(Video of Wisconsin's game last Saturday vs. Utah State courtesy of WisconsinAthletics)
Kickoff: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Spread: Wisconsin by 17
Watchability: Going into the season, the expectation was that Badgers games would become unwatchable as they continued to steamroll opponents with their relentless running game. Through three weeks, that hasn't been the case. Wisconsin barely scraped by Utah State last week and a healthy UTEP trailed Oklahoma just 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter in Week 1. Saturday's game could be a lot closer than the spread suggests.
Shining stars: Wisconsin: Through three games, linebacker Mike Taylor, who had 150 tackles last season to lead the Big Ten, is averaging 12 tackles per game, the seventh highest mark in the NCAA. His counterpart Chris Borland, has 22 tackles and sack thus far. The Badgers linebackers have been the only strong suit of an otherwise unimpressive squad so far this season. Without the defense, which has allowed just 15 points per game, Wisconsin could very well be 0-3 as the offense adapts to new offensive coordinator Matt Canada's style. UTEP: RB Nathan Jeffery is expected to return this week after missing the past two games with a groin injury. He'll add a significant dimension to the Miners' offense after they amassed just 37 yards on the ground in week two against Mississippi. Jeffery torched the Oklahoma defense in the season opener for 177 on 21 carries, including a 71-yard run.
Who could steal the show: Wisconsin: Sophomore Kenzel Doe, the Badgers' sophomore punt returner, jump started the offense last week against Utah State with an 82-yard punt return for Wisconsin's first touchdown of the game. Midway through the third quarter with the Badgers trailing 14-3, Doe fielded the punt and took off down the left side for the score. Doe returned just two punts last year but with Wisconsin's offense struggling, another decisive special teams play could determine Saturday's game. UTEP: Senior quarterback Nick Lamaison carried the Miners' offense without a healthy ground game and has totaled 552 yards and five touchdowns to no interceptions this year. He struggled mightily against Oklahoma (6-of-23 passing for 39 yards) but has completed 21 passes in each of his last two games, including four touchdowns last week against New Mexico State. His favorite target has been 6-2 sophomore wideout Jordan Leslie, who has 233 receiving yards, sixth in C-USA.
You Going? Ranking the road trip: If you go, be sure to check out Stadium Bar on Monroe Street directly across from Camp Randall, but get there early because the place will be packed by 10 a.m. The huge outdoor projection screens make it a great place to watch the game if you don't have a ticket.
Magic Number: Wisconsin: 31.7. The average margin of victory during Wisconsin's 18-game home winning streak. In two home wins this season though, Wisconsin's won by an average of just 3.5 points per game.
Magic Number: UTEP: 0-16. The Miners' all-time record against BCS conference level opponents on the road.
The game comes down to: Whether Wisconsin can find their traditional offense. K Kyle French has been shaky at best and the Badgers can't count on Danny O'Brien, who was yanked in the second half of last week's game vs. Utah State. O'Brien will still likely start but he'll need trust his offensive line to create gaps for Montee Ball.
Prediction: Wisconsin 31, UTEP 17
For more Big Ten coverage, follow Mike Singer and Dave Carey @CBSSportsBigTen.