BadgersWire staff predictions for Wisconsin at Illinois

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After dropping three of their first four games of the season, Wisconsin football looks to get back on track with a visit to Illinois. The Badgers enter at 1-3 on the year, where as the Fighting Illini sit at 2-4 on the season.

While all signs point to Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz and star TE Jake Ferguson being available against Illinois, the Badgers have still struggled offensively even with a full strength unit. The Fighting Illini have had similar issues on that side of the football, and should have a difficult time generating offense against the stout Badger defense.

How will today’s game play out? Here is how the BadgersWire staff sees things going:

Ben Kenney

I like Wisconsin to win this game, but it won’t be as easy as we want it to be. Graham Mertz should take advantage of a sub-par Illinois pass defense, Jim Leonhard’s defense should continue to shine and hopefully, Wisconsin doesn’t hand away possessions on special teams.

But where does Wisconsin struggle? The offensive line. For that reason, I think the team is unable to pull away early and put a lot of points on the board.

Prediction: Wisconsin 17, Illinois 9

Asher Low

Will we see the Graham Mertz we saw in his Wisconsin debut? While he doesn’t need to play the game of his life, as he did last time out against the Fighting Illini, to beat Illinois, Mertz and the offense need to find a way to lengthen drives.

Illinois has struggled on offense, and the Badger defense will finally force those takeaways they have been looking for. It won’t be comfortable, but it will be a Wisconsin win.

Prediction: Wisconsin 24 Illinois 13

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