Sept. 10, Camp Randall
On a day when others failed to do the same, the University of Wisconsin left no doubt as to which team was ranked inside the top-10 on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.
The Badgers dominated Akron, 54-10, after pouring on 586 total yards and not allowing an offensive touchdown. It was the furthest thing from a letdown performance some would expect the week after their upset of fifth-ranked LSU.
Playing a Mid-American Conference opponent as 24-point favorites simply can’t compare to what UW experienced when opening the season at Lambeau Field.
"It’s week-by-week mentality,” UW senior safety Leo Musso said. "Whether you’re playing the No. 1 team in the country or the worst team in the country, you don’t approach it differently."
That mindset was easy enough for the 10th-ranked Badgers (2-0) to adopt in their home opener against the Zips (1-1), but Week 2 was anything but impressive for a number of highly ranked teams who were expected to breeze by lesser competition.
Central Michigan upset No. 22 Oklahoma State, ninth-ranked Georgia skated by Nicholls State and national runner-up Clemson struggled to earn a 6-point victory over Troy — all before the Badgers even took the field for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.
Beating Akron may not be a statement victory, but it was a performance one would expect from a legitimate top-10 team.
“I don’t think LSU getting beat by them was a fluke last week and having coached at Auburn six times against LSU, I know that,” Akron coach Terry Bowden said. "I said last week that you’ve got to be a physical football team to beat LSU. I was worried that we couldn’t match up physically against Wisconsin and we couldn’t."
Even when the Badgers did allow Akron hope, they snatched it away just as quickly.
The Zips, who scored their only touchdown on a 55-yard punt return, failed to pick up a first down on eight of their 11 possessions and even surrendered a safety after stopping UW on fourth-and-goal.