Five Takeaways From Wisconsin's 22-10 Loss At Penn State

Five Takeaways From Wisconsin's 22-10 Loss At Penn State

Football

Five Takeaways From Wisconsin's 22-10 Loss At Penn State

1, Poor Offensive Line Play

Most said that Wisconsin’s offensive line would be the strongest unit for the team and one of the best five-man units in the country. It’s fair to say the group has come nowhere close to reaching those expectations. While run blocking has been sound, there have been holes up front in pass protection throughout the year. It showed again Saturday, not giving quarterback Jack Coan much time in the pocket. David Edwards and Beau Benzschawel got beat big time for the majority of the game by edge rusher Shareef Miller, and Tyler Biadasz struggled with Fond du Lac native Robert Windsor, who turned down a Wisconsin scholarship offer from Chryst to play at Penn State. Three false starts on one drive is embarrassing and unacceptable, a sign that this group wasn’t engaged or prepared.

2, Play Calling Issues

Part of the problem for UW is the play calling has become predictable. Run the ball on first and second down, and pass on third and long, putting your quarterback and receivers in a tough spot. While Jack Coan hasn’t shown to be what most fans were hoping for, as his 9-for-20 for 60 yards, two interceptions and two fumbles was as ugly as it sounds, I believe head coach Paul Chryst could have done more throughout the game to instill some confidence in the young quarterback.

3, JT in New York

I’ve read a lot of Heisman polls throughout the year and the absence of the best running back in college football is puzzling. Yes, the Badgers have underachieved and he has had issues fumbling the football, but week in and week out Taylor has been the lone home-run weapon for the Badgers against some tough Big Ten defenses. Leading the FBS in rush yards per game, Taylor had another big-time performance at Penn State carrying the ball 20 times for 185 yards and a score. Averaging 9.3 yards per carry and being responsible for 68.8 percent of UW’s yards, Taylor deserves to be on the shortlist for winning the Heisman.

4, Another Decent Defensive Performance

Penn State ran 72 plays to Wisconsin’s 57, putting the Badgers’ defense on the field for nearly 34 minutes. UW struggled to contain Miles Sanders (23 for 159, 1 TD) but Wisconsin’s defense only gave up two touchdowns and improved in the second half, giving up 10 fewer points (16-to-6), 135 fewer yards (239-to-104), being stingier on third down (4-for-8 to 2-for-7) and giving up fewer yards per play (5.7 to 3.5). Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley was held in check for the game, considering his standards, and the Badgers improved their pressure up front to generate three sacks, seven tackles for loss and generate two forced fumbles. It certainly wasn’t a complete performance (a theme this season), but holding the home team to 22 points and four field goal attempts gives a UW team with a decent offense a chance to win.

5, Watch for Edwards and Connelly on Sundays

A reoccurring bright spot for Wisconsin has been the consistent performances from the inside linebacking duo of TJ Edwards and Ryan Connelly. Edwards chipped in 14 tackles while Connelly contributed with 10. They consistently sniff plays out and are around the ball every single play. If there is any bright spot with this team, it’s definitely Taylor and this linebacking core.

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