The UW Badger football team will take the field for the first time in the 2019 season tonight.
The Badgers enter the year ranked 19th in the country and will face the South Florida Bulls in a prime time game at 6pm Friday evening at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Junior running back Jonathan Taylor is expected to spearhead Wisconsin’s usual battering ram style offense. Taylor rushed for 2,194 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. He is fully expected to be a Heisman candidate in 2019 and will be running behind a revamped offensive line.
Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst announced that Jack Coan will be the starting quarterback in the hopes that he will be able to provide more spark than the departed Alex Hornibrook, who at times struggled with arm strength and quick reads.
The offense will also get a big boost from returning wide receiver Quintez Cephus. Cephus has been cleared by the NCAA to resume play following a month in which he was found not guilty of an alleged sexual assault. The University of Wisconsin re-admitted Cephus last week.
His return has lifted the spirits of his teammates and coaches. Stephen Meyer, who represented Cephus, said that Cephus is overjoyed and words can’t describe how happy they are, pointing out that the entire team feels the same way.
On the other side of the ball, Wisconsin’s defense will be looking to rebound from a difficult 2018 campaign where it had several inexperienced underclassman in key roles. 2019 figures to be different as defensive coordinator and Wisconsin legend Jim Leonhard continues to mold the defense in his hard hitting image.
South Florida enters the season on a six-game losing streak.