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Badgers senior running back Montee Ball only has three rushing touchdowns after amassing 93 carries in four games.
A down offense wasn't totally unexpected for the Badgers when Russell Wilson and his out-of-this-world numbers left Madison.
However, what has been surprising is the lack of a consistent running game. This dates all the way back to Barry Alvarez and has been continued with Bret Bielema. This year, the Badgers only have five runs of 20 yards or more, and last year they had 32.
To make matters worse, Wisconsin is predictable. All five of those long runs this season came on first down, and 12 of their 20 runs that were 10 yards or longer were on first down as well.
The Badgers must mix it up and pass on early downs which will open running lanes later, giving way for the home run highlight run.
Consider that last year at the quarter pole, Montee Ball already had 9 touchdowns and never dropped below a 4.5 yards per carry average for a game. This year, his highest ypc was 4.44 last week vs. UTEP. That was after he left in the second quarter with a concussion after tallying only 9 carries.
Ball will be monitored closely, but even if he struggles early, Bielema must have the courage to sit a Heisman Trophy finalist and go with the dynamic freshman Melvin Gordon and speedy James White.
Without the running game hitting home runs, this offense is going to strike out.