Before we get to the main storylines from Saturday’s win over New Mexico—Jonathan Taylor and A.J. Taylor putting up career days, the returns of Zander Neuville and Isaiahh Loudermilk—a couple of quick thoughts on different topics:
First, Cole Van Lanen got the start at left tackle, with Jon Dietzen not participating. Van Lanen told reporters after the game that he knew he would play the full game “a few days ago,” saying that he was ready and has also been prepared for it all camp.
Of course, he noted, he “was ready to go.”
Head coach Paul Chryst mentioned after the game that Dietzen, the redshirt junior who bumped out to tackle, “was dressed and ready should he need to [play], but [we] also thought if we could not play him, it would probably be good for him.” Dietzen has had his fair share of injuries throughout his Wisconsin career, so it should be interesting to see how left tackle shakes out this season. I have not gone through the entire game film yet, but I’ll be looking to see how Van Lanen fared against the Lobos.
Second, Jack Coan did not see action on Saturday during Wisconsin’s last offensive drive when the win was all but secured. Redshirt freshman Danny Vanden Boom did instead. It appears Vanden Boom has known that would be the case for weeks now.
Paul Chryst didn’t confirm #Badgers are planning to redshirt Jack Coan, but Danny Vanden Boom said he’s known for two weeks that he’d take end-of-game situations.— Jason Galloway (@Jason_Galloway) September 8, 2018
QB Danny Vanden Boom said he was told two weeks ago that he would be going in during end of game situations. Certainly points to Wisconsin trying to redshirt Jack Coan.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) September 8, 2018
Chryst said it “was a good opportunity for Danny to get some snaps” and did not elaborate when asked if Wisconsin was planning on redshirting this year—rather, just saying the true sophomore has “had an opportunity to play.”
Coan had a more-than-solid fall camp, with those like Michael Deiter praising his performance in August. If Alex Hornibrook needs to be taken out of the game, I feel like Coan could run the offense efficiently just based on what I saw those first two weeks of fall camp.
Pretty easy here when you rush for a career-high 253 yards and three touchdowns. Yes, there was the one fumble that continues the narrative of not securing the ball (and it’s a legit concern, no doubt). However, the sophomore back answered the call.
A five-reception, career-high 134-yard performance for the junior wide receiver, including a nifty, one-handed grab for 28 yards in the first quarter and a 10-yard touchdown reception in the third. With Quintez Cephus and Danny Davis suspended, Taylor and Kendric Pryor have stepped up the first two games, each grabbing a touchdown reception.
For that matter, Taylor has caught 10 passes for 219 yards through two games. We’ll see what changes with Davis returning to the lineup against BYU, but even without him, Wisconsin’s wide receivers—Taylor specifically—have played pretty well.
Andrew Van Ginkel
The redshirt senior was relatively quiet against Western Kentucky but showed his presence against New Mexico on Saturday, regarding a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, and two quarterback hurries. One hit helped Scott Nelson intercept a pass near the goal line to thwart New Mexico’s scoring opportunity in the third quarter.
Give me your game balls in the comments below.
Play of the game
I spoke about it during our post-game podcast, but I feel it goes to Nelson on that interception. Another sudden-change situation led to the Wisconsin defense once again being backed up against the proverbial wall. Wisconsin would score on its next five drives.
Wisconsin PA announcer Mike Mahnke also had an interesting choice:
Enjoying today’s win a second time and have decided on my play of the game... pic.twitter.com/G64oCMrrUx— Mike Mahnke (@uwpaguy) September 8, 2018
A game of career firsts
With many new contributors and the game comfortably secured in the fourth quarter, there were some collegiate firsts on Saturday.
- Nelson’s interception was the first of his career (and likely not the last).
- Taj Mustapha’s first career reception, a three-yard catch in the fourth quarter, also was his first touchdown at Wisconsin.
- That pass came from redshirt freshman quarterback Vanden Boom, and it was his first passing attempt and first completion.
ben_bryan: Danny Vandan Boom throws his first TD pass to Taj Mustapha (his first TD as well).#Badgers Big Ten Network College Football: New Mexico at Wisconsin; or Eastern Michigan at Purdue https://t.co/Hfa2eIj1fS pic.twitter.com/WVK15Wo0N5— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) September 8, 2018
- On that same drive, back-up fullback Mason Stokke carried the football for the first time.
- Those were all set up by sophomore cornerback Madison Cone’s first career interception.
- True freshman cornerback Rachad Wildgoose saw his first action.
- Left tackle Cole Van Lanen and wide receiver Adam Krumholz both started their first career games.
Sites and sounds around Madison
Be sure to check out our Instagram page for photos from before, during, and after the game. Matt Fleming took some amazing photos for us yesterday.
Seriously, it’s a good time. Great talk, and we’re working on some guests for the future. Come out, say hi, and I’ll bust out some trivia on our live show.
Bierock is located at 2911 N. Sherman Ave., Madison WI 53704