Wisconsin Football: Early 2020 game-by-game predictions, Part 1

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Wisconsin football had another successful season under Paul Chryst, but the Badgers still fell short of their ultimate goal. Will that change in 2020?

The 2019 season was another year the Wisconsin Badgers could be proud of. A freak loss to Illinois and an inability to close the deal in a Big Ten title game rematch against Ohio State kept the boys in the motion ‘W’ helmets from reaching the peak of their potential, but 10 wins and a division title is nothing to sneeze at.

Grateful are the Wisconsin faithful for the return of quarterback Jack Coan who shone brightly in his first season at the wheel of the Badgers’ offense. His 2,727 passing yards certainly made noise in the Big Ten. However, he will miss being able to hand off to decorated running back Jonathan Taylor, who decided to throw his hat in the ring that is the 2020 NFL Draft.

Coan will also have to cope with the absence of wide receiver Quintez Cephus, who will also try his hand at playing professionally, possibly a few miles up the road in Green Bay.  

These issues are not all Coan has to worry about, however. His breakout 2019 season does not entitle him to the 2020 starting quarterback role and the upstate New York native will once again have to win his position in fall camp. The Badgers do return some pass-catchers with meaningful numbers such as Danny Davis and Kendric Pryor — 2020 will be a chance for newcomers to showcase their skills.

Defensively, Wisconsin had a sterling 2019, finding itself fourth in the country in total defense. Garrett Rand and Isiahh Loudermilk come back to anchor that side of the ball, as does the whole of a very prolific secondary. Talented corners Faion Hicks and Caesar Williams join safeties Reggie Pearson and Eric Burrell in a heralded defensive backfield. The unit will have to carry the load for an offense that has many question marks for 2020.

Now that we have a baseline understanding of who the key figures in Wisconsin’s 2020 season will be, it’s time to take a look at their 2020 schedule. The Badgers will certainly circle the Illinois Fighting Illini who dealt Paul Chryst’s club its first blemish of 2019. Notre Dame will meet the Badgers at Lambeau and nothing does more for a team’s esteem than making an unlucky day for the Irish.

Michigan, Iowa and at times pesky Minnesota also dot the schedule for Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the Badgers will not have a change to avenge the pair of defeats that Ohio State gave them; the Buckeyes are nowhere to be seen on Wisconsin’s 2020 slate.

We will take a a closer look at each of Wisconsin’s 2020 contests, and how they figure to shape up for the Badgers.

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