A loss that likely no one saw coming followed by a loss everyone saw coming has derailed the train that is the 2019 Wisconsin Badgers. After getting off to maybe the hottest start for a Wisconsin team ever, this years Badger team has skidded off to a two-game losing streak.
Through seven weeks of football, this was the best defense in the country. They stopped the run at an incredible rate, they allowed little yards through the air, and they gave up very few big yardage plays. In a dozen different measurables, this was one of the top, if not the top, defense in the country.
What happened? They started giving up big plays. Throughout the Illinois game, Lovie Smith’s squad was able to make big plays on the ground as well as through the passing game. Even though they were not consistent at all, they eventually capitalized on enough mistakes by Wisconsin to win the biggest upset of this college football season.
Then, Wisconsin had to play the best team in college football. After keeping it close for about two and a half quarters, Ohio State, JK Dobbins, Justin Fields, and most of all, Chase Young, flipped a switch and took over, extinguishing any hope of a College Football Playoff appearance, a Jonathan Taylor Heisman candidacy, and likely a B1G Championship Trophy.
What’s Next? Some damn good football. Now, to win the B1G Ten West, the Badgers will need some help. The Minnesota Gophers are first in the division, and Wisconsin is two games back. After this weekend’s bye week, Wisconsin will have to play the Iowa Hawkeyes and Wisconsin-native Nate Stanley at home in Madison. They will need their defense to regroup and perform at pre-Illinois form in order to win and maintain any hope of winning the West.
After that, Wisconsin will have to win out in order to not let the B1G West Championship fall to another team for the second year in a row. These next few weeks will have a lot on the line for this Badger team, and will for sure make for some exciting football.