Northwestern week is officially behind us, which is probably a big exhale for most of you. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but overall the Badgers came away with a W. Struggling with Northwestern is a Badger tradition, but thankfully they were able to escape unscathed and move to 4-0. Now the attention moves to a non conference bout with Kent State, where the Badgers will look to fix some things before taking on Michigan State.
The presser opened as it always does with the initial injury report, which had a few changes after last week. Safety Madison Cone will be out against the Golden Flashes, while nose tackle Bryson Williams and linebacker Leo Chenal are questionable for the game. Tight end Luke Benzschawel has been downgraded to out for the season. Redshirt freshman Cormac Sampson is currently listed as the No. 2 tight end on this week’s depth chart.
After the injury report, Coach Chryst spoke very briefly. One of the main points touched on was the offensive game plan, more specifically the heavy use of the shotgun and pistol formations. As many fans and media members noted, those formations were used predominately in the attack on Northwestern rather than the under center look.
Coach Chryst said that plan was the one they had going in, and they felt it was the way they could go at Northwestern. With the struggles the last two years against the Wildcats, a new wrinkle was implemented to give them a new look. Wisconsin used that package a lot against South Florida too, so it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise.
Paul Chryst at the podium for Monday’s weekly press conference. pic.twitter.com/XhrokOagSO— Jake Kocorowski (@JakeKoco) September 30, 2019
Chryst also noted that they wanted to attack the whole field by using the shotgun look, but felt they didn’t do a good job of it. Wisconsin went under center just nine times in the game, and it appears that was by design to help spread the field and not allow Northwestern to be as compact as they have been in recent years. With the somewhat stagnant offensive output, it will be interesting to see if this will be continued, or if the Badgers are back under center going forward.
Chryst then talked about the linebacker combo of Chris Orr and Jack Sanborn who both had big days last week. Chryst noted that he thinks the duo truly care about each other and respect each other.
He added they know who they are and that they complement each other in a lot of ways. Orr specifically had a huge week which garnered him some honors. His nine tackles, two sacks, and forced fumble was a big enough performance to land Orr as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
All in all, the focus appeared to be on Kent State and what they need to do to handle their business. The Golden Flashes are lower tier team in college football, but they do still have some collective talent. The Badgers will have a great opportunity to clean some things up and develop some new schemes before another huge conference match up with Michigan State.