NEW YORK — The pregame billing had it as a showdown between an elite pass defense and the country’s best running back. In the end, both units turned out to be wearing red and white.
On Aug. 20, the Badgers were ranked fourth in the nation. Fans’ confidence grew in hopes UW was a title contender.
“He’s got something special,” head coach Paul Chryst said of Jonathan Taylor. After getting eliminated from Big Ten West contention following their 22-10 loss to Penn State a week ago, the Wisconsin Badgers (5-3 Big Ten, 7-4 overall) somehow clawed their way back from a late 14-point deficit to beat the Purdue Boilermakers (4-4, 5-6) 47-44 in triple overtime on the back of Jonathan Taylor’s 321 yards and three touchdowns.
As any good coach will tell you, football is a team game. That means it’s a weakest link game, where poor performance from one play or positional group can cancel out all the good done by the rest. That’s exactly what happened Saturday in State College, as an uncharacteristically bad game by the offensive line and sophomore quarterback Jack Coan’s struggles produced a passing offense that gave Wisconsin no shot in what turned out to be a winnable game against Penn State.
As the Wisconsin Badgers (4-3 Big Ten, 6-4 overall) traveled to face the No. 20 Penn State Nittany Lions (4-3, 7-3), they heard devastating news that senior defensive tackle Olive Sagapolu was out for the season.
As the skies get darker with winter approaching, a cloud of uncertainty also looms over the Wisconsin Badgers (4-2 Big Ten, 6-3 Overall) as they get ready travel to Beaver Stadium in a showdown with the No. 21 Penn State Nittany Lions (3-3, 6-3). The Badgers are currently nine point underdogs, needing an upset to keep their faint Big Ten West hopes alive.
In December 2011, Tony Granato received a phone call. An old friend from college had gotten a new job and was moving into town, and Granato was supposed to help him find a place to live. It was a normal story, except for a few details; Granato was an assistant coach for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and his old friend was Paul Chryst, who had just been named the newest head football coach at Pittsburgh.
A week ago in Evanston, the Wisconsin Badgers (4-2 Big Ten, 6-3 overall) seemed to be lacking energy during their loss to Northwestern. They found a spark of energy back when senior safety and captain D’Cota Dixon returned for this game after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with an injury.
Jonathan Taylor rushed for just 46 yards in Wisconsin’s (4-2 Big Ten, 6-3 overall) loss to Northwestern last week.
Wisconsin (3-2 Big Ten, 5-3 overall) prepares to host Rutgers (0-5, 1-7) in an underwhelming matchup on Saturday. Rutgers, on a deep losing streak and without a single conference win, does not have much to offer in terms of competition for the Badgers.
For the first time in more than four years, Camp Randall will play host to a matchup between two teams coming off of losses. Saturday’s game will pit a Rutgers (0-5 Big Ten, 1-7 overall) team that has lost seven straight against a Wisconsin (3-2, 5-3) squad that has dropped three of its last six games.
Despite the fact that many of the teams of many Heisman candidates had bye weeks, the board has a bit of moving and shaking. Still, one name reigns supreme.
Wisconsin enters Saturday's matchup looking to rebound from a loss to Northwestern that likely ended its hopes for a Big Ten title, while Rutgers is winless in conference play and entering the toughest stretch of its schedule. Here are the three keys for each team to come away with a win.
Seven points. Northwestern scored only seven points that weren’t the direct result of a turnover or drive-extending penalty in their 31-17 win over Wisconsin.
Evanston, ILL — Spirits were high on the Wisconsin sideline after an Evan Bondoc interception set up an Alec Ingold 4-yard touchdown with eight minutes and four seconds left to play in the first quarter to give Wisconsin (3-2 Big Ten, 5-3 overall) a 7-0 lead. For the next three and a half quarters, Wisconsin’s offense treated fans to a sloppy, lethargic, and uninspired display of offense as they fell 31-17 to Northwestern (5-1, 5-3).
EVANSTON, Ill. — Saturday night is Freakfest in Madison, but the Wisconsin football team found its own house of horrors at Ryan Field in a 31-17 loss at the home of the Northwestern Wildcats.
In the world of college football, Alabama remains the only constant. Week eight of college football marked one landscape-changing upset and shake-up to the rankings at the top.
“They throw the ball a lot,” junior linebacker Zack Baun said. The No. 20 Wisconsin Badgers (3-1 Big Ten, 5-2 overall) will see plenty of throws as they travel to Chicago in a showdown with Big Ten West leader Northwestern (4-1, 4-3) at Ryan Field.
Wisconsin enters Evanston with momentum and divisional supremacy on the line — the Badgers and Wildcats are in a four-way tie for first in the Big Ten West, and a win for Wisconsin would keep it in pole position in the race for Indianapolis.