he threw for just 81 yards against Iowa.

Northwestern interim coach David Braun said Monday that Bryant continues to improve but remains uncertain for Saturday.

“Each day we’ll know more, but I’m not willing to sit up here and say he’s not going to be available,” Braun said. “With the progression that he’s shown over the last couple of weeks, I think there’s a possibility that he’s ready to go.”

Wisconsin has won five of the last seven meetings with Northwestern, including 42-7 last season.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
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