January 18, 2022

How Wisconsin football caught a break in the revised Big Ten schedule – Madison.com

2022 Big Ten football schedule

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But the tweaks the Badgers’ schedule could help them regain the top spot in the Big Ten West Division after two seasons without a division title.

UW travels to Ohio State on Sept. 24, the first Big Ten game of the season for the Badgers. That game originally was slated for Nov. 12. The Badgers haven’t defeated Ohio State since 2010 and haven’t won in Columbus since 2004. It will be a tall task for UW next season as the Buckeyes will have back under center starting quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud along with receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Marvin Harrison Jr. among their offensive weapons.

Purdue will come to Madison as opposed to UW going to West Lafayette, Indiana, for a second consecutive year, and that game now is slated for Oct. 22. Nebraska will host the Badgers on Nov. 19, with UW aiming for an eighth consecutive win over the Cornhuskers. The teams’ 2021 matchup came down to the final play in a back-and-forth, 35-28 win for UW at Camp Randall Stadium.

Before the revised schedule was announced, UW was set for a November stretch in which it would’ve played at home against Nebraska, at Ohio State, at Iowa and home against Minnesota to wrap up the regular season. Those final three games will be some of the toughest on the schedule, so having them in consecutive weeks would’ve added another layer of difficulty.

Dates could change if teams end up playing on a Friday, but for now, Illinois State will visit Madison for the first time in the season opener Sept. 3. Washington State comes to Madison on Sept. 10 to begin a home-and-home series, one that was scheduled before the Big Ten-ACC-Pac-12 Alliance that will see UW playing more of those leagues’ teams in non-conference play down the road. The Badgers are 2-0 against the Cougars, who last played at Camp Randall in 2007.

New Mexico State’s Sept. 17 matchup at Camp Randall will be the first meeting of the programs since 1962.

UW will host former coach Bret Bielema and Illinois on Oct. 1 instead of in the season opener as previously scheduled. Tailback Braelon Allen burst onto the scene last season against the Illini in Champaign, his first extended action in the backfield rotation. Allen had 131 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Badgers’ 24-0 win.

UW will get another chance to conquer its demons at Ryan Field in a matchup against Northwestern on Oct. 8 in Evanston, Illinois. The Badgers have won just one of seven games at Northwestern since 2000.

After being dismissed from the program last season, former UW running back Jalen Berger will face his old team when the Badgers travel to Michigan State on Oct. 15. The Spartans — led by third-year coach and former UW defensive back Mel Tucker — were the surprise of the Big Ten this past season, winning 10 games in the regular season before defeating Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl. MSU tailback Kenneth Walker III won the Doak Walker Award as the country’s top running back in 2021.

UW will face Maryland on Nov. 5 — previously scheduled for Oct. 15 — at Camp Randall, marking the first time the teams have played since 2017. Maryland hasn’t defeated the Badgers since joining the Big Ten, going 0-3 against UW since 2014.

The best win for the Badgers in 2021 was their 27-7 upset of then-No. 9 Iowa at Camp Randall, but it’ll be a different challenge to beat the Hawkeyes on Nov. 12 at Kinnick Stadium. UW had won four games in a row at Kinnick before falling 28-7 in 2020.

UW’s meeting with Minnesota was kept on Nov. 26, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the Badgers will be looking to reclaim Paul Bunyan’s Axe after Minnesota took it last season. Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck is 2-3 against the Badgers since he took over the Gophers program.

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