Many Wisconsin football fans were wondering what the Wisconsin football team would look like coming off of a demoralizing loss at Washington State. Unfortunately for the Badgers faithful, they looked the worst they have all season out the gates. The offense couldn’t get anything going outside of a single drive, the defense gave up big play after big play to Georgia Southern, and the crowd in Madison was left asking questions once again.
Fortunately for the Badgers, they were able to generate some offense and plenty of turnovers in the second half of the Georgia Southern vs Wisconsin game. Wisconsin scored 28 unanswered points in the second half and came out ahead of Georgia Southern, 35-14. With the win, Wisconsin football is again above .500 heading into Big Ten play.
Wisconsin Football Handles Georgia Southern After Slow Start
Offensive Coordinator Phil Longo Struggles Early Again
Wisconsin football has been known for its bruising running game for decades. Although the offensive line play has deteriorated in recent years, many were excited to see what offensive coordinator Phil Longo could do with it in his new “air raid” system. Through three games, fans may want to get back to the basics. Wisconsin again struggled to get anything going downfield. For most of the first half, the offensive line looked like they were sleepwalking. When Longo finally started running the ball consistently, the entire offense started rolling.
The most inexcusable part of the offense on Saturday was the penalties. Three times across the first half and first drive in the second half, the offense was penalized for having an ineligible formation. Sure, players can sometimes be to blame occasionally, but three of the same penalties, and the blame falls on the coordinator.
Offensive Grade: C+
Badgers Secondary Continues to Give Up Big Plays
Admittedly, not all of the blame falls on the secondary. With the lack of pressure generated from the defensive line all season, it’s hard to play solid coverage for long periods of time. With that in mind, Wisconsin football has a secondary problem. Once again, multiple corners were burnt deep multiple times.
No secondary is going to be perfect, but it’s clear to anybody who has watched the Badgers’ defense that the secondary has struggled over the last two years. As the season goes on, one would assume the Badgers can generate more pressure. Unfortunately, the problem is the corners are losing early in routes, before the pressure even has a chance to get home.
In the end, the Wisconsin defense was able to force five interceptions and six turnovers. With that in mind, most of those turnovers were due to horrible decision making by Georgia Southern’s quarterback Davis Brin. Either way, the interceptions will hopefully help the secondary and defense build some confidence heading into Week 4.
Defensive Grade: B
Week 4 Preview: Wisconsin vs Purdue
Next week, Wisconsin football starts Big Ten play with a road game against the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue’s season started in horrifying fashion, being upset at home by Fresno State, 39-35.
Purdue is led by transfer quarterback Hudson Card. The junior transferred from Texas after three seasons which saw him play very few snaps. Nevertheless, Card is still a former four-star recruit who can take over a game if given the opportunity. With the amount Wisconsin has struggled so far against far inferior quarterbacks, this could be a very dangerous opponent for the Badgers.