Duke’s Mayo Bowl: 3 Players to Watch for Wisconsin vs Wake Forest

(Photo by David Banks/USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo by David Banks/USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Wisconsin Badgers and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons square off in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl Wednesday afternoon. Here are three players to watch. 

It is an ACC/Big Ten Showdown when the Wisconsin Badgers take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is the first-ever meeting between these two teams.

Both the Badgers and the Demon Deacons had designs on big seasons. Though Wisconsin lost arguably the best running back in school history Jonathan Taylor, the Badgers looked to contend in a competitive Big Ten West. The Deacons were looking to continue their run of consistency under Dave Clawson and get to their fifth consecutive bowl game.

No two teams have been harder hit by COVID than the Badgers and the Deacons. Because of the Big Ten rules regarding COVID protocols, Wisconsin was not able to play enough games to play in the Big Ten Championship game. When the Badgers did return to the field, they looked like a different ball club.

The Badgers won their first two games, then starting quarterback Graham Mertz struggled against Northwestern, which began a three game losing streak. The Badgers won their last game to get to .500. The Deacons had more games postponed, moved or canceled than most teams.

Both teams’ up and down seasons come to a head at the home of the Carolina Panthers. Here are three players to watch.