Badger Musings: An Ugly Bounceback for the Badgers
WHen you see Rutgers on the schedule in early November, it appears to be a bouceback game. A get right sort of game to put you on the path to success for the rest of the season especially after a bad loss at Northwestern. That didn’t exactly happen for Wisconsin. They won which is fine and dandy, but they did it in possibly the least convincing way possible with a 31-17 victory. They did not cover the big spread and looked merely average on Saturday afternoon. It’s hard to believe we thought of this team as a top five team in the country.
Jonathan Taylor goes off – What a performance from Jonathan Taylor. Even if the bounceback didn’t look pretty for other parts of the team, Taylor did the damn thing. He rushed for 208 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns. Taylor, the former Rutgers recruit and a New Jersey native, gave the Scarlet Knights a taste of what things could have been like with him carrying the football.
Alex Hornibrook hurt again – Scary moment for Hornibrook as it appears he may have suffered a second concussion on the season. Hornibrook did not play against Northwestern due to a concussion sustained the week prior, and now, he has a second one. That’s getting into awkward terrority with a player. I get that concussions are random and can happen at any moment yet you hate to see a player have two in such a short period of time. Jake Coan looked better this week than he did at Northwestern. But if he has to start versus Penn State, it could be a long afternoon at Beaver Stadium.
Defense gives up way too much Raheem Blackshear – For a vaunted Badgers defense, they look nothing like it. Rutgers scored 17 points in the second half. Raheem Blackshear, the sophomore running back, had eight catches for 161 yards out of the backfield. That’s unacceptable. Wisconsin needs to be better in the flats with players coming out of the backfield.
Wisconsin takes on Penn State in a game that will likely play a huge factor in the Badgers having a chance to go back to another Big Ten title game. They trail Northwestern by a game, and the Cats have to play Iowa this week on the road in a much anticipated game. If they lose, it becomes a three-way tie for first with Wisconsin, Northwestern and Purdue assuming the Boilermakers beat Minnesota. It would take a stunning loss for Northwestern not to be in the title game. Penn State isn’t the same team as last year, but Beaver Stadium is a place that hasn’t been kind to UW in the past.