This Wisconsin football game vs Illinois was expected to be a slugfest with a Fighting Illini team that slaughtered the Badgers in Camp Randall last year. It looked hairy early on, as the Badgers fell behind 21-7. The defense struggled to contain the quarterback scramble and the offense couldn’t get anything going.
Everything changed in the fourth quarter when the Badgers scored 18 points unanswered. Braedyn Locke made numerous big-time throws late when the Badgers needed it most, and Wisconsin pulled out the win with a Nolan Rucci touchdown reception with 27 seconds left.
Big 4th Quarter Fuels Wisconsin Football Comeback Win Over Illinois
Braelon Allen Gets Plenty of Run
Last week, Badgers fans were left wondering why Braelon Allen didn’t get more carries. In a 15-6 loss to Iowa, Allen averaged 4.8 yards per attempt but only saw 18 carries. This week, the Badgers made it a point to continue to get the ball to their best player. Allen amassed 145 yards on just 29 carries for an average of five yards per carry.
In addition to his work on the ground, Allen also added two receptions for 16 yards. Allen is the best player on this team, and it’s important to get him the ball in any way possible. The Badgers’ offense wasn’t great, but when it mattered, the receivers made some nice plays and Braedyn Locke made big-time throws. There will be quite the learning curve for this offense, but this first win is a great start.
Offensive Grade: B
Defense Refuses to Stop Run Again
Last week against Iowa, the Badgers defense gave up 200 yards on the ground. Their inability to stop the run was the main reason they lost the game. This week, it was even worse, as the defense gave up 223 yards, and 100 of those were from quarterback Luke Altmyer.
The Badgers did slightly better against runs by running backs, but it’s still extremely concerning that the defense has now given up over 200 yards on the ground for two straight weeks. Next week, the Badgers play Ohio State and will need to somehow lock up their entire rushing defense if they want any chance of pulling off the upset.
Defensive Grade: C+
Wisconsin Football Week 8 Preview: vs Ohio State
Next week, Wisconsin football has its biggest test of the season against the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes. Historically, Camp Randall is not a kind place to undefeated Buckeyes teams. With that in mind, the Badgers have really struggled lately and this Ohio State team just held a seventh-ranked Penn State team to 12 points at home in their recent 20-12 win.
Ohio State’s defense has given up just 10 points per game this season and their offense has averaged 36 points per game. If the Badgers want to win this game, not only do they need to get their running attack going, but they also stop this red-hot Buckeye offense. Most importantly, the Badgers need to stop the Buckeye’s passing attack which is led by receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. If the Badgers’ defense can limit his success and run the ball effectively, they may just have a chance at pulling off the impossible.