Badger Musings: A Star Is Born With Jonathan Taylor
Early last week I wrote about Wisconsin and what they were going to do with Jonathan Taylor. This was figuring in that Bradrick Shaw would be playing in this football game on Saturday against Florida Atlantic. He did not, therefore, Taylor had the bright lights to himself and boy did he show something this weekend? Taylor finished the game with 223 yards and three touchdowns putting himself in the category of Ron Dayne for freshman running backs. That’s a pretty good start to your career at Wisconsin.
Question stays the same – Does Jonathan Taylor have the full-time job?
We asked this question last week, and the question can be recycled again. Shaw may have got Wally Pipp’d on Saturday afternoon by the freshman running back. I believe that Shaw is a really good runner in his own right, so, these two still might split time, but Paul Chryst can obviously see both players can carry the load. I do think Wisconsin will be careful about not overworking the freshman early on. Also worth noting that Chris James, the transfer from Pittsburgh, rushed for 101 yards on 16 carries which is a solid start for him as well.
Taylor was good, Alex Hornibrook was not.
Rough day for the Badgers quarterback who struggled mightily against an average Florida Atlantic defense. Hornibrook threw the ball 28 times and missed on 12 passes including a very bad interception that led to an Owls touchdown in the first half. To me, it felt like Chryst tried to get Hornibrook going in the second half hence the 28 pass attempts, but once again, Wisconsin may head into the Big Ten conference play with more questions than answers at quarterback.
Badger pass rush shows up amid injuries
We know already about Wisconsin’s defense losing some of their star power to injury and graduation. But Wisconsin did see some nice things from their linebacker core in this game. Chris Orr, T.J. Edwards, Garrett Dooley, Leon Jacobs and Andrew Van Ginkel each came away with a sack. That’s a solid effort by this crew who all were near the top in tackles made as well.
Wisconsin heads to Provo, Utah for a tricky game against BYU. Cougars are 1-2 on the season, and I’m having a hard time figuring out how good they actually are this season. They were shutout by LSU two weeks ago, and the Utah game on Saturday looked much closer on the scoreboard as the Cougars got a late touchdown. If they have zero offense, it could come down to turnovers. Their fans will be fired up for that one though.