Badgers Musings: Wisconsin Exorcises Nightmares at Ryan Field
What a win for Wisconsin Badgers as they now move into the top spot in the Big Ten West after Nebraska got blown out at Ohio State last Saturday. Wisconsin’s defense showed their teeth again holding Northwestern to only seven points. This is the second straight, and third time this season where Badgers held a Big Ten opponent under 10 points on the road. That’s an amazing statistic as this defense keeps humming and Wisconsin will make a slight move in the College Football Playoff with the Texas A&M loss.
Corey Clement gaining steam as season goes on
Badgers star running back had over 100 yards in three of his last four games with 82 versus Nebraska which isn’t a small number either. Clement is getting stronger and stronger by each week. He’s been a workhorse for Wisconsin with over 30 carries in this game and Iowa, both games where they needed to lean on the running back. With a few lesser opponents in the next two weeks, the hope would be Wisconsin could lighten his load a little bit. It’s clear Bradrick Shaw is a star in the making, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets more touches versus Illinois and Purdue.
Conor Sheehy comes up big
Play of the game happened in the fourth quarter as Wisconsin led by six points. After a long Andrew Endicott missed field goal, Northwestern took the ball and drove it down the field all the way to Wisconsin’s 30-yard line. After a holding call forced Cats in a long third down, Conor Sheehy rushed the middle and sacked Clayton Thorson causing him to fumble the ball. D’Cota Dixon, who seems to always be there in the fourth quarter, recovers the ball and Wisconsin takes over. Badgers would add a second score putting this game away on the very next drive.
Jazz Peavy’s jet sweep was a perfect call
Paul Chryst had some head-scratchers in this game, but he made a perfect call with Jazz Peavy taking a jet sweep 46 yards to the house. Wisconsin caught Northwestern napping a little bit and hit them with a play that’s been working for Wisconsin ever since the Ohio State game. Peavy continues his strong season with 119 total yards and a touchdown. That has to feel good for Peavy after getting robbed last year versus this Northwestern team.
Endicott has an up-and-down day at kicker
Kicking game is still an issue for Wisconsin, but Endicott saw two field goals go through which is a big thing and can’t be understated. The first miss was really bad, and he had the 51-yarder distance-wise, just not straight enough. Like Clement, he should be in a situation for the next two weeks where the kicking game will not be a life or death thing for Wisconsin, therefore, he should be able to regain some confidence.