Jonathan Taylor shines early in NCAA career, leads Badgers through their first three games

Jonathan Taylor has carried UW's rushing offense so far this season.

Image By: Brandon Moe

It goes without saying that Wisconsin’s offensive line is a main proponent of the success of redshirt sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook as well as freshman running back Jonathan Taylor — but still, despite the offensive line being their springboard, Jonathan Taylor has been the Badger’s most valuable player over the last three weeks. The Badgers have started off the year strong with blowout wins over Utah State, Florida Atlantic and most recently BYU. Both Hornibrook and Taylor have demonstrated spectacular performances in these last three games, but it is Taylor’s performances that have been most surprising and prolific.

The Salem, N.J. native has already made a mark on the field this year with exceptional statistics in his first three games. In week one against Utah State, nerves may have gotten the best of Taylor when he dropped his first pass, but he soon regained his standing, finishing the game with nine rushes, 87 yards and a touchdown. The week after against Florida Atlantic, Taylor continued to shine, finishing the game with 26 rushes, 223 yards and three touchdowns. And last week at BYU, Taylor kept up his stellar performance with 128 yards on 18 carries, as well as a touchdown.

Taylor has already begun to make his name known, seen as he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week two weeks ago. However, his strengths will be tested as he and the Badgers take on Northwestern this Saturday. Taylor will match up against senior running back Justin Jackson, and while at the present time both Taylor and Jackson share similar stats, the only thing Jackson has to hold over Taylor at this time would simply be experience. With two victories, and a loss against Duke, Northwestern has some ground to regain if they wish to win the Big Ten West division. With that being said, after starting off the year in stellar fashion, expectations are sky-high for Taylor and many will anticipate great things from the freshman back against the Wildcats.

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