Why are the Badgers in front of Iowa?
After all, Iowa looked better than Wisconsin when they beat the same Northern Iowa team.
Well, Wisconsin isn't being decimated by injuries like the Hawkeyes are. That's kind of the only reason.
The Badgers look horrid on offense. Let's look at some of their numbers:
- Total offense: No. 116. 276 yards per game. Six touchdowns.
- Rushing offense: No. 94. 119 yards per game. Two touchdowns.
- Passing offense: No. 114. 156 yards per game. Three touchdowns.
- Scoring offense: No. 113. 16 points per game.
- Third down efficiency: No. 105. 31 percent.
The Badgers are last in the Big Ten in more than a few offensive categories.
For a team that has made a living running the football and converting third downs, this is just awful. It's worse than Penn State and Indiana.
Without a missed field goal by Utah State with six seconds left, the Badgers would be looking at a 1-2 record.
What's keeping Wisconsin afloat? Their defense. Here are their defensive numbers:
- Total defense: No. 30. 322 yards per game.
- Rushing defense: No. 17. 82 yards per game. Have no allowed a rushing touchdown.
- Scoring defense: No. 27. Allowed 15 points per game.
- Passing defense: No. 72. Allowed 240 yards per game. Have allowed six touchdowns.
- Third down defense: No. 31. Allowed just 29 percent.
While the passing defense may seem a bit alarming, the Badgers have been solid overall on defense.
It's their offense that is atrocious.
After their big loss to Oregon State, they fired their offensive line coach. They were overwhelming favorites to take Utah State apart.
Then the game happened.
Wisconsin couldn't convert on numerous third downs, including one inside the three-yard line, and had to settle for a field goal in the first half. Utah State burned them on a some deep passing routes, and it was 14-3 Aggies at the half.
Starter Danny O'Brien was benched to start the second half, but it didn't matter.
They held Utah State scoreless in the second half but had to rely on a 82-yard punt return by Kenzel Doe to bring the game to within four points. Montee Ball, who's production has fallen dramatically from last season, found the end zone again from 17 yards out to put the Badgers ahead.
It just wasn't a good game for Wisconsin, and their upcoming game against UTEP isn't a guarantee.
Stat of the Game
3-of-15: As reported earlier, Wisconsin is awful on third downs. If this doesn't improve, they will be in major trouble as their season progresses.
Player of the Game
Josh Thompson: He is the Utah State kicker that missed the 37-yard field goal with 11 seconds left.
Had he not missed the field goal, Wisconsin would be 1-2.
Up Next: vs UTEP (1-2)
Since there were no real highlights from the game, enjoy this video of Jump Around. Yes Camp Randall Stadium does shake during the song.