Rapid reaction: Wisconsin muscles past Troy
Final: No. 24 Wisconsin 28, Troy 3
Telling stat: Troy runs for 2.5 yards per carry
We knew it was going to be tough sledding for the Trojans against that Badger front, and sure enough, Brandon Burks struggled to find any room. Joe Schobert and the Badgers dominated the line of scrimmage in this one. Troy only had one rush of over 10 yards, which tells you that even when the Badgers weren’t wrapping the Trojans up at the line of scrimmage, they weren’t letting them get very far at the second level.
Key play: Joel Stave 4-yard TD run in second quarter
Who needs Corey Clement with Stave? Ok, just kidding. But the Wisconsin quarterback did cap off a 90-yard drive with a rushing score to give the Badgers their first double-digit lead of the day. That was Stave’s first rushing score since the 2013 season opener. Paul Chryst ideally wouldn’t like the expose his quarterback in the open field, but when the Badger offense needed a boost, the senior called his own number and came up big.
-Tanner McEvoy scores rushing touchdown
I predicted that Tanner McEvoy would get into the end zone a handful of times on Saturday, just that I didn’t know how he’d get there. Well, the safety/receiver/quarterback fittingly scored out of the wild cat formation. His 32-yard score were the only points in the third quarter. The Badgers’ Swiss Army knife showed that he was capable of doing damage once again. The question remains. What can’t he do?
-Two Wisconsin players ejected for targeting
Leon Jacobs and Derrick Tindal were both ejected for targeting on questionable calls. Jacobs practically had a sack and was still tossed. In a game against Troy, that really doesn’t matter a ton. But it does mean that the Badgers will have to sit the first half of next week’s game, assuming the call holds. That seems like an awfully tough punishment for college kids making tackles a split second too late. Paul Chryst wasn’t pleased with the calls and it’s hard to blame him.
What it means: Wisconsin can play power football without Clement
The Badgers will likely be without their starting tailback, Paul Chryst elected to let the ground game get some confidence. Dare Ogunbowale got on the board early and was effective in space, as was Taiwan Deal. Wisconsin got back to the run-heavy ratio that we’re all used to seeing. Compared to back-to-back games with 30 passes, that’s a considerable difference. Chryst’s offense isn’t perfect, but it at least showed this team showed that it can win a game in more than one way.