Wisconsin traditionally wins games because of its running game and defense. That means the defense likely will have to carry the load early as the Badgers' offense adjusts to life without star running back Jonathan Taylor, who is now in the NFL.

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Wisconsin returns eight players who made at least six starts last year for a defense that ranked fourth among Bowl Subdivision teams in yards allowed per game and 13th in yards allowed per play. The 14th-ranked Badgers open the season Friday night by hosting Illinois.

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