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Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor named Big Ten Offensive Player, Freshman of the Week

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Was there any doubt?

Wisconsin v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

We knew this was coming.

Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor once again earned conference offensive player of the week and freshman of the week honors, the Big Ten announced on Monday.

Taylor, the 5’11, 214-pound back from Salem, N.J., ran for 249 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns in No. 7 Wisconsin’s 38–17 win at Nebraska on Saturday night. That included his 75-yard rushing score to extend the Badgers’ lead back up to 10 points late in the second quarter.

For the season, Taylor leads the Big Ten in rushing yards and yards per game (767 and 153.4, respectively). He is also tied with Penn State’s Saquon Barkley for the most touchdowns (nine). Nationally, he’s seventh in rushing yards and fourth in yards per game.

Our article on Sunday highlights Taylor’s impressive accomplishments underneath the lights of Memorial Stadium, as the Badgers racked up 353 yards on the ground (466 total):

Rushing for a career-high 249 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns, Taylor continued to show the patience, vision, and maturity of a running back well beyond his years. As seen during his 75-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter, he can run inside, then bust it to the outside and hit the edge for a big gain. He has the power and explosiveness to push his way for extra yardage, then run away from defenders after breaking their tackles. That shows in the stats sheets, as according to Wisconsin, he has already recorded five runs of 25 or more yards through five games this season.

Taylor and the legendary Ron Dayne are the only two true freshmen to run for 200 yards in multiple games. The former Heisman Trophy winner registered five of those feats in 1996, but Taylor still has another seven regular-season games to add more to his already impressive first-year résumé.

The Salem, N.J., native also joins former Wisconsin running backs Melvin Gordon and Montee Ball in recording 200 or more yards rushing against the Huskers.

Taylor has previously earned conference honors, as he was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player and Freshman of the Week after his 223-yard performance against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 9.

Quarterback Alex Hornibrook and safety Natrell Jamerson also have earned Big Ten player of the week honors this season.

[Update, 12:10 p.m.: Corrected the score from Wisconsin’s win on Saturday. Apologies on the discrepancy.]