Looking to bounce back from an embarrassing loss last week to Ohio State, Wisconsin was again embarrassed at home by Illinois 34-10. Not much went right in this game after the opening drive. Here’s what happened in this game.
Wisconsin vs. Illinois: Penalties, Penalties, Penalties
Penalties have haunted Wisconsin all season. 100 yards of penalties was a big reason the Badgers fell to Washington State a few weeks ago. It was a similar feeling today as Wisconsin battled Illinois, with 10 more penalties for 77 yards.
Jay Shaw was tabbed with multiple pass interference calls. Although they seemed to be marginal contact at best, both led to Illinois drives being extended and eventually leading to touchdowns.
There were multiple instances where holding calls would also take away long runs from the Badgers. It was another sloppy day as a whole.
Wisconsin vs. Illinois: Turnovers
Wisconsin is not good enough to win, being sloppy with the ball. After an impressive opening drive, Graham Mertz threw an interception that the Illinois defender tipped. It wasn’t a bad throw but it was slightly under-thrown.
Mertz would later throw another pick late in the first half that was just a bad decision. He could escape the pocket but should have run or thrown it away.
Isaac Guerendo would also fumble a kickoff that resulted in another short field for Wisconsin to defend Illinois. It was yet again another sloppy performance by the Wisconsin offense.
Non-Existing Run Game for the Badgers
You won’t win any games in college football if you record two rushing yards as a team. That was Wisconsin against Illinois. There are zero excuses for only two yards for a team that is a run-first offense.
Wisconsin did a pretty good job on Illinois’s Chase Brown. While Brown had 129 yards, 49 came one play. While the Illini weren’t overly impressive on the ground either, Wisconsin was terrible.
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