MADISON, Wis. No. 12 Wisconsin narrowly escaped with a 26-21 victory against Northern Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday. Although it wasn't particularly pretty, there were some positive signs to emerge for the Badgers.
Of course, there are plenty of things that need work too.
Handing out grades for Wisconsin's season-opening performance:
Passing offense: B
Quarterback Danny O'Brien performed admirably in his Wisconsin debut. In fact, he did about everything fans could have hoped, delivering timely passes and not turning the ball over. He finished the day 19 of 23 for 219 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
O'Brien also was able to hit two big-time plays. He connected with wide receiver Jared Abbrederis on a 55-yard play-action touchdown pass to give Wisconsin a 26-7 lead. He also hit tight end Jacob Pedersen for a 22-yard first down on third-and-22.
For the most part, however, Wisconsin's play calling in the passing game was conservative...