Loyal Cougars

Wisconsin Preview and 9-Line Prediction

Zach gives his analysis and preview for BYU’s game against Wisconsin with his patent-pending 9-line prediction.

  1. Taysom Hill Total Yards – Line: 314.5 – The Wisconsin defense has seen the likes of Taysom Hill in the 2013 campaign. In the Badgers 31-24 loss at Ohio State, Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller threw for 198 yards and four touchdowns, while adding another 85 yards on the ground. The 5.98 yards per play was the lowest of the season for Miller. Taysom Hill has a similar skillset and the Badgers will certainly have a scheme in place to defend against his strengths. Look for the Badgers to put seven or eight in the box to contain Hill’s running lanes. With good corner play, Gary Andersen’s defense will force BYU’s receivers, and Taysom Hill’s right arm, to beat them. While Robert Anae’s offense is new, Andersen remembers his time at the University of Utah — the burden of proof is still with BYU’s wide receiver corp to beat man coverage. OVER
  2. Wisconsin Offensive/Defensive 3rd Down Conversion % – Line: 44%/30% – Wisconsin’s offense ranks in the top third nationally at converting third downs. Wisconsin’s defense ranks sixth nationally at preventing third down conversions. Ergo, BYU must defend and convert third downs if it wants to be in the game during the fourth quarter. The Cougars will need to be effective on early downs and give themselves manageable distances to garner on third down. Then, it will simply come down to whether BYU’s offensive line is good enough to win on short yardage situations. UNDER/UNDER
  3. Melvin Gordon Yards Per Carry – LINE: 8.6 – Death, taxes, and Wisconsin running backs. 2013 is no different and Melvin Gordon has shown an ability to not only run between the tackles but make big plays on the edge. Gordon is averaging 8.6 yards per carry. Suffice it to say, if Gordon is anywhere above that number against the stout BYU front-seven, the Cougars will be in for a long day. UNDER
  4. Stave Pass Attempts Longer Than 25 yards: LINE – 4.5 – BYU is second in the country in passes defended per game at 7.00. Daniel Sorensen and his brethren in the defensive backfield have been under fire this season and have responded well. Wisconsin’s 2013 offense is on track to be one of the best in school history. Averaging just under 500 yards per game, the Badgers employ a balanced attack that will force BYU to defend against both the power run game and the play-action pass. Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abreditis will be a key cog in the Badger attack and BYU must not allow the big play through the air.  OVER
  5. Adam Hine Returns Over 40 Yards:  LINE – 1.5  – Bad Luck Adam has had numerous long kickoff returns called back on penalties during the 2013 campaign. Despite that, the sophomore running back is still fourth nationally in kick return yards per game and has shown a proclivity for making plays. BYU will need a good performance from special teams if it wants to upset Wisconsin in Camp Randall. While a kick return touchdown is certainly the goal on Saturday, the Cougars would be helped greatly by Hine simply giving the BYU offense good field position. Wisconsin allows just 20 yards per kick return while Hine averages 31.  OVER
  6. Mission Trip References by the ESPN crew – LINE: 1.5 – Fortunately, ESPN is sending on its best announcers, Bob Wischusen to cover the contest in Madison. You might remember his call of the Kyle Van Noy sack/fumble/TD. Oh right, he’s done that more than once — this one. He is a professional of the first class. UNDER
  7. Attendance: LINE – 79,999 – Wisconsinites have not seen the Badgers play at home for nearly a month. Camp Randall will be rocking and Cougar fans will get a taste of one of the most storied places in all of college football. A game against Wisconsin in November is the high-water mark of independence and BYU fans should take time to bask in the reality. How will Taysom Hill respond to the most hostile atmosphere he has faced as a starting quarterback? OVER
  8. Total Points Scored: 55.5 – I was asked a few days ago by a non-BYU acquaintance whether I thought the Cougars were going to win. I told him I reasonably see this game going many different ways. I could see BYU being too inexperienced up front and at quarterback and simply being overwhelmed by a physically bruising Wisconsin offense. I could also see BYU’s defense making Wisconsin one-dimensional, giving Go Fast Go Hard good field position and a close victory. Fact is, BYU has not won a true road game against ranked BCS opponent since 1997. The Cougars have lost three such games in the pat two seasons, by a combined five points. Is BYU finally ready to turn the corner and garner a signature road victory? In the end, BYU is going to be competitive for the entire sixty minutes in its first Big Ten game since 1992. Wisconsin’s ability to run the ball will open the passing game, and BYU’s defense will rise up in the red zone. Taysom Hill and the offense will have a chance to win the game late. UNDER
  9. Line: Wisconsin -8.5 – NOT COVER – Wisconsin 30 BYU 24


Additional Lines:

Number of sacks surrendered by BYU offensive line: LINE 6 – UNDER

Jamaal Williams Rushing Yards: LINE 86.5 – UNDER

Three-and-Outs Forced by BYU Defense: LINE: 3.5 – OVER

Longest Touchdown from Scrimmage: LINE: 54 – OVER

BYU First Half Points: LINE 17 – PUSH