A successful opening weekend for the Badgers as they defeated USF 49-0. The Badgers did what was expected as they looked to the passing game more. The new play call style lead Jonathan Taylor to his first-ever receiving touchdown.
Let’s talk about the stats from last weekend. Taylor rushed for 135 yards with two touchdowns. He also had 48 reception yards and two receiving touchdowns. Not only is he commanding the field in the running game, but he has also proved that he is a threat down the field as well. If I were any other Big Ten team, I would be terrified.
Coan was 19/26 with 201 yards and 2 touchdowns. Good numbers on paper, but his play had room for improvement. After this week the chemistry between Cephus and Coan should improve. There were missed throws to Cephus downfield that could have resulted in more points for the Badgers.
The Badgers front defense looked great with 4 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. But the backfield has a lot of room for improvement. If it wasn’t for the Bull’s receivers being unable to catch passes, then the score could have been very different.
Saturday the Badgers take on the University of Central Michigan in Camp Randall. Central Michigan won its last game 38-21 against Albany. Central Michigan’s offense is well improved from last season with Quinten Dormandy at quarterback. They will still most likely struggle against this Badger team.
Let’s talk spread. The Badgers are 35 point favorites. Outrageous! This is a large number to hit. All we can do it hope. But if there is a repeat of last week, then the Badgers can cover and continue to climb the rankings. The Badgers have already moved up two spots after last week’s win so a win against the spread this week can rise even more. This is a must-win, and a must cover for the Badgers.
The Badgers do not usually fare well against spreads as large as 35, but the new offense may be able to shine bright. It will be interesting to see how Jonathan Taylor will be used in the passing game this week. Can we see more reception touchdowns from the record-setting running back? Will Coan be able to connect with Cephus with the deep ball? Will the secondary tighten up and prevent Central Michigan from scoring any points? But most importantly, will the Badgers cover?
These are the keys to look for during Saturday’s game. Let us hope that Badgers come together and cover the spread for the better of the entire state and fanbase.