No. 10 Wisconsin football had a routine day during its home opener against the Akron Zips Saturday afternoon. The Badgers set the tone early with a 13-play, 83-yard opening drive that ended on a 4-yard rush for a touchdown by Corey Clement. After that, there was no turning back en route to Wisconsin’s 54-10 victory.Despite Clement leaving the game during the third quarter with a left leg injury, Wisconsin’s running-game was highly effective as it picked up 294 yards between eight total rushers. Clement finished with 111 yards on 21 carries while fellow backs Taiwain Deal garnered 58 yards on 12 carries and Dare Ogunbawale gained 18 yards on 4 carries.But what made this game interesting from Wisconsin’s perspective was how evenly offense came from both rushing and passing. Bart Houston was one yard shy of his career high, as he passed for 231 yards and two touchdowns against a lax Akron passing defense. While redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook threw for his first career touchdown, a 6-yard pass to Alec Ingold, and 61 yards.The Badgers defense never faltered and seemed at least in the first half, to be winding its own offense as Akron was held to just 5 first downs. T.J. Edwards picked up a sack in his first game back and Leo Musso recorded his fourth career interception.Offensive player of the game: Jazz PeavyPeavy came up huge for the Wisconsin receiving core today, which seemed focused on getting the ball to just Rob Wheelwright and Troy Fumagalli during the team’s opening game vs. LSU.A 34-yard reception for a touchdown capped off his day, one that showed what the linkup between he and Houston could become. Houston floated a perfectly weighted pass in-between two defenders as Peavy streaked past down the middle and in for the score. His other touchdown came on a quick slant good for 13 yards and the score.Peavy’s performance was a breath of fresh air for a receiving core that has relied heavily on one receiver for the past few seasons. With diversified passing options, Wisconsin’s passing game could become a serious weapon for a traditionally run-heavy program.Defensive player of the gameNo one player stood out Saturday, and it was instead a team effort. Wisconsin limited Akron’s scoring chances in every way imaginable – by forcing a fumble, interception and a few sacks.There were some lapses, but the way the team recovered on plays showed that this is one of the top defenses in college football. Some lax tackling led to what could’ve been Akron’s longest play, a 38-yard rush, but Derrick Tindal rushed determinedly from behind to force the fumble and it was recovered by Sojourn Shelton.T.J. Watt also recorded his first career sack and Leo Musso hauled in an interception that led to an all-around valiant effort from the defense.
Everyone seems to be wondering where the Raiders will be playing in the future, but the NFL revealed Wednesday where they won’t be playing for a large chunk of the 2019 season’s first half.That’s at home. Oakland will go six weeks without a home game at Oakland Coliseum — a stretch that begins after the Week 2 home game against Kansas City on Sept. 15 and ends when it returns home on Nov. 3 against Detroit. The NFL schedule-makers did not do much to make Jon Gruden’s second season with the Raiders easier.MORE: Raiders’ schedule toughest based on 2018 recordsIn fact, it’s a remarkable work of art when it comes to unfortunate scheduling for a West Coast team. Let’s take a closer look:Week 3: At MinnesotaThis will be Oakland’s first trip to U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings finished 8-7-1 last season, but they were 5-3 at home. Week 4: At IndianapolisThe Colts were 6-2 at home last season, and the Raiders lost 42-28 to them in Oakland last season after the Colts scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Week 5: vs. ChicagoIt’s a “home” game for the Raiders at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London against the defending NFC North champion Bears and Khalil Mack, who was traded from Oakland last season. Week 7: At Green BayAfter a bye week, Oakland gets Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field, where the Raiders haven’t won since 1987. Week 8: At HoustonJust a visit to see Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt to end this six-week stretch. No big deal. The late Al Davis would be fuming.MORE: Full schedules, dates, times for every NFL team Those five teams had a combined .602 winning percentage last season, and Oakland finished 1-7 on the road in 2018. All of the games — even the one in London — will kick off at 10 a.m. Pacific time. Gruden better get his team some alarm clocks. It gets worse. It’s fair to ask where the season will be after that stretch and if contention is possible in the AFC West, but in another cruel twist, the Raiders’ last three road games are against the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos in December. Seriously, who made this schedule? The Raiders do play three straight home games after the six-week run, against the Lions, Chargers and Bengals, but no team should be asked to do that much traveling without at least one true home game mixed in.This might even put extra pressure on Gruden and the Raiders heading into the 2019 NFL Draft. They have three first-round picks and must use them to answer for the Mack and Amari Cooper trades. Now, they will have to make those picks knowing the players will spend a significant early chunk of their rookie seasons away from Oakland.MORE: Gruden has draft advice for new GM Mike Mayock That doesn’t even take into account what the schedule may do to a fan base that might be watching the Raiders play their final season in Oakland. Will the excitement still be there in November, or will this team be counting the days until it leaves California? After all, the Raiders are set to move to Las Vegas in 2020, when the city will host the NFL Draft. Who wants to bet the Raiders get a better schedule when they get there?