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Previewing Maryland-Wisconsin football with a Badgers beat reporter

Back for a second season, we'll be previewing each of Maryland's football games by conducting a Q&A with a reporter who covers the Terps' next opponent.

This week, we traded emails with Jeff Potrykus, Wisconsin beat reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Be sure to check out more of their coverage here before the Terps and Badgers kick off Saturday at noon in Madison, Wis.

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TRACKING THE TERPS: Even us Big Ten neophytes down here are well aware that Camp Randall is a tough place to play. Why do the Badgers seem to have such an advantage on their home field, and what should Maryland fans who brave the trip know ahead of time?

JEFF POTRYKUS: CRS can be a very loud venue but like most places, including Lambeau Field in Green Bay, it is the team that makes the difference. When UW has been very good, opponents find it difficult to win in Madison. But remember PSU came to Madison and played well in a 31-24 victory. As for this week, with an 11 a.m. kickoff the student section will be half-full -- at best -- at the start of the game. Maryland might find the sledding a bit easier early in the game.

Maryland fans should enjoy "Jump Around" at the end of the third quarter. It's a pretty cool sight, especially for newcomers. (The press box sways -- a lot -- if the crowd is really into it)


It seems that the quarterback position could be Wisconsin's greatest weakness. If the Terps load up the box and make the Badgers beat them through the air, can either of those QBs do it?

I'm guessing the Terps will load the box and have LBs and a safety coming downhill. However, I think UW will be able to run the ball well and won't get away from the run as Iowa did. If the running game does struggle, UW will have to hope Joel Stave can hit some intermediate/deep balls to unclog the line of scrimmage. However, UW has yet to hit a deep ball to a WR this season. If the staff turns to Tanner McEvoy, look for him to attack the edges of the defense with runs and roll-outs.


You tweeted earlier this week that if Wisconsin's defense plays well, the Badgers will beat the Terps. What specifically do you think Wisconsin will need to do to slow down a reasonably explosive Maryland offense?

Wrote about the No. 1 key for the UW defense for our Tuesday paper. In short, UW defenders have to read their keys and wade through the ball-fakes and misdirection. C.J. Brown did a great job last week vs. Iowa, and the Iowa defenders said afterward they really struggled to find the ball quickly.


Can you give us a Wisconsin player who may be under the radar but is worth keeping an eye on Saturday? 

Under the radar player? I might go with No. 2 tailback Corey Clement. Everyone talks about Melvin Gordon and understandably so. But Clement finally broke through vs. Illinois with 164 yards on 13 carries and I think the staff wants to give him more work to keep Gordon fresh.


And a prediction?

I'll go with UW prevailing, 24-17.

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