Final Thoughts & What It All Means: Wisconsin 33, Northwestern 24
Wisconsin held on to beat Northwestern, but it wasn’t easy. Okay, now what?
Wisconsin 33, Northwestern 24
Prediction: USC 38, Washington State 34
Line: USC-3.5 o/u: 65
It took a bit of a fight for the Badgers to put it away, but it’s a win, and it’s 4-0. take it, no matter what.
Alex Hornibrook settled down. He had a little Joel Stave vs. Northwestern in him with two early picks, but he connected on the key throws needed early in the second half. However, he only finished with 11-of-20 completions for 197 yards and a score with those two picks.
When Clayton Thorson gets time, he can pick anyone apart. Unfortunately, Wisconsin brought the pressure for about 49 minutes, and then on Northwestern’s final play. Thorson was getting bounced around all game long, but even with the pick-six, and even with the horrible mistake of not getting rid of the ball on a UW game-clinching safety, the tools are there to play at the next level.
The Badgers destroyed the Northwestern running game, but the Wildcats also gave up on it. Justin Jackson only ran for 25 yards on nine carries, and because of the eight sacks, the team finished with just 25 yards total.
Wisconsin’s running game couldn’t take over in the second half. The Badgers were swarmed over, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. They got away with it this week, but the team can’t get by in the bigger games with just 109 yards.
Now what for the Badgers? They’re going to have to deal with a Nebraska defense that’s far better than it gets any credit for. Purdue and Maryland won’t be easy, but at least those are at home. After struggling so much to put this game away, Wisconsin can’t take the Nebraska game for granted. The D has to keep making big plays against Tanner Lee like it did against Thorson.
Now what for the Wildcats? Now at 2-2 with Penn State, at Maryland and Iowa up next, this is a dangerous time. They need an upset or three, and they can’t go through October without at least two wins – Michigan State closes out the month. The running game and O line have to emerge, though, to make that happen.