The Wisconsin Badgers needed a win. They needed a win really bad. After playing one of the toughest schedules in the country, the 2-3 Badgers defeated Illinois 24-0. Let’s take a look at three studs from today’s game.
Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi
The duo of Chez Mellusi and Brealon Allen was one of the stories of this game,. Mellusi, the junior transfer from Clemson, ran for 145 yards and touchdown. Allen, the 17 year old freshman from Fond Du Lac, added 131 yards and a touchdown as well.
Who would have though five games into this season, the main story would be Allen and Mellusi. Both backs were physical and invited contact from the Illini defense. Both ran with a purpose and passion.
What is surprising is redshirt freshman Jalen Berger did not record a snap. This is now the second time this season this has happened. It’d okay to bypass this after the Penn State game, but now I believe this is something worth noting and something to follow. Paul Chryst has been very vague and quiet on this situation.
Wisconsin may have found their backfield duo they have been waiting more. Braelon Allen has earned more snaps and may continue to take Berger’s snaps moving forward.
The offensive line has been a struggle all season. I have no idea why either. The Badgers have two experienced tackles and both have not been great to this point.
As a result, senior right tackle Logan Bruss was removed from the starting lineup. He was replaced by redshirt freshman Tanor Bortolini. If this was a wake up call, it sure worked.
The Badgers ran for 391 yards on the day today. They averaged 6.4 yards a carry and did anything they wanted to. Wisconsin also possessed the ball for over 43 minutes. Graham Mertz wasn’t great again today either, but the Badgers didn’t need him to be.
I believe this is an identity the Badgers need to re-establish and go with moving forward.
The Defense (Again)
BREAKING: #Badgers defense is still elite
— Coach Riley (@BadgersRiley) October 9, 2021
What more can you say about this defense? They’re fast, physical, smart, and talented. They have kept this team in every game this season. That is not the problem.
Today, the defense allowed 93 yards of total offense. Yes, you read that right. Once the Illini had the ball, Wisconsin got off the field almost immediately.
This teams goes as far as this defense takes them. This was a complete team win from the Badgers today. The offense scored more than enough to give this defense what they’ve deserved all year.
The Badgers take on Army next Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. Kick off is scheduled for 7 PM on Big Ten Network.