Alabama vs. Wisconsin Prediction, In-Depth Game Preview

    The Alabama vs. Wisconsin prediction is in, as well as the in-depth game preview. Will the Crimson Tide or Badgers win this SEC vs. Big Ten showdown?

    September 2, 2015

    Alabama opens another season with a big-time, out-of-conference opponent. This year, it’s the Wisconsin Badgers. Can the Crimson Tide continue to roll in openers, or will the Badgers surprise the nation? Below is the Alabama vs. Wisconsin prediction and in-depth game preview. 

    Alabama vs. Wisconsin Prediction & Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, September 5
    Game Time: 8:00 ET
    Network: ABC

    Why You Need To Care

    When last we saw Alabama, the run defense that allowed just three touchdowns all season long was getting run over by Ezekiel Elliott and an Ohio State ground attack that cranked out 281 yards and two scores in the Sugar Bowl playoff victory. With the brutal SEC schedule to deal with – playing Georgia and Tennessee to go along with all the killers from the West – this is almost like another playoff game. Lose this, and it’s asking way too much to run the table to get back into the fun, even if the Crimson Tide pulls out another SEC title.

    But more than that, this is about Bama’s mojo. Even with another SEC championship, and despite the tremendous season that finished with a playoff appearance, that’s not enough. When it’s national-title-or-failure, nothing else outside of a big trophy after the last game of the year will do. This is where the Crimson Tide must make a statement, sort of like it did with the 41-14 stomping of Michigan in Arlington to open up the 2012 national title-winning season. This is where the intimidation factor has to start, because at the moment – with Auburn being picked by many to win the West – Alabama seems like it’s a wee bit vulnerable.

    Wisconsin doesn’t need this game nearly as much as Alabama does – Bucky doesn’t play in the SEC West. With no Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan or Penn State to deal with from the East, and the only real test – at least on paper – coming at Nebraska – the Badgers can lose this game, go 11-1, take down an OSU or MSU in the Big Ten championship, and get into the playoff. Of course, if they can pull off the win over the Crimson Tide, then it’s Game On. If this team is good enough to beat Alabama, it’s good enough to dominate everyone else on the schedule without a problem.

    Can Paul Chryst start out his head coach tenure with a bang? Wisconsin closed out the 2014 season with a win over Auburn, and, for the most part, the program has been able to hold its own over the years against SEC teams. Beating Alabama, though, in the first meeting between the two schools since a 15-0 Badger win in 1928, would be something truly special.

    Why Alabama Will Win

    Wisconsin needs to run the ball to win, Alabama might have its best run defense yet in the Nick Saban era. Drop mic, thanks for playing.

    The Badgers should be able to throw the ball a wee bit better than they’re being given credit for, and Joel Stave could be effective on his midrange throws, but he’s not going to stretch the field and there won’t be too many wide open spaces to work underneath. Alabama should be able to do what it does defensively – don’t take chances, don’t blitz, hang back and make the stop – and let its NFL front three control the line. The Wisconsin offensive line will be terrific again with a little bit of time, but it’s taking a little bit of shuffling to put it all together for the opener. That’s a problem – Wisconsin can’t win unless the front five wins the battle up front, and it won’t.

    Why Wisconsin Will Win

    The Badgers can play a little bit of defense, too. The secondary returns loaded – it’s not a stretch to call it the best Alabama will face this year – after finishing fourth in the nation in pass defense. The Crimson Tide has weapons on the outside, but there’s no Amari Cooper, and the quarterback situation is still a question mark. No, the Bucky front three isn’t anywhere near the class of Bama’s, but it’s more than good enough to hold its own and should be able to load up and focus on Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake and the Tide ground attack.

    And don’t just dismiss the Wisconsin running game quite yet. LSU’s defensive front might not have been up to its normal snuff last year, but it was still solid. Melvin Gordon ran wild until he was inexplicably pulled out of the opener. Auburn didn’t have an answer once the Badger line started pounding away in the bowl game, and over the years, phenomenal run defenses tend to not be so amazing when Wisconsin punches them in the mouth.

    Alabama Defense vs. Wisconsin Offense

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    Player Who Matters

    Is Corey Clement really good enough to be yet another statistical superstar for the Badger running game? He showed what he could do as a freshman running for 547 yards and seven touchdowns, and last year ran for 949 yards and nine scores with the right size, the right look, and the right breakaways speed, Now he just needs a little room to move against the Tide defensive front.

    Replacing Melvin Gordon is apparently a piece of cake compared to finding a guy to take over the Alabama quarterback job. With Jake Coker suffering a foot injury, is it really going to be Alec Morris? Will Cooper Bateman get in? Will Coker be ready? Five quarterback are on the depth chart, with Morris looking like the easiest option to fill in. Alabama might load up to stop the run, but Wisconsin will really revolve everything around stopping the ground game.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Wisconsin will look fine, it’s not going to be embarrassed, and it’ll have a few chances to take the game over – and then Alabama’s defense will decide that fun time is over. The Badger D will keep this from getting out of hand – this won’t be the 2014 Big Ten Championship all over again – but the O will hit a hard wall when it has to try to throw.

    Alabama vs. Wisconsin Prediction

    It’s that time, ladies and gentlemen. The Alabama vs. Wisconsin prediction is …

    Alabama 34, Wisconsin 20

    Must See Rating: 5: True Detective, Season 1 – 1: True Detective, Season 2 … 5

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