Wisconsin vs


at Tampa
Mon, Jan 1
9:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 273
Odds: LSU -10, Total: 56

Game Analysis

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Louisiana State (-10)  34   Wisconsin  26

Jayden Daniels had the best season of any quarterback in the history of college football. That’s not an opinion. That’s a fact. He not only had one of the best passing seasons of any quarterback in history – 10.6 yards per pass play against FBS teams that would allow 5.8 yppp to an average quarterback, which was better than Joe Burrow’s compensated yppp average in 2019 – but he also ran for 1209 yards on 108 runs (not including sacks, which are included in pass plays) and only threw 4 interceptions. LSU had the best compensated yards per rushing play in the nation, easily had the best compensated yards per pass play rating, and their overall offensive rating with Daniels in the game (+3.6 yards per play) was 1.2 yppl better than the next best offense this season (Oregon) and the best I’ve recorded in my 38 years of data (barely better than Oklahoma in 2018).

LSU’s running backs were just 0.3 yprp better than average and backup quarterback Garrett Nussmeier has been 1.8 yppp better than average on 118 pass plays in two years under Brian Kelly. That’s a very good pass rating and the difference in the offense when taking out Daniels’ running and inserting Nussmeier’s very good +1.8 yppp rating (that would be 21st best in the nation) amounts to about 14 points per game and that adjustment goes up a bit when you add in the extra chance of interceptions. The overall adjustment for Daniels being out is more than 15 points – by far the most for one player in all the years I’ve been handicapping. The rest of the offense is expected to play, and I rate that unit at +1.0 yppl for this game, which is still very good (would rank 20th in the nation).

Wisconsin’s defense was only 0.3 yppl better than average this season and they’ll be without starting CB Jason Maitre, starting DE Rodas Johnson, and #3 tackler LB Jordan Turner. Former starting CB Alexander Smith has missed the last couple of games with an injury but he is listed as the backup on the depth chart and I’ll assume he’ll play. I rate the Badgers’ defense as average without those 3 starters and project 467 yards at 7.0 yppl for the Tigers in this game.

With star RB Braelon Allen (984 yards at 5.4 ypr) opting out to get ready for the NFL combine, and Chez Mellusi (306 yards at 6.0 ypr) injured it will be Jackson Acker and Cade Yacamelli getting the work at running back in this game. Those two combined for just 4.1 ypr on their 87 runs and I expect a significant drop in yards per run play. However, I also expect Wisconsin to throw the ball about 60% of the time in this game without Allen, so the overall impact of not having Allen (and starting C Bortolini) isn’t as much as it would be if the Badgers ran it 47% of the time as they did in the regular season.

Tanner Mordecai will be at quarterback and while he was better than backup Braedyn Locke (who played 3 ½ games while Mordecai was injured), the pass attack was still 0.6 yppp worse than average with Mordecai pulling the trigger, as he averaged just 5.7 yppp against teams that would allow 6.3 yppp to an average quarterback. Not having receivers Skyler Bell and Chimere Dike, who both hit the transfer portal, should not be an issue given that those two combined for just 6.3 yards per target on 99 targets while the rest of the wide receivers also averaged 6.3 YPT. The Badgers’ offense was 0.4 yppl worse than average in the regular season and I rate that attack at -0.6 yppl for this game even with more throwing expected.

LSU’s defense was not great this season (6.2 yppl allowed to FBS teams that would average 6.1 yppl against an average defense) but that unit is intact now that CB Sage Ryan has withdrawn from the transfer portal and is practicing with the team for this game. I project just 381 yards at 5.3 yppl for Wisconsin’s offense.

The math favors LSU by 8.2 points, with 60.8 total points.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Wisconsin
  • LSU


  • Run Plays 33.1 33.0
  • Run Yards 166.5 157.3
  • YPRP 5.0 4.8


  • Pass Comp 21.1 18.6
  • Pass Att 35.5 31.0
  • Comp % 59.4% 59.9%
  • Pass Yards 206.0 193.4
  • Sacks 1.6 2.2
  • Sack Yards 10.1 14.5
  • Sack % 4.3% 6.5%
  • Pass Plays 37.1 33.2
  • Net Pass Yards 195.9 178.9
  • YPPP 5.3 5.4


  • Total Plays 70.2 66.2
  • Total Yards 362.4 336.3
  • YPPL 5.2 5.1


  • Int 0.4 1.0
  • Int % 1.2% 3.2%
  • Fumbles 0.8 0.3
  • Turnovers 1.3 1.3
  • Points 22.8 18.9
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