Alec James finally feels it all slowing down.
The redshirt junior defensive end on the University of Wisconsin football team recorded three tackles during the Badgers’ 16-14 win against Louisiana State University last Saturday at Lambeau Field.
On the first drive of the game, James sacked LSU quarterback Brandon Harris for a loss of nine yards. It helped set the tone for the afternoon, and Harris never truly looked comfortable for the rest of the game.
“I did some good things and there’s some things I still need to work on,” James said. “I played better than I had last year, but you never play a perfect game.”
James said he needs to work on the consistency of his technique.
During the third quarter, LSU was looking to regain momentum while trailing 6-0. James halted LSU’s tailback Leonard Fournette for gains of just one and three yards on first and second down. This was a part of a three-and-out that gave Wisconsin favorable field position. The next offensive drive resulted in a touchdown, giving the Badgers a 13-0 lead.
James added that he began playing faster after an increased number of reps in live-game action helped accelerate his reaction time to the snap of the ball. This adjustment allowed him to generate an earlier push off the line.
He and his fellow defensive ends, Chikwe Obasih and Connor Sheehy, all played well against LSU and were key to stopping Fournette and the LSU offense.
While questions still lingered about LSU’s passing game and Brandon Harris’ development prior to the season opener, halting the Tigers’ run game was a tough assignment. Leonard Fournette came into last weekend as a proven juggernaut after his performances from last year earned him a spot on the 2016 Preseason Heisman Watch List.
Dietzen enjoys homecoming
Redshirt freshman guard Jon Dietzen enjoyed a homecoming of sorts on Saturday for his first game action at the college football level.
Dietzen is a native of Black Creek, Wisconsin and played high school ball at Seymour, which is just 15 miles away from Lambeau.
“Indescribable,” Dietzen said of the atmosphere at Lambeau. “Growing up in Wisconsin in the [Green] Bay area, it was just absolutely unreal to be on Lambeau Field.”
Dietzen split reps at left guard with redshirt sophomore Micah Kapoi. Dietzen said his play started with some hiccups, but improved steadily as the game went on.
That was good news for Wisconsin, which needed Dietzen to step up after Kapoi was unable to finish the game.
“There were going to be those hiccups either way,” Dietzen said. “I think that by the time I had to step up, I think it was kind of good that by that time I already kind of had that first one.”
Dietzen said he excels in Wisconsin’s run-blocking scheme because of his natural size and strength. He is listed as 6 feet 6 inches tall and 336 pounds. He also prefers being on the attack, rather than allowing defenders to come to him, which is the standard technique for pass-blocking.
Dietzen is currently listed as the co-starter with Kapoi for Saturday. Kapoi is listed as questionable for this Saturday’s game against Akron, but offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said he’d probably play.