Badger Musings: Wisconsin Sends a Message to Big Ten
When I checked my phone to see if Wisconsin had beat BYU on Saturday, it was to my surprise that the Badgers won 40-6 in crushing fashion. Watching the game back over the past day or so, I could not be more impressed with what Wisconsin did on Saturday. They dominated this game from start to finish led by Alex Hornibrook, the Badgers defense and another strong outing by the freshman Jonathan Taylor. This was a clear message to the Big Ten and the College Football Playoff committee that Wisconsin is very real.
Alex Hornibrook bounces back in a major way
What an afternoon from the Badgers quarterback. Judging by the other games, it did appear you could pass the ball on BYU, but I don’t know if anyone expected this from Hornibrook after a poor game against Florida Atlantic. Hornibrook broke the single-game school record with a 94.7 completion percentage. He had four touchdowns on the game for 256 yards. If Wisconsin gets this version of Hornibrook in the Big Ten conference season, Wisconsin will be difficult to beat.
Badgers defense keeps Cougars offense in check
What more can you say about this Badgers defense? We alluded to Wisconsin having a better chance in this game due to BYU going to more of a read-option, and it turns out that paid off for the team. BYU had under 200 yards of total offense. Beau Hoge threw two interceptions including one on his first pass to T.J. Edwards which I thought set the tone of the afternoon for this defense.
Badgers receivers show a bit of emergence
To me, this is the biggest thing to get excited for from Saturday. Wisconsin may actually have a good receiving core for the first time in forever. Quintez Cephus caught two touchdowns and finished with 54 yards on five catches. Danny Davis, the talented freshman, became the team’s home run shot as he pulled in a huge 50-yard grab to spark a scoring drive. A.J. Taylor got into the mix as well with a touchdown catch and two more grabs for 34 yards. Of course, Troy Fumagalli continues to be Mr. reliable.
Wisconsin opens Big Ten play in two weeks when they play Northwestern. These two teams are known for defensive struggles as the losing team scored only seven points in the last two times they’ve met. Badgers want a little revenge from the last time the Wildcats were in Camp Randall and won the game on a shoddy referee decision. Northwestern is 2-1 to begin the year with a blowout loss to Duke, and they also have a bye this coming week.