Wisconsin is going bowling for the 19th straight season.
It was announced Sunday that the Badgers would face Wake Forest in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Dec. 30 in Charlotte.
“I’m excited that our players have earned the opportunity to play another game with each other,” coach Paul Chryst said in a release. “We have said throughout this season that all we want is a chance to play. With all that has gone on and especially after yesterday, our guys are excited for one more opportunity. I want to thank the Duke’s Mayo Bowl for extending the invitation to us and we look forward to preparing to play a good Wake Forest team.”
It will be the first meeting between the two schools.
Wake Forest went 4-4 in the ACC this year, losing its first two and last two games of the season. The Demon Deacons will bring an explosive offense to the game, ranking 19th in the country in scoring and having put up at least 40 points in half of their games.
Quarterback Sam Hartman threw for 1,906 yards, 10 touchdowns and just one interception. Running backs Christian Beal-Smith and Kenneth Walker III combined for 1,229 yards and 17 touchdowns. Jaquarii Roberson led Wake Forest with 54 catches and 795 yards.
Defensively, the Demon Deacons did not have as much success. They are giving up 31.6 points per game and have really struggled against the run, giving up 191 yards per game, which ranks No. 92 in the country.
Wisconsin will come into the game following an overtime win over Minnesota to even its record at 3-3. It’s unclear who will all be available to play in the game. The Badgers were missing three of their top four running backs, three of their top six wide receivers, their starting left tackle and their starting center against the Gophers.
Starting quarterback Graham Mertz left in the third quarter with what appeared to be a head injury. Coach Paul Chryst didn’t have an update on his status, though Mertz did return to the sideline and celebrated with his teammates after the game.
It’s possible that running back Jalen Berger will be able to play in the bowl game. It’s believed he tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 11, a day before the Badgers played Iowa. With the Big Ten changing the number of days players must sit following a positive test from 21 to 17 days, the freshman could be cleared to play.