Saturday night, the University of Wisconsin Football Team, seeking redemption from last week’s loss, went to work at Kinnick Stadium against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Whether or not their narrow victory qualifies as redemption is up for debate, but I think the pendulum has swung too far in favor of the ‘overrated’ narrative — a night win at Iowa is nothing to scoff at.
Credit is due where credit is due
So Alex Hornibrook really went 17-22 for 205 yards and three touchdowns? And no interceptions?
We haven’t been kind in our analysis of Hornibrook, that’s for sure. But the numbers don’t lie, even if they came out of nowhere. This was a methodical performance. It seemed the whole game Hornibrook couldn’t make anything happen, yet when the clock ran out, it was the junior quarterback that owned a season-high mark in touchdown passes, a quarterback rating of 200.5 and his 23rd career win.
One reason responsible for Hornibrook’s strong night could be his decision to spread the wealth. He hit seven different receivers Saturday, four of them for more than thirty yards. He’s found a connection with tight end Jake Ferguson as a go-to option on third down and continued his campaign to share the brilliance of running back Garret Groshek with the world.
A confident road outing from Hornibrook and a clutch winning drive is a welcome sight as the Badgers look to get back on track and power through this season.
Taylor slowed down a bit
Running back Jonathan Taylor has been slowed down quite a bit from his normal output these last couple weeks, as he only ran for 113 yards this week in Iowa.
First of all, I’m stressing he’s being held to Heisman/All-time great standards, which is why simply eclipsing the century mark for the 14th time in his 18-game career is no longer cause for jubilation.
Do we expect him to continue rushing for 200 yards every game?
No — but his 4.5 yards per carry average is lower than his average, and keeping it above five or six is a nice benchmark to know the machine is still humming along.
Taylor’s Heisman hopes are certainly in jeopardy if he doesn’t return to his early-season heroics.
The secondary just isn’t… that good?
The Badgers need to find an answer in their secondary, and they need to do so quickly. They have been prone to get burned long down the field, and simply blowing coverages routinely throughout the last few weeks.
This is mostly due to the young guard taking over for departing stalwarts Nick Nelson and Natrell Jamerson, leaving senior safety D’Cota Dixon the sole veteran manning the ship amongst his youthful cohorts.
Football: Wisconsin survives Iowa 28-17, salvages hope for Playoff seasonMost games following a season-altering loss are automatically labeled as a chance at redemption, a chance to reassert the program’s Read…
There were still high hopes after a tight cornerback competition in camp yielded Faion Hicks and Cesar Williams as the cream of the crop, though so far both have been unimpressive — Hicks has notably blown a few obvious tackles and been confused in coverage.
The entirety of the Badger secondary looked completely incompetent against Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson, who only caught three balls but went for 125 yards as he absolutely bulldozed through the Badger secondary.
This game will truly best be analyzed in a few weeks, as the narrow wing can better be assessed as either the turning point in a resurgent second-half-season run or a sign of weakness as Wisconsin fades down the stretch.
Much like a talking clock, “only time will tell.”