Wisconsin defense coordinator and inside linebackers coach Justin Wilcox was named the CoachingSearch.com Linebackers Coach of the Week on Sunday. Wilcox, who was hired in January following the departure of Dave Aranda to LSU, got the better of his predecessor on Saturday as the Tigers were held to just 257 total yards and 14 first downs. Wisconsin also kept Heisman hopeful Leonard Fournette mostly in check and out of the end zone all afternoon.
Wilcox got the most out of his linebackers on Saturday even with projected starter T.J. Edwards out with a lingering foot injury and Chris Orr lost on the first offensive series with a season-ending knee injury. Starter Jack Cichy (eight tackles) played well and reserve Ryan Connelly stepped in for seven tackles, including a critical stop of Fournette on a third-down screen pass early in the fourth quarter. Coaching Search also gave recognition to the work of outside linebackers coach Tim Tibesar due to the play of T.J. Watt (seven tackles), Vince Biegel (four tackles and a sack).
Though Edwards is projected to return soon, Connelly and Cichy are listed as starters on Wisconsin’s Week 2 two-deep. True freshman Griffin Grady, a composite three-star recruit from Dublin (Coffman) Ohio, is also listed as a second-team inside linebacker.