Last weekend was not the best outing for the Wisconsin Badger offense. Turnovers held them back from what should have been a much bigger victory over Purdue.
Quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw two interceptions, one as a result of him attempting to force a screen pass that was not there.
Running back Jonathan Taylor fumbled the ball on the goal line, stopping what would have surely been a touchdown. Despite running for over 200 yards once again, the fumble and other turnovers from the offense loomed largely.
“They do,” Paul Chryst said frankly after being asked if the turnovers and penalties are limiting potential big offensive performances.
In most of the games this season, the offense has made games tougher and led to outcomes much closer than what they should or could have been. The defense has been left to win games for Wisconsin this season. Chryst and the offensive unit will hope to turn the tide this week.
“That’s been the one thing that we have got to do a better job about and we’ve got to coach it better and make sure the kids understand it and go because it’s a great example of how you can make it really hard on yourself,” Chryst said.
Maryland will be ready to capitalize on any mistakes the offense makes this coming weekend.
Despite having a defense that gives up 36.5 points per game and well over 400 yards of offense a game, Maryland is pretty good at getting turnovers and making impact plays.
Their defense has seven interceptions on the season, four forced fumbles and ten sacks.
Senior linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. leads Maryland’s defense and is a do-it-all kind of player similar to T.J. Edwards of the Wisconsin defense. Carter Jr. leads Maryland with 40 total tackles and leads the team in sacks with 2.5.
Carter Jr. can cause chaos in the passing game and the run game. He has forced two fumbles and also broken up two passes on the season.
Hoping to keep him in the box this week, Wisconsin’s offense will most likely look to feed Taylor in the running game again. Last week, he averaged over seven yards per carry on 30 total carries.
If Taylor can get it going in the run game, the passing game should be pretty wide open as Purdue gives up well over 200 yards a game through the air. Although a few good defensive backs will be lurking.
In the passing game Maryland’s defensive back, Darnell Savage, will be looking to stymie any rebound attempt by Hornibrook. Savage has two interceptions good for second on the team as fellow defensive back J.C. Jackson has three on the season.
Minimizing Jackson’s and Savage’s play will be key to a successful rebound game for Hornibrook. One of the ways to do that will be trying to get tight end Troy Fumagalli back to being a big factor.
In the past two games, his play has been drastically limited by opposing defenses, highlighted by the game against Purdue in which he was held without a single catch.