Redshirt freshman Joel Stave will make his first start at quarterback, when Wisconsin (2-1) takes on UTEP (1-2) Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. After starting the first three games for the Badgers, junior Danny O’Brien was benched at halftime of last week’s game against Utah State. Stave played the entire second half as Wisconsin rallied for a 16-14 win. Stave completed just 2 of 6 passes for 15 yards. Head coach Bret Bielema talked about Stave’s strengths…[audio:http://www.wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/BIELEMA12.mp3|titles=BIELEMA1]
Stave should get some help in the passing game, as junior receiver Jared Abbrederis will return to the lineup after suffering an injury in a loss at Oregon State two weeks ago. Despite missing a game and a half, Abbrederis still leads the Badgers with seven catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Abbrederis is ready to get back on the field…[audio:http://www.wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ABBREDERIS1.mp3|titles=ABBREDERIS1]
The Wisconsin offense has lacked the big play the first three games, averaging 6.1 yards per pass and 3.1 yards per rush. Senior running back Montee Ball, who has averaged 3.8 yards per carry (84 attempts for 338 yards and two touchdowns), thinks that the Badgers will have some opportunities to change those numbers…[audio:http://www.wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/BALL13.mp3|titles=BALL1]
The UTEP Defense is ranked 97th in the nation, but held Oklahoma to 10 points through three quarters before losing 24-7 in week one. Wisconsin offensive coordinator Matt Canada said that the UTEP 4-3 defense will pose a challenge…[audio:http://www.wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/CANADA1.mp3|titles=CANADA1]
The Miners offense is averaging 19.3 points and 351 yards per game. Badgers senior linebacker Mike Taylor on the UTEP offense…[audio:http://www.wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/TAYLOR1.mp3|titles=TAYLOR1]
Saturday’s game featuring Wisconsin and UTEP can be heard on 93.9 FM WDOR. Coverage begins at 9 AM. Kickoff from Camp Randall Stadium is at 11 AM.
Wisconsin is ranked 24th in this week’s USA Today Coaches Poll. The Badgers have dropped out of the AP Media top 25. UTEP is unranked.
Wisconsin has won 18 consecutive games at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers last home loss was to Iowa on October 17th, 2009. Wisconsin’s home winning streak is second in the nation to LSU’s 20 game winning streak at Tiger Stadium.
This is the first meeting between Wisconsin and UTEP. The Badgers are 2-1 all-time against Conference USA teams. That includes a 2-0 record at Madison.