A lot has been made of Wisconsin’s defense this season, and the unit deserves every bit of praise to this point.

It is true that the Badgers have operated behind a steady and dominant offense led by superstar running back Jonathan Taylor. After all, Wisconsin has scored 35 points in all but one game and 40 or more points in three games.

The offense, however, is truly just one half of the equation. The other half is the dominant Badgers defense.

By now, most fans are aware that Saturday’s shutout of Michigan State marked the fourth shutout of the season. The defense has allowed a total of 29 points through six games, and one aspect of that defense has been particularly significant.

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During the win over the Spartans, Wisconsin’s defense allowed Michigan State to convert on just 2 of 14 third downs. For some teams, that would be an impressive accomplishment. For the Badgers, it’s business as usual.

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According to CFBStats.com, Wisconsin’s defense leads the nation in third-down conversion percentage. The defense has faced 83 third downs and has allowed a total of 13 conversions. That comes out to a conversion rate of 15.66%.

How impressive is that mark? Wisconsin is the only team currently below 20%, and the next closest team (Kansas State – 20.75%) has faced just 53 third downs.

There’s no question the defense is dominant. The only question now is whether or not the Badgers can keep that mark under 20% for the entire season. If they do, it will likely pay off in a trip to the B1G Championship Game.