Did Jonathan Taylor Take the UW Running Back Lead?
Wisconsin Badgers delivered quite a second half statement against Utah State by putting up 59 unanswered points up after trailing 10-0 in the first half. Jonathan Taylor, the freshman running back, made his case to be a starter rushing for 87 yards with only nine carries and scoring one touchdown. Taylor rushed for a 9.7 average and made a case that he needs equal time with Bradrick Shaw for the game against Florida Atlantic. The question is… Will he get it?
Taylor looked like the real deal in his first collegiate football game. He looked powerful through the hole and didn’t appear to be stopped in the backfield. It’s a strong start for the highly-touted recruit and lives up to the hype that everyone talked about in the summer. That’s not always the case. Now, do we overreact to one game and demand for more Taylor or trust the process with how the Badgers handle their backfield?
Shaw was no slouch either with 18 carries on 84 yards with a touchdown. Chris James, who was the third member of this running back party, did not make much of an impact with 15 yards on five carries. I feel like we’re going to see a balanced attack for the next two games, and Paul Chryst will land on a decision come conference season. I know he has zero problem with splitting time for players, but at some point, one of these guys will end being the dude for this Badgers team. Running backs are different than quarterbacks, and especially with Wisconsin, there’s a usual bellcow that the team rides for the year. It’s hard to tell if that player is Taylor or Shaw.
On Saturday, it’s going to be hard to know which running back separates himself with Florida Atlantic. Navy dominated on the ground on Friday night versus the Owls, and my guess is Wisconsin will do the same with their trio.