Badgers Bye Week Report Card - Wisconsin Tailback

Badgers Bye Week Report Card - Wisconsin Tailback

Football

Badgers Bye Week Report Card - Wisconsin Tailback

The Positives

Wisconsin’s running game was expected to be a strength entering the season and that has proven true through four games. Jonathan Taylor has been solid, as his 628 rushing yards rank second nationally and Wisconsin’s rushing attack is averaging 266.25 yards a game.

As good as Taylor has been, there were questions of who would serve as Taylor’s main backup. To this point, the combination of Taiwan Deal and Garrett Groshek have taken pressure off of Taylor, as the two have rushed for 167 and 102 yards, respectively, on the season.

In particular, Deal has shown what he’s capable of doing at full health. Running hard each time he touches the football, Deal has yet to be tackled behind the line of scrimmage and is averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Deal’s ability to consistently pick up positive yards on early downs has allowed Wisconsin to set up manageable third downs while giving Taylor a break.

Groshek, in particular, has upped his level of play over the last two games, registering 14 of his 18 carries and 78 of his 102 rushing yards. Groshek has taken over as the primary third-down back with his reliability as a blocker, pass catcher and ability to hold on to the ball. Groshek’s five third-down targets are the third highest mark on the team, hauling in four of his targets resulting in 64 yards and one touchdown.

Taking over for Austin Ramesh as the full-time fullback, senior Alec Ingold has been as good as advertised. Not only has he helped open alleys for Taylor, but Ingold is also averaging 9.3 yards per carry (3.1 yards better than Taylor), has 135 total yards and three touchdowns. He showed against Iowa the kind of dual-threat he can be, catching a 33-yard pass to set up UW’s first touchdown and delivering a 33-yard scoring run that capped the victory.

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