Wisconsin entered today with the chance to be tied for 1st in the Big Ten West with a win over Rutgers. The badgers did not squander this opportunity. Wisconsin dismantled the struggling Scarlet Knights. Behind a 24 point 2nd quarter, Wisconsin led 31-3 at half and never looked back. Ultimately winning 52-3. Let’s look at some key things from today’s game.
The frustration behind Coach Christ’s play calling has been covered throughout the season. In the first half, it was arguably the best the offense and the play calling has looked. A 4th and goal play action touchdown to John Chenal highlighted this.
We all know the struggles the passing game has had this season. Today was their most impressive display of the year and it wasn’t even close. Chryst finally gave his play-makers on the outside opportunities to make plays. Chimere Dike, Danny Davis, Kendrick Pryor, and Jake Ferguson were all in on the action today. It is no secret the talent Wisconsin has in the receiving game. Due to some inconsistent play from Mertz, I can understand the hesitation. However, from what we saw today, hopefully the confidence in the pass game will continue. When you have guys like Davis and Pryor, just give them a chance to make a play. Danny Davis in the 3rd quarter took a simple dump off 72 yards to the house. These receivers are simply dangerous, whether it be down the field or after the catch.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 6, 2021
Turnovers have been a major part of the Badgers success and their struggles at times. Again today it looked as if it would play a role in today’s game. Mertz made a questionable throw that resulted in a INT early in the game. However, the defense responded as they always do with a INT of their own.
Many reasons why the #Badgers have turned their season around, but this is the biggest one imo:
Wisconsin's last 3 games (including Rutgers 1H): 55 points off turnovers. 3 wins.
Wisconsin's 3 losses: 10 points off turnovers.
— Asher Low (@alow_33) November 6, 2021
One thing to note is the points off turnovers. Obviously when you can capitalize off these turnovers it makes life easier. Combine that with the offense taking care of the football and you have a dangerous team. Not to mention, it helps when the defense scores one on their own. Caesar Williams took his INT to the house.
Banged up Badgers
The Badgers did have a couple of major injuries on Saturday. Braelon Allen came into the game banged up from practice. Later in the game, Chez Mellusi was ruled out with “an unspecified leg injury”. The initial report did not seem good and the replay wasn’t much better. As Mellusi planted his left leg to make a cut, it gave out. We don’t want to speculate, let’s just hope it isn’t serious. Redshirt Freshman lineman Jack Nelson also had a scare this afternoon. In the 2nd quarter after a run he laid face down in the turf. Teammates immediately called for help from the sideline and looked as if we had a scary situation. Luckily, he was able to walk off on his own power but was ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Badgers took care of business against a struggling team. They will need to do the same the next two weeks against Northwestern and Nebraska. Currently tied for the 1st in the Big Ten West, Wisconsin is clicking at the perfect time.