Rapid Reaction: Wisconsin's defense holds up in 20-14 win over Army
There wasn’t much offense when Wisconsin took on Army at Camp Randall Stadium Saturday night.
The Badgers scored 13 points in the 2nd quarter and it took Army until the 4th quarter to find the end zone. It marked 7 straight scoreless quarters for Wisconsin dating back to last week’s 24-0 win over Illinois in Champaign.
The game plan worked as Wisconsin knocked off Army 20-14. It wasn’t easy, though. The Black Knights run a unique offense and gave the Badgers some trouble.
Army runs a triple option, which means the offense runs primarily on the ground. In fact, Black Knights quarterback Jabari Laws only threw the ball 6 times against the B1G’s 2nd-best passing defense. Tyhier Tyler was the primary ball-carrier, running for 90 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. AJ Howard scored a touchdown on his lone carry, a 6-yard rush with 38 seconds left in the game to make things interesting.
But Wisconsin — the top rushing defense in the B1G — put the Badgers in position to win, just as it has all year. Wisconsin held opponents to 41.4 yards per game entering the matchup with Army, but the Badgers weren’t as staunch this time, allowing 179 rushing yards to the Black Knights’ offense — 67 more yards than Wisconsin allowed to Michigan in Week 5.
Wisconsin’s offense looked solid, though, led by Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi on the ground. Allen had 108 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries while Mellusi totaled 66 yards on 17 carries. Quarterback Graham Mertz had a decent night, as well, throwing for 112 yards on 8-of-15 passing and scoring 2 rushing touchdowns.
For Wisconsin, it proved to be a good non-conference break before B1G play starts back up next week. The Badgers now have to get ready for a Purdue team that shocked the league by knocking off No. 2 Iowa Saturday afternoon — meaning the Boilermakers have some momentum heading into Week 8. Then again, Wisconsin has momentum, too.
Based on what we saw this week, it should be a good one in West Lafayette.