Brigham Young at Wisconsin

The Sports Xchange

September 12, 2018 at 5:13 pm.

KICKOFF: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
SITE: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wis.
SERIES: Wisconsin leads BYU 2-1
RANKINGS: Wisconsin No. 6


–QB Tanner Mangum, a redshirt senior, is a smart veteran quarterback who has started 23 games in his career. Mangum, who suffered an Achilles injury last season, has come back to complete 40 of 69 passes for 405 yards this season, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He doesn’t have great mobility but he is adept enough to sidestep the rush and keep his eyes downfield. He is 13th in BYU history with 5,563 career passing yards.

–RB Squally Canada, a senior, posted a career-high three touchdowns in the season-opener at Arizona. He led the team in rushing last season with 710 yards and scores, and he is on his way to that honor again.

–DE Corbin Kaufusi is a problem off the edge, due to his size (6-9, 275) and talent. He started the season with a bang with a seven stops, including two tackles for loss and a sack at Arizona. He’s the younger brother of New York Jets DE Bronson Kaufusi in a football-playing family.


–QB Alex Hornibrook improved to 22-3 as a starter for the Badgers after throwing for 148 yards on 8-for-11 passing last week. Hornibrook also improved to 12-1 as a starter at Camp Randall Stadium.

–WR A.J. Taylor had a memorable game in the win over New Mexico, catching five passes for a career-high 134 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown. Taylor is becoming a bigger part of the offense due to suspensions to two other receivers, which is a good sign with Big Ten Conference play looming.

–LB Andrew Van Ginkel’s solid play is an encouraging sign for the defense. The senior recorded a sack against New Mexico to give him 7.5 for his career.

–RB Jonathan Taylor has lost a fumble in both games this season, including one last week in the red zone. Taylor said he’s working on taking care of the ball. “One of the biggest things is having short-term memory,” Taylor said. “So you’ve got to kind of flush it, but get back to your fundamentals, things that you’ve learned and worked on during the week. That can tend to happen, but one of the biggest things is having short-term memory.”


Brigham Young senior quarterback Tanner Magnum and senior linebacker Zayne Anderson were sidelined with injuries last season when Wisconsin routed the Cougars 40-6 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.

They’ll try to help avenge the loss on Saturday as No. 6 Wisconsin (2-0) hosts BYU (1-1) at Camp Randall Stadium, but Cougars coach Kalani Sitake said the Badgers are a solid bunch.

“They’re stronger,” Sitake told the Deseret News. “They actually have guys that started against us that are backups now. They have more experience on the line of scrimmage. They’re big and they’re physical. So this will be a great test for us.

“We’ll see how much our guys have developed in a year and how much they can hang in there at the line of scrimmage. I’m really looking forward to the test. There (are) a lot of guys on this team that really want to get to this game and see what happens.”

BYU managed 81 yards rushing and 111 yards passing against Wisconsin. In two games, the Badgers defense has allowed 201 yards rushing and 315 yards passing in two victories. They’ve only given up two passing touchdowns.

The Badgers defense will aim to contain Mangum, who completed 22 of 41 passes for 196 yards and one touchdown in BYU’s 21-18 setback against Cal last week.

The Cougars run game is bolstered by senior running back Squally Canada, who has 40 carries on 154 yards and two touchdowns through two games.

Sitake also would like to see consistency from Cougars junior safety Dayan Ghanwoloku, who picked up a fumble and ran 36 yards for a touchdown against the Golden Bears. But Ghanwoloku was woeful with a coverage assignment that allowed a 52-yard pass for a touchdown.

Wisconsin junior quarterback Alex Hornibrook and sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor were catalysts in the 2017 victory. Hornibrook completed 18 of 19 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns.

Taylor had 18 carries for 148 yards and one touchdown against the Cougars.

Taylor is fresh off a record game, rushing for a career high with 253 yards on 33 carries and three touchdowns in Wisconsin’s 45-14 nonconference win over New Mexico. He endured despite a lost fumble for a second straight game.

Hornibrook said he’s confident with Taylor’s ability to push past his mistakes. Through two games, Taylor has 51 carries for 403 yards and five touchdowns.

“I think he just trusts himself,” Hornibrook said. “If something happens and when adversity strikes, he’s ready to go,” Hornibrook said. “I think a lot of guys are like that on this team.”

The Badgers also received important contributions in the air against the Lobos from junior wide receiver A.J. Taylor, who collected five catches for a career-best 134 yards and one touchdown.

Wisconsin likely will get a boost in its receiving game with the return of junior wide receiver Danny Davis, who was suspended for two games by Badgers coach Paul Chryst. Davis was in a Madison apartment with junior wide receiver Quintez Cephus, who will stand trial on two charges of sexual assault stemming from an April 22 incident.

Cephus is suspended indefinitely from the team and learned about his trial situation on Tuesday afternoon in a Dane County court. He faces one felony charge of second-degree sexual assault of an intoxicated victim and a second felony charge of third-degree sexual assault.

Chryst said he’s been pleased with how Davis, who has practiced with the team, has reacted during his suspension. He was not charged with a crime in the incident.

“I’m proud of the way he took it and learned,” said Chryst of Davis, who caught 26 passes for 418 yards and five touchdowns last season. “I’ve been proud of his response.”