The 2017 Wisconsin Badgers football team kicks off their season in just eight days. The Badgers take on Utah State in a rare Friday night matchup at Camp Randall.
For the next eight days, we will be counting down to kickoff with you guys in Wisconsin fashion.
Before the Badgers give us new plays to ooh and aah over, let’s reminisce on eight of the most amazing plays that they gave us in the 2016 season.
8. Quintez Cephus makes fighting catch vs Iowa. Cepheus caught a pass from Alex Hornibrook between two defenders for 57 yards. After the catch, he then proceeded to drag the two defensive backs all the way down to the five yard line for the first down. You can view Cephus’ extraordinary catch here.
7. T.J. Watt’s pick-six vs Purdue. The game started out pretty slow, the offense wasn’t doing bad, but they weren’t doing great. Defense was making stops, but not creating turnovers. But then, T.J. Watt appeared and changed all of that. As the ball was snapped, Watt blew off the running back that was supposed to block for the third Watt brother. He got in the quarterback’s face, stopped the ball, and returned it for the touchdown. This play turned the game around and shifted all of the momentum in the Badgers’ favor.
6. Corey Clement’s 67-yard touchdown run vs Penn St. Corey Clement always had a way of reminding Badger fans of what he could do. And he did it on no bigger stage than in the 2016 Big Ten Championship game. Trust me, when it became clear that Clement was going to score from 67 yards out, the Badgers’ half of the stadium was shaking. Penn State’s side, not so much. With the block by Cephus, Clement was able to put the Badgers up 14-0 in the first quarter.
5. D’Cota Dixon’s pass break up vs. Nebraska to win the game in overtime. On fourth down, Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong looked to the end zone to try and win the game in overtime, but all he got was a whole lot of D’Cota Dixon playing excellent defense on his receiver. With Dixon blocking that pass, it secured the Badgers’ overtime win against the Cornhuskers.
4. Ryan Connelly recovered fumble for touchdown vs. Penn State. Not long after Corey Clement’s long run of the night, Ryan Connelly also showed that he can make plays for the Badgers. In the second quarter, Penn State’s quarterback Trace McSorley fumbled the snap, which was then picked up by Connelly. Connelly spun away from defenders and found his way to the end zone to put the Badgers up 21-7 over Penn State.
3. D’Cota Dixon’s interception vs LSU. This play gets overshadowed by the unsportsmanlike hit that the LSU player made on Dixon after the interception was made. But, thanks to Dixon, the Badgers were able to pull off the upset over LSU in the season opener aah Lambeau Field. You might be sensing a pattern by now: D’Cota Dixon is CLUTCH.
2. Dare Ogunbowale’s game-winning touchdown vs Nebraska. D’Cota Dixon may have sealed the game by preventing the Cornhuskers from scoring, but Dare Ogunbowale was the one that put the Badgers ahead for the win. Ogunbowale escaped a defender who tried to bring him down by the shoelaces, and continued his way into the end zone to give Wisconsin the points needed to win.
1. Troy Fumagalli’s one-handed catch vs Western Michigan. It wouldn’t be a best plays list if tight end Troy Fumagalli wasn’t on it. In the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Fumagalli showed that he was a hybrid of Rob Gronkowski and Odell Beckham Jr. In a third down and long situation, Bart Houston threw the ball down field to Troy Fumagalli. Fumagalli then stretched himself out and seemingly just through an arm out and hauled the ball in. It looked effortless to him, but I don’t think many other college football players could make that catch.