There was a visible excitement, and emotion shown from the Badgers after their dominant performance for a second straight week and the team had all the reason to be ecstatic.
Wisconsin welcomed a team to Camp Randall for the first time this season and showed just how good the team can be this year.
”It’s electrifying. It should be really fun. Been waiting for it for nine months. Finally, get to come back home to our fans in camp Randall. It’s one of the best stadiums in the world” said Taylor in the days leading up to the showdown with Central Michigan at Camp Randall.
The team was excited to return to Madison after a disappointing 2018 in which the team went 8-5, but went 5-2 at home.
With far fewer expectations this season, Wisconsin has raised a few eyebrows and shocked onlookers as the team has been completely dominant through two weeks.
The defense opened the game allowing a three-yard pass that would go for first down. The Chippewas first drive would end on a Zach Baun sack just three plays later. That first down throw from Dormady would be one of just three the Badgers gave up all afternoon.
The offense joined in on the fun and put on a show of their own. They easily drove down the field going eight plays for 83 yards capped off by a familiar sight as Heisman hopeful, Jonathan Taylor got into the endzone on a four-yard run which would not be the last time he had success.
On that drive, the offense had no negative yardage. Jack Coan who had been scrutinized throughout the whole offseason went 3-for-3 for 27 yards, while JT had 5 carries for 36 yards and a catch for 4 yards.
Those two would have their way all game on an afternoon where the offense could no wrong.
The guys on the offense all made it clear and emphasized the importance of becoming more balanced and how much more dangerous that can make them.
“We want to be more versatile and balanced this year” said Tyler Biadasz of the offense.
Kendric Pryor continued to harp on that over the offseason, adding:
“In order to be a great team, we have to be able to run the ball and pass the ball. When people look at the Wisconsin schedule, they think, ok how are we going to stop JT. We kind of want to change that to how are we going to stop Wisconsin’s offense, not just JT… If we can do that, we have something special”
Jack Coan was more than Central Michigan could handle and were special all game.
Coan threw for 363 yards and 3 touchdowns, which is the fifth most passing yards thrown in UW history, leaving any quarterback controversy in the past. He led the offense to a day in which they were one-yard short from a 600-yard day.
“He’s a baller” was the way Graham Mertz described him and the way he played.
After hearing all about the two deep balls they missed, Coan and Cephus were able to connect on not one, but two deep balls which for touchdowns. Cephus had a triumphant return to Camp Randall having the game of his life having 6 catches for 130 yards and 2 scores.
JT noted that he’s better than he was in 2017 and it was fully on display. The star back praised the WR group saying that they “haven’t seen a receiving core in Wisconsin like this in a long time, probably ever”.
The offense was clicking all day but the defense pitched yet another shutout and is now the only FBS team to not allow a point. The team is also first in total defense, second in pass yards allowed and second in rushing defense after two weeks.
With three starters out this week, the Wisconsin defense did not miss a beat.
“We know we can kind of plug and play anybody we’re gonna get the same results,” said linebacker Noah Burks.
The leader in the middle, Chris Orr added, “whoever is rotating in, you want to make sure to keep that zero up” while linebacker Jack Sanborn said, “zero is a lot different from a three to us”.
The defense was busy, forcing a turnover and allowing the Chippewas to only get 58 yards of offense.
Looking ahead, the competition will get stiffer as Wisconsin opens up Big Ten play in two weeks welcoming the Michigan Wolverines to town. UW plays the next four games at home with three of those four coming against Michigan, Northwestern and then Michigan State. This team will be tested but from the looks of it, it is a team that can contend.
Chris Orr said “[It’s] definitely going to be fun, we can’t wait to show everyone who we are” when asked about the challenge of welcoming Michigan to Camp Randall.