The Badger offense racked up 523 yards on its way to a 59-7 domination of Indiana.
QB Russell Wilson had a relatively quiet day, throwing for 166 yards and one touchdown on 12 of 17 passing, and also added 42 rushing yards. He came out of the game in the third quarter, and was replaced by redshirt freshman Joe Brennan, who completed just one of four passes.
Wilson did it all against Indiana, hauling in this 25-yard pass from Montee Ball for a 2nd quarter touchdown. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The running game was successful and balanced, as Montee Ball ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries and James White totaled 86 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Ball also threw for a touchdown in the second quarter, hitting Wilson for a 25-yard score after Wilson was left wide open after pitching the ball to Ball. The entire defense flowed to the right side to stop Ball, and Wilson ran up the left sideline to catch a well-thrown pass from Ball.
Early in the game, the Badgers made an effort to get Ball involved in the passing game. He finished with one catch for 46 yards, which came in the first quarter and set up Ball’s first touchdown run. He was open on passes down the field and Wilson threw some catchable passes, but Ball was unable to haul any more of them in. This may be indicative of attempts to further diversify the offensive attack, and having Ball successfully running deep routes and catching the ball over the middle of the field would strengthen the offense even more, and we could see it against tougher opponents later in the season.
With Nick Toon out with an injury, Jared Abbrederis stepped up nicely and finished the game with four catches for 63 yards. TE Jacob Pedersen caught Wilson’s only touchdown pass with just seconds remaining in the first half, and had three catches for 15 yards on the day. Sophomore Jeff Duckworth added 31 yards on three receptions, and showed he can be relied on if needed.
Borland was near the ball all game, as usual, as he continues to lead the defense from the middle linebacker position. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
The Wisconsin defense surrendered just seven points, but once again showed some weaknesses. They struggled to tackle at times and allowed long runs by Hoosier running back Stephen Houston, who finished with 135 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, including a 67 yard touchdown run before the half.
It was still a good day for the Badger defense, and the secondary performed especially well. It held QB Edward Wright-Baker to 54 yards on 6 of 15 passing, and intercepted him twice. The defensive backs played physically and kept the Hoosier receivers in check the entire game.
LB Chris Borland tallied near 15 tackles (for some reason box scores don’t show tackles for college games, so this is a guess), and was also active in the pass defense. He has asserted himself as the leader of the defense and him staying healthy will be important to the success of the defense for the rest of the year.
The Wisconsin special teams also had a nice game. Philip Welch made his first field goal of the season after returning from a quadriceps injury. Punter Brad Nortman actually got quite a bit of work, punting six times and averaging a solid 43.8 yards.
The return game made its first big impact of the season when Abbrederis returned a punt 60 yards for a score in the third quarter.
Wisconsin must now prepare for a test next week in Michigan State. The Spartans are beating Michigan 28-14 late in the fourth quarter as of 2:15 p.m., and will probably be ranked in the top 20 when they face the Badgers.