Grades: Wisconsin still dominant, proves depth against Indiana

first_imgMontee Ball scored three touchdowns on the ground Saturday while picking up 142 rushing yards on 14 carries. Ball also threw a surprise 25-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Russell Wilson.[/media-credit]Every week Herald Sports will look back at the most recent Wisconsin football game and grade to each position group on a scale of zero to five. Here’s a look at how the Badgers picked apart the Indiana Hoosiers in a 59-7 victory.Quarterbacks – 4.5 out of 5This season he’s thrown for touchdowns and ran for touchdowns. Now, quarterback Russell Wilson has caught a touchdown.Wilson put on yet another efficient showing, completing 12 of his 17 passing attempts for 166 yards and one touchdown. Wilson didn’t have a touchdown on the ground but he did have two carries for a total of 42 yards.With a 52-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter, back-up quarterback Joe Brennan got yet another chance for some playing time this season. Brennan completed only one of his four passing attempts, but he did have an impressive 31-yard scramble on a late 3rd-and-21.Running Backs – 5 out of 5Montee Ball showed off his throwing skills, lobbing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Wilson on the first drive of the second quarter. But while the schoolyard play was arguably the highlight of the day, Ball still managed 142 rushing yards on 14 carries (10.1 yards per) and three touchdowns. Ball also caught one pass for 46 yards.James White was running with a certain fury Saturday and gained 92 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries. Third-string running back Jeff Lewis also showed the depth of the position in picking up 40 yards in the fourth quarter on eight carries.Tight Ends – 4 out of 5It was another quieter week for the tight ends, but Jacob Pedersen did catch a touchdown pass to put Wisconsin up 38-7. Pedersen finished with three receptions for 15 yards.Wide Receivers – 3 out of 5With Nick Toon out due to a foot injury he suffered against Nebraska, Jared Abbrederis stepped up as the leading receiver with four catches for 63 yards.Jeff Duckworth also saw more playing time and grabbed three receptions for 31 yards. While the two combined for seven receptions, no wide receiver scored a touchdown through the air.Offensive Line – 4.5 out of 5Any running back and quarterback will tell you how essential a good offensive line is to their ability to make plays. The offensive line had only a few breakdowns and protected a solid pocket for Wilson to throw and created holes for Ball and White to run.Defensive Line – 3.5 out of 5The defensive line played a solid game, bringing lots of pressure on Indiana quarterback Edward Wright-Baker. Defensive end Louis Nzegwu was the most productive on the line, notching 1.5 sacks for a loss of six yards and a total of seven tackles.The line had one major break down when IU running back Stephen Houston broke through for a 67-yard touchdown run. Wisconsin had issues with the run all day, allowing Indiana 223 rushing yards.Linebackers – 4.5 out of 5The linebackers gave another outstanding performance as Chris Borland had 15 tackles, half a sack and three tackles for a total loss of 11 yards. Mike Taylor recorded one quarterback hurry and 13 total tackles.True freshman Derek Landisch scored the lone defensive touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter. With Indiana backed up on their own 1-yard line, the Hoosiers fumbled the ball, which Landisch was quick to pounce on in the endzone.Secondary – 4.5 out of 5The secondary shined in limiting the Hoosiers’ passing game to only 64 yards and no touchdowns.Cornerback Antonio Fenelus grabbed his second interception of the season, nabbing an underthrown pass to the endzone. Feneus admitted after the game he should have just knocked the ball down to save the UW offense some yardage, though he admitted it was just a natural reaction to go for the ball.Fenelus wasn’t the only one with a pick, as safety Aaron Henry also grabbed his second of the season and returned it for 18 yards.While the secondary didn’t have the busiest day, it wasn’t able to make the tackles when it counted. When the defensive line didn’t stop running back Stephen Houston, the secondary failed to make a clean shot on him and as a result, the Hoosiers got one small victory on the day by making it into the endzone.Specialists – 5 out of 5While Abbrederis may not have caught a touchdown pass against Indiana, he did return a punt for a score. With clean blocks from the punt return team and a few quick side steps, Abbrederis was able to weave his way into the endzone for six.Kicker Philip Welch was solid on his one field goal attempt from 38-yards out and each PAT.Punter Brad Nortman finally got a chance at a fair amount of punts and averaged 43.8 yards on his six tries for the day. Before Saturday, Nortman averaged two punts per game through the first five games.last_img

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