It's Wednesday, and the weekly grind has probably gotten your mind off of football by now. But fear not, we've got your back. Here is everything you need to know about the Miners and Badgers heading into this weekend's game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI.
Preview: UTEP Miners at Wisconsin Badgers - CBSSports.com
Going into the season, the expectation was that Badgers games would become unwatchable as they continued to steamroll opponents with their relentless running game. Through three weeks, that hasn't been the case. Wisconsin barely scraped by Utah State last week and a healthy UTEP trailed Oklahoma just 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter in Week 1. Saturday's game could be a lot closer than the spread suggests.
Fourth Estate : Badgers unimpressive despite 2-1 record
Coming into the season, there were high hopes in Madison. With Ohio State and Penn State ineligible to make the Big Ten Championship Game, due to NCAA sanctions, a return trip to Pasadena and a third-straight Big Ten championship was not out of the realm of possibility. However, three games into the season, Wisconsin sits at 2-1 after a disappointing 10-7 loss at Oregon State and a victory over Utah State in which the Badgers needed a missed field goal by the Aggies to win, and they did.
Scouting report: The book on UTEP
As he did at Washington State, head coach Mike Price features a spread attack with four receivers and one back. He believes this is the best offense he has fielded in his eight-plus seasons at UTEP. The Miners have an experienced senior quarterback in Nick Lamaison, four linemen with at least 11 starts, two gifted tailbacks (sophomore Nathan Jeffery and freshman Autrey Golden) and two playmaking receivers (sophomore Jordan Leslie and senior Michael Edwards).
Joel Stave looks to be new Badgers QB - Big Ten Blog - ESPN
Wisconsin's struggling offense could have a new starting quarterback at the controls this week. Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that redshirt freshman Joel Stave, not Danny O'Brien, took the bulk of the work with the first-team offense in Tuesday's practice and looks to be in line to start Saturday against UTEP.
Badgers football: Adversity not new to UTEP coach Mike Price : Sports
At Weber State, his first head coaching job, Price went 31-35 over his first six seasons, including a 3-8 mark in 1986. The next season, he led the Wildcats to a 10-3 record and a trip to the quarterfinals of the Division I-AA playoffs and was rewarded with a raise. At Washington State, his second stop as a head coach, he was a dismal 43-47 through eight years and coming off back-to-back losing campaigns heading into the 1997 season. He saved his job with a 10-1 regular season that earned the Ryan Leaf-led Cougars a trip to the Rose Bowl, where Price and Co. dropped a 21-16 decision to No. 1 Michigan.
Big Ten football: Wisconsin needs to get running game going - Chicago Tribune
Coach Brad Bielema told local media he has decided on his starting quarterback for Saturday's game against UTEP. And he has informed his quarterbacks. But he said he won't reveal the starter and has put a gag order on O'Brien and Stave. Whoever plays, Wisconsin's bigger issue is reviving its running game, which ranks 97th nationally. A week after firing offensive line coach Mike Markuson, coach Bret Bielema said he saw "signs that were arrows up" but remains concerned about what transpired in the fourth quarter Saturday. Trying to run out the clock with a 16-14 lead, the Badgers managed one first down — by penalty — on two possessions. Montee Ball did churn out a season-high 139 yards on 37 carries, but the preseason All-America has fallen off every Heisman Trophy list.
Badgers’ top receiver cleared to play | CollegeFootballTalk
The junior wide receiver missed last Saturday’s narrow win over Utah State with a concussion/chest injury, injuries incurred in the Week 2 upset loss at the hands of Oregon State. Abbrederis returned to practice and, afterwards, declared that he has been medically cleared to play this weekend against UTEP.
UTEP football: Reserve RBs step up for Miners - El Paso Times
Jeffery will be back this week to take on Wisconsin, but in the two weeks he was gone, true freshman Autrey Golden and sophomore Josh Bell sorted out those issues behind him. "It was a lot of pressure, not in the backfield, but all the roles, special teams, everything else," said Golden, who followed up a 52-yard game against Ole Miss with a 69-yard game against New Mexico State and also had a momentum-changing 46-yard kickoff return. "This is very fun, very exciting."
What's Up in Sports: Lamaison finding the range - What's Up: Sports
After looking completely discombobulated against the Oklahoma defense in week one, UTEP quarterback Nick Lamaison seems to have finally found his bearings. The Miners signal caller, who is pivotal to any success on the field this season, is beginning to play like the leader the team was counting on this season.