Takeaways From Friday Night
As many had suspected, Western Kentucky was no match for the powerhouse that is Wisconsin. Winning Friday evening in Madison, 34-3, the Hilltoppers had very little answers for the Badgers nationally ranked defense. Even though the Badgers cruised majority of the game, there were some areas in which can use improvement.
Same Old Offense
Two touchdowns were scored with familiarity, with Jonathan Taylor making explosive plays that resulted with six points on the board. His first big run, which was 47 yards long, gave the Badgers the lead halfway through the first. Taylor sparked up some magic again when in the second quarter, he ran for 30 yards to extend Wisconsin’s lead. As much as Badger Nation expected this situation to occur, it was still refreshing to see that Taylor is running towards an amazing year. One problem that still looms in the background, is his ability to not fumble the ball. With losing one last night, it must be known that mistakes like that can cost you games when facing a mcuh tougher opponent. Hopefully this issue becomes less of a problem as the season continues.
The New Hornibrook?
With the wide receiver slots in question due to Danny Davis and Quintez Cephus being suspended from the team, the spotlight was on quarterback Alex Hornibrook to pass the ball with precision and patience. Standout receivers A.J. Taylor and Kendric Pryor came alive, combining for 136 yards on the night. There were mere moments in which Hornibrook looked confident and had control of the game. Ending up with a total of 247 passing yards and two touchdowns, isn’t a bad way to end the night. There were other moments though that appeared to have the quarterback frazzled and rushed. Luckily, it is only the first game, nerves come and with a new season among us, it is okay to have questionable plays, as long as they are out of hist system now. Only time will tell though for number 12.
The Defense Hasn’t Lost A Step
Surprise, surprise, Wisconsin ultimately dominated Western Kentucky with their unbreakable defense. With T.J. Edwards leading the way along with a breakout safety in Scott Nelson, seven tackles each made it almost impossible to move down the field. With keeping the Hilltoppers to a lone field goal, it was safe to say that even though the defense lost some big components, there is nothing to fear. The defense will continue to grow and it should be believed that by the time it comes to conference play, they will be ready to not only hold their own, but to dominate.
There is always room for improvement and there were many instances that stood out for where the Badgers need to work. Overall though, there is a reason Wisconsin is ranked 4th in the nation. This isn’t a streak of luck or a powerhouse player carrying the entire load. This football program is a well oiled machine that is full of discipline and talent. Going forward, the players and the coaching staff at Wisconsin must prepare and stick to their core values of the game. Doing so will bring them many more victories to come in this 2018 season.
Offensive MVP: RB Jonathan Taylor
Defensive MVP: S Scott Nelson