Now that we’ve had a few days to take in the Wisconsin win over Georgia State, we look at some takeaways from the 23-17 victory.
1. Corey Clement makes everyone better.
With starting running back Corey Clement out with an ankle injury on Saturday, Wisconsin’s offense struggled to finish drives, settling for field goals on the first two offensive possessions. All three of his touchdowns have come from the goal line.
Naturally, head coach Paul Chryst was not happy with his team’s ability to convert drives into touchdowns.
“Time of possession on its own isn’t enough,” Chryst said. “You’ve got to score points. You know, when we go — we had the one opportunity. We fumble on the 6. We have a serious miscommunication on the third and two going towards the student section. We don’t capitalize on that. So we’ve got to clean up some things.”
Clement’s ability to run, get through the front line, and break off longer runs, opens up every aspect of the offense, especially the run game.
Bart Houston, who started but did not finish the game, struggled to get into a steady rhythm, and part of that was due to a lack of a consistent run game. Houston would end up being replaced by redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook.
2. Chryst was right; this team still has a lot to improve upon.
Every week, Chryst has opened his postgame press conference with a note on how the team had plenty to improve on and plenty to fix. He isn’t wrong.
The players and the coaching staff have also say they never looked past any opponent, and arefocused on the game at hand in that week. That was for good reason as Georgia State proved.
“Our kids see it, and we try to shoot ’em straight; I told them afterwards that there’s always lessons to be learned,” Chrsyt said. “If we could each grow and learn from them individually and grow from it, then we collectively learn and grow.”
3. The defense came to play once again
Even in a game that put a lot more pressure on the defense, the defense came to play once again.
“I thought they did a good job executing,” Chryst said. “We didn’t think we were going to go through an entire season without giving up a touchdown.”
Although the score would indicate an overall close game, Wisconsin’s defense handled Georgia State pretty well.
The time of possession split was 37:28-22:32 in favor of Wisconsin, which considering the struggle of the offense, is very good. Georgia State’s offense was also only able to gather 12 first downs, compared to Wisconsin’s 25.
The defense also came up with big plays and could have had more if not for a dropped interception by Sojourn Shelton who would have had a pick-six.
The Wisconsin Badgers take on the Michigan State Spartans this coming Saturday at 11:00am CT on Big Ten Network.