Cal Poly is 8-1 and ranked #3 in the Football Championship Subdivision (fka Div-1AA). They have played only one other FBS team, beating San Diego State 29-27 the second week of the year. For you Sagarin freaks, Cal Poly is currently ranked #100, ahead of prior Badger opponents Indiana (105) and Marshall (109). They average more than 46 points per game.
Cal Poly runs a triple option that relies heavily, but hardly exclusively, on the run.
They *spread* the ball around and everyone runs with it. Although they average nearly 300 yards per game on the ground, their leading rusher, "slotback" Ryan Mole has only 573 yards. The sign of a good option, six players, slotbacks, wingbacks, fullbacks, and their quarterback routinely handle the ball.
Quarterback Jonathan Dally was rated #2 in passing efficiency in the FCS division in 2007. This year he's even better, throwing 20 touchdowns to only 1 INT and averaging about 200 yards per game. Dally is also currently 2nd on the team with 526 rushing yards. WR Ramses Barden averages more than 120 yards per game through the air, and has caught 15 of Dally's 20 touchdown passes, good enough for first in their conference. At 6-6, he's a threat anytime the Mustangs are near the end zone.
One area the Badgers unsurprisingly have a "massive" advantage is along the offensive line. Here is a depth chart comparison ("the Thin Green Line"):
Cal Poly plays a 3-4 defense. On their line: DE: Gavin Cooper (6-3, 235), NT: James Chen (6-2 (260), DE: Sean Lawyer (6-1, 260). Their linebackers are on the slightly small end, but not dramatically (between 210 and 230). However, teams playing a 3-4 generally want a bigger linebacker or two to crowd the line. Cal Poly doesn't have that.
Contrast that with the Badgers' starting offensive line: Carimi (6-8, 301), Kemp (6-6, 315), Moffitt (6-4, 323), Urbik (6-6, 332), and returning to the lineup this week, Vanden Heuvel (6-7, 324). That's a lot of weight the Mustangs give up.
Their offensive line isn't very big, either: Right Tackle: Art Munoz (6-2, 270), Right Guard: Will Mitchell (6-1, 285), Center: Hal Kelley (6-0, 260), Left Guard: Maurice McClure (6-2, 275), Left tackle: Pat Koligian (6-3, 270).
It's a little hard to get much of a read on the Mustang defense because of the competition they play. They give up 370 yards of offense and 25 points per game. They have forced 24 turnovers, but are still -2 in turnover margin, having given up 26 turnovers (25 fumbles).
Finally, the Cal Poly place kicker isn't much to write home about. Gardner's gone 6-13, with a long of 36. He's 1-6 beyond 30 yards, and 5-7 under that.
The bottom line is that Wisconsin should dominate the Mustang defense. The question is, can they contain one of the wildest offenses in the west? A decent Big Ten team playing a highly rated FBS team? I've heard this somewhere before . . . the Badgers don't want to end up like this:
The Mustangs want to be next: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/sports/story/530428.html