Coach Gary Andersen said he believes playing a high-profile opponent like LSU in the 2014 season opener will give the Badgers an "edge."
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MADISON, Wis. — Kickoff for Wisconsin’s Aug. 30 football season opener against LSU has been set for 8 p.m. CT.
The announcement came Wednesday by ESPN, which will televise the game from NRG Stadium in Houston in prime time.
Badgers coach Gary Andersen said last week that playing such an important game to open the season was a task his players were already embracing.
"As a player, personally, I believe it would give myself an edge if I was a player," Andersen said. "And I believe it has done that for our kids. They’re excited about that opportunity to compete at that level, be on the national stage, game one and playing against obviously a quality, quality opponent. We’re excited about the opportunity."
Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon noted there was added fuel to perform well against what is considered to be the top conference in college football. Wisconsin’s last game was a 34-24 loss to SEC foe South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl.
"It’s real big," Gordon said. "The SEC, it’s a big name, a big conference around college football. We’re excited. I like LSU. I think they’re a good team. I feel we’re a good team, too.
"We just got done playing South Carolina to finish out and to open up with another SEC team, it definitely brings out the urgency with the team I feel. Guys are excited. I know I’m excited to go up against them because I know it’s going to be a dogfight."
Last season, Wisconsin finished 9-4, including that bowl game loss to the Gamecocks. LSU, meanwhile, finished 10-3, which included a 21-14 victory against Iowa in the Outback Bowl.
The 2014 game is the first of three neutral-site season openers against high-profile SEC teams for the Badgers. Wisconsin will open the 2015 season against Alabama at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. UW and LSU will play another game to open the 2016 season at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.