Badgers prepare to return under Friday night lights at Camp Randall

Sports

LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 16: Head coach Paul Chryst of the Wisconsin Badgers watches the team warm up before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – After almost losing the entire season to a pandemic, kick off is now in sight for the Wisconsin Badgers.

That first game will be under the lights at Camp Randall as the Badgers open against Illinois on Friday October 23rd on Big Ten Network.

The 16th ranked Badgers have some big shoes to fill this season. First star running back Jonathan Taylor, who was drafted by the Colts in the NFL Draft back in April, and quarterback Jack Coan.

Coan recently had surgery for a foot injury he suffered during practice during preseason camp. That means redshirt freshman Graham Mertz will get the start under center as the Badgers take the field for that first game.

Exactly what the feel of this year’s team will be is a big question that’s answered during camp. Whether that’s a change at quarterback or losing one of the school’s best running backs, the question is the same every year according to head coach Paul Chryst.

“You know, it’s a team sport and everyone needs to do their part. I think that as a coach you’re always looking to see what is the personality of your team going to be. For a lack of a better term, what is your recipe to win games. That’s kind of the fun part about the start of the season is finding out who are we as a team,” said Paul Chryst.

Dietzen looking good in camp

Seymour grad Jon Dietzen sat out all of last season due to mounting injuries during college football career. The Badgers offensive lineman was originally going to hang it up for good, but then his named was on the roster as the Badgers finally re-started camp in late September.

Dietzen has looked good in practice thus far, according to Chryst, as Wisconsin pushes towards that season opener against Illinois.

“It’s been awesome. I think what all Dietz has done to get to camp, and then these preseason practices, he’s been an absolute blast to be around. There’s obviously a maturity that he brings, but also that appreciation. Something was taken away, and now getting to play. His actions are reflecting it, I think,” said Chryst.

Dietzen could be an asset for the Badgers a few different positions this season. In his Badgers career, Dietzen has made 32 starts with 20 at left guard and 12 at left tackle.

Something for the fans

The Badgers are offering fans a chance to “get inside” the stadium.

Fans are invited to secure their own Bucky Board, a cutout that will appear in Camp Randall for every game this season.

For more information on getting your own Bucky Board, visit the Badgers’ website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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