Badger Musings: Wisconsin Wins Another Ugly One
Currently, Wisconsin is playing ugly football. They’re one of the few unbeaten teams left in the country, yet, no team is winning uglier than Wisconsin right now. While the team was in full control for the entire game, the Badgers won an ugly 24-10 game against lowly Illinois on Saturday. While there is less of a computer element, Wisconsin has done nothing to impress the playoff committee for the last few weeks with their ugly wins.
Jonathan Taylor’s ankle – Precautionary or reason to panic?
Jonathan Taylor had his worst game on the ground of the season with only 73 yards and 12 carries. Much of the reason why is Taylor hurt his ankle, and Wisconsin kept him out of the game for precautionary reasons. That’s the right move in a game where Wisconsin had things under control plus a slick turf in Champaign. My guess is if this game were close, Taylor may have been able to go at some point, but Wisconsin trust that Garrett Groshek and company could keep the Illini at bay.
Badgers defense holds strong without D’Cota Dixon
Right before kickoff, Wisconsin announced that D’Cota Dixon would miss this game with a leg injury. Dixon is the heart and soul of this defense, so, losing him is a big wind out of Wisconsin’s sail. The defense did a good job standing tall without him there. Illinois scored on the very final drive of the game, but other than that, this defense pitched a damn near shutout. Joe Ferguson had an interception in his relief effort of Dixon.
Alex Hornibrook needs to figure things out… Quickly
When it comes to ugly play, there’s no one probably worse than Alex Hornibrook. He’s not playing the quarterback at a high level. He struggled again on Saturday with 10 passes for 139 yards and an interception. Hornibrook has a bad interception streak going at this point. We talked a few weeks ago about how he needed to be a game manager for Wisconsin to be successful, and it’s not quite at that level.
Wisconsin has a mighty tough road game looming with Indiana. They are not slouches by any way, shape you want to look at it. They gave Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State all they could handle thus far, and they’re in search of their first Big Ten victory. That makes me a little nervous heading into this one.