Ferguson sparks Badgers' secondary in Dixon's absence
The last time the Wisconsin Badgers started a season 9-0 was in 2004. After beating Indiana 45-17 last Saturday, this year’s team tied that benchmark.
UW’s defense was relentless all day long as they stifled the Indiana run offense holding them to a measly 40 yards on 21 attempts. Along with stifling the Hoosiers run game, Wisconsin’s defense also caused Indiana to put it on the turf on three separate occasions, turning one into a touchdown.
The Wisconsin pass rush combined with its athletic secondary, held senior Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow in check, forcing him into a season-high two interceptions and sacking him four times.
The person who stood out the most on the impressive defensive unit was Barry Alvarez’s grandson Joe Ferguson. Ferguson was all over the field as in the first quarter he recovered a fumble that led to Wisconsin scoring its first touchdown on the day. And after playing center field for most of the game, when the fourth quarter rolled around and Wisconsin was clinging to a 24-17 lead, Ferguson, again, took charge.
Ferguson picked off the first of two passes in the game, snagging an impressive interception as he dove to get a low thrown ball by Richard Lagow on a crossing route.
UW’s offense appreciated the interception as it set them up in tremendous starting field position on the Indiana 25-yard line.The offense would capitalize seven plays later as they scored a touchdown.
It wouldn’t take long for Ferguson to make another impact play. After the Badgers scored their touchdown and kicked off to the Hoosiers it looked like Indiana would at least mount a drive to stay in the game.
As Richard Lagow stepped back and tried to hit one of his wide receivers he overthrew him and Ferguson was in the right spot as the pass fell right into his lap. The Badgers would also capitalize off this crucial turnover as it took them eight plays to score a touchdown.
The game would end with the Badgers adding one more touchdown however, without Ferguson and his crucial vision and plays, UW might have limped out of Indiana with its first loss of the season rather than tunneling its way back home with a win and its undefeated record still intact.Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter